Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Socially Challenged

Back in the day the words “Socially Challenged” would not be ones that I would use to describe myself.  I was always an extremely social person.  In school I was involved in sports, and choirs.  I sang in front of a stadium FULL of people in high school when our basketball team went to the state championships.  I was rarely home, I was always out doing something, somewhere with my friends.



After my school years I maintained my social abilities.  I was always able to talk to people, strangers, and clients.  I made new friends with my co-workers easily, we hung out a lot.  I was considered the closer in my office.  I could, as my dad put it “sell ice to Eskimos”. 



Once DH and I got married we made “couple” friends and had a blast.  Going out to dinners, having BBQ’s, going here and there, doing this and that. 



Fast forward to present day and I have to say I feel like a friggin hermit. 



I’m pretty sure the movement towards being socially challenged happened during my second pregnancy. 



You see, my first pregnancy was golden.  After a small bout of nausea for a few weeks in my first trimester I felt fantastic!  I had energy, even traveled to Hawaii with my family.  I felt “normal”. 



But with my second pregnancy, I was really sick up until 23 weeks.  I was nervous about going out and about because I never knew when it would hit.  And when it would hit, it would hit FAST!  So we stopped going to our friends houses as much because really, who wants to hear someone throwing up as the background music to a party?? 



My third pregnancy was more like my second but the sickness lasted even longer this time...27 weeks. 



So for about the last 6 years I feel like I’ve been house bound.  Other than taking the kids to school, and running errands we are here.  Unless we do the occasional outing to the zoo, aquarium, one of the boys friends birthday parties, etc. but again, that’s with and for children.  Which, let’s be clear I’m more than happy to do. 



These days if you put me in a room of children I am the bomb-diggity (did I SERIOUSLY just type that…I SO can’t pull that off…my apologies).  I can entertain, make them laugh, get their minds working and we all have a great time.



But put me in a room with adults, people my own age and one of two things happen.  I stay in the background and just watch all that’s going on…very wallflower’esque.  Or if I’m engaged in a conversation I will talk that poor person’s ear off and not let them get a word in edge wise because OH MY GOD I’m actually talking to an adult and I can’t remember the last time that happened so I have to get it all out before I have to go back to talking to children 99.9% of the time. 



I’m uncomfortable in situations that used to feel like home to me.  I get nervous instead of excited on the way to outings.  I worry more about what people will think of me and what I can contribute to a conversation than I ever have in my life.



It’s a strange dynamic.  One I’m working really hard to rectify.  I keep putting myself out there.  Accepting invitations to outings even if I think they will make me uncomfortable.  Joining groups and volunteering to help at the schools.



Because this mama really needs to get her social groove back in play.  Because this life as a hermit?  Totally not working for me.



Do you feel socially challenged sometimes?



46 comments:

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

I choose to be a hermit these days :) Going out just takes so much out of me that I'm very selective about my social activities. Which are limited to maybe twice a month mom-only dates and as many playdates with the kids.

I think it's great you're putting yourself out there again, if that's what you need to do, do it!

vinobaby said...

Wow, that sounds familiar. That is actually one of the reasons I started blogging--so I could "speak" to other adults. And now I find it so hard to find other adults with anything in common who can talk about anything besides children.

Good for you for trying to get out there again. You can do it. It will be worth the trouble.

Cheers.

Christine Siracusa said...

I completely relate. I've always been a bit shy or wallflower'esque as you put it ;) But motherhood really intensified that tendancy. I feel like I 'woke up' recently and realized I didn't have many IRL friends. So I put some focus on that and little by little it's starting to feel better. It will come back.

Kimberly said...

I have shockingly always been the shy quiet girl. Always. But having a child has made me quite the opposite. I'm still not super outgoing but more than I used to be. Weird eh?
Perhaps schedule regular outings with friends?

Kate F. (@katefineske) said...

The definition of "being social" has changed a lot for me. I find I get very overwhelmed now when with a larger group of people because, anymore, I have a hard time staying focused... if there are two many conversations around me I just automatically step back into the shadows.

I have started to find my social groove a little bit more lately (thanks to finally allowing myself to hire a sitter occasionally) but as I age, I am much more comfortable in a small group now than a large one (as I used to be).

So am I socially challenged? I guess it depends how you look at it ;)

Minivan Mama said...

Sounds like your on your way to overcoming your obstacle. The old saying is right, practice makes perfect!

Elena @CiaoMom said...

Um yes. All the time. Add in the fact that I work in a school...it can be tragic. :) Thanks for linking up with JBE!...xo

Jackie said...

I've always been a hermit. I've always been too shy around people. But, I'm ok with it now.

I do think it's great that you are going out there and trying to get over this!

Kimberly said...

This has been me for the last several years. We don't go out much and I don't have mom friends close by. I'm trying, but it's still so hard!

Julie said...

Ohmylord this is me. Right down to the former success in sales.

I find that I feel kind of weird about my appearance now, and I spend a lot more time making sure my kids are cute than me. I feel like my clothes are always stained or old and most of the time I don't have the energy to care. A trip to the salon or a great new outfit always seem to perk me up. Even a pedicure can make me feel like a new woman. So sad.

Way to get out there...I firmly believe it will all come back. The small kids thing is hard, hard, hard.

Missy said...

Yes, I'm socially challenged. I kind of want to do stuff. Over the summer, we went out with a group of 5 couples 3-4 times and had a blast. We're supposed to do something with them tomorrow night though and I totally don't want to go. Why? I think my social challenge-ness is seasonal. I'm in "routine" mode right now and don't want to mess wtih that, so I don't want to be out and about all the time.

Plus I have quite a few social obligations that make me not want to do any social electives, if that makes sense.

Thought provoking, thanks!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Alison,

I completely understand that! I was like that after Big T born. Fast forward 8 years and it's getting a bit old. So I'm trying. Thank you for the encouragement!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Alison,

I completely understand that! I was like that after Big T born. Fast forward 8 years and it's getting a bit old. So I'm trying. Thank you for the encouragement!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

vinobaby,

Blogging has been a fabulous outlet for communcating with adults. But I really like the face to face actually getting out of the house interaction.

We'll see how it goes. Want to come over for a glass of wine?

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Christine,

I think I'm going through a "wake up" moment right now. So I'm trying to put my focus on getting back out there. I'm glad someone else can relate!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Kimberly,

I'm glad that becoming a mom has made you more social. I love that!

I'm trying to schedule more things. Little by little I guess.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Kate,

I love how you look at this. There are definitely different degrees of being social! But I just need to be out, in groups...doesn't matter the size!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Minivan Mama,

I'm sure trying! Although it's tough to fit practice time in around the family since they have been and always will be my first priority! But step by step and I'll get there..I hope!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Elena,

I'm so glad you can relate! It's such a strange feeling isn't it?

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Jackie,

Thank you so much for stopping by! I don't think there is anything wrong with being a hermit if that is what you are used to and it's who you are. I think what bothers me the most is that I have morphed into a hermit. Trying to change...its a tough thing!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Kimberly,

It really is so hard. I don't have very many mom friends close by either. I'm hoping by getting more and more involved with school maybe I will make some more.

I'm trying too!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Julie,

It's amazing how staying at home and being a mom can change us isn't it? Most of it is for the better of course. But this is one thing I'm not to happy about.

You are absolutely right. The small kids thing is HARD!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Missy,

Hmmm that's a great point. Maybe it is seasonal for me as well. I do like my quiet time but right now I think I've had my fill. I need to beef up the social side.

I guess it all back to balance. AGAIN! HA!

The Woven Moments said...

The older I get, the fewer good friends I have. And you know what? I think it's a sign of maturity to have a few deep friendships. I'm with YOU mama.

And, FYI, if we ever meet in real life, I'd LOVE to hear you blabber on. Truly. :)

I'm Jennifer. said...

I SO know how you feel. I used to be very (maybe overly) social before I had kids. Then, after years and years of staying home with my boys, I lost my groove. But it seems the more I make myself get out and about these days, the less awkward it feels. Hope that works for you too.

Shell said...

Sounds SO FAMILIAR.

I am so the wallflower. I am not happy with it, but not sure how to change.

Lynsey said...

This is SO me. (And for the record, I can't pull off saying bomb-diggity anymore either. On second thought maybe I never could.)

My kids just started at a new school and all the parents are very involved and know each other and it is excruciating trying to just "jump in" when in reality it's been over 5 years since I've had a social life.

Whew. In a nutshell, I relate to this post a whole lot.

Kristin @ What She Said said...

I don't feel socially challenged so much as socially apathetic. I'm fine once I get in social situation - I'm a total chatty Cathy. It's getting in there in the first place that's the problem. My comfort zone is at home in comfy pajama pants. I have to really motivate myself to put forth the effort of being social.

In many ways, it's like hauling my butt to the gym.

Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

You bet your sweet ass I feel socially challenged sometimes. Getting out the door is one thing, finding people I want to spend time with is another, getting to know them well enough to let my guard down and make friends is even another. That's why sweats and my couch or just dinner out with my husband is often way more appealing.

Natalie @ MamaTrack said...

I think everyone feels this way sometimes. And you leave a conversation wondering if you actually said some moronic thing you did, in fact, say.

Hang in there and keep trying. That's all any of us can do.

Tammy said...

Oh girl, your just described me. We moved to a small town right before we got married. We actually didn't have a lot of couple friends but did make some. Then we moved. We have friends up here but I would rather just be home with the family. I do enjoy girls night out but hubbys is not a social guy so I guess you could say we are socially challenged too! :)

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Ryan,

I love having my few close friends. But I don't get to be social with them for several reasons!

Oh I just love you. Anyone who will listen to me blabber is an absolute saint!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

I'm Jennifer,

I'm so very glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm sure it's all about just getting out there over and over again until the comfort level comes back. But that seems so much more difficult now!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Shell,

Exactly! I'm not sure how to change it. So I'm trying to just put myself out there again. I'll let you know how it goes.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Lynsey,

Thank you so very much for stopping by! I truly appreciate it.

I'm glad you can relate (because I was starting to feel like I was by myself in all of this)

It is SO hard to just jump in. But I will say if the invitation presents itself...take it! That's what I'm trying to do!

Hope you visit again soon!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Kristin,

I was the same way when Big T was born. But that was 8 years and two more kids ago. Now? I'm lucky if I'm not trying to hold a conversation with a house plant! HA!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Krista,

It definitely seems like we are more selective over who we choose to be social with then we were in high school. Which I think is a good thing. But it also takes a ton more work!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Natalie,

I leave many conversations wondering that exact same thing! Hopefully people can see me for who I am and not the stupid comments I make from time to time!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Tammy,

Moving really throws a wrench into the social scene doesn't it? But I guess we just keep trying to find people that "get us".

Leigh Ann @ Genie in a Blog said...

I hear you! I feel like I talk waaaaaay too much when I'm around adults -- about stuff they totally don't care about.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Leigh Ann,

It's like I'm trying to fit it all in because pretty soon I will go back to talking about superheroes and dirty diapers.

mamamash said...

I'm definitely a social butterfly, but I do go through periods of hermit-like behavior. I do notice that most of my friends are parents now though, because we have more in common.

Colleen said...

This sounds one hundred percent normal to me. :) I also used to be super social and loved getting out and now I love just being home, having time with my family, going fo walks or bikerides...but you know, I enjoy it. Even though there is a great press to be "social" I just ignore it.:)

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

mamamash,

NO WAY! I'd never peg you for a social butterfly!!! ;)

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Colleen,

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I truly appreciate it.

I'm so glad it sounds normal to you. I'm sure it's all about balance. Balancing the social being and the hermit crab in me.

Elaine A. said...

I've felt it a little more since moving to LA. The culture here is VERY friendly but also different than what I am used to in some ways. BUT. I'm very social, as you described, and doing the best to acclimate because, like you, I NEED (i.e. MUST HAVE) social interaction with ADULTS. It's just a huge part of my life.

Keep putting yourself out there, it'll come back to you, I'm sure!