My introverted mom was my alibi to stop my friends from pushing me to go out. The truth was, as a secret introvert, I wanted to stay home anyway.
I first learned about introversion during college. Before that, I was the typical pseudo-extrovert who expended much energy to be fun and well-liked. Whenever I socialized, I’d conjure up a whimsical, high-spirited person who yearned for popularity. But since I was an introvert, after all, it left me with nothing but exhaustion — and the worst “introvert hangovers” — every time I’d get home.
Fortunately, my plans to be likable did not fail. Many people adored my approachable and fun personality to the point that I could greet anyone on campus despite my stirring self-consciousness.
But there’s one hurdle that ruined the sociable character I tried to be: my mom.
Meet My Mom, the Introvert
I have a strict Asian mother who’d disapprove of my leaving the house unless it was for educational purposes. You can imagine all my friends going to a big party while I turned down invitations carrying the “My mom said no” excuse. “What a bummer,” my friends would say. But honestly, as a secret introvert back then, it was a great alibi to stop my friends from pushing me to go. I’d preferred staying home anyway.
Only recently it crossed my mind that my mom, too, is an introvert. Aside from being strict and a disciplinarian, her comments make sense now, looking back: “You don’t need parties.” “Why are you always with your friends?” “Going out… again?”
At first, I didn’t understand what she was thinking. But as I grew older, I noticed how she’s an even bigger introvert than I am.
5 Benefits of Being Raised by an Introverted Mom
So what does it look like to be raised by an introverted mom? Here are the perks — and a couple obstacles — I experienced growing up.
1. Few to no visitors, year-round
My fellow introverts, do you have those moments where you want to see and bond with your friends — but at the same time, you also want to go home and be alone as soon as possible? Same here.
Thanks to my friends being scared of my strict mom, our home was never the go-to hangout place. And as an introvert, this worked for me, too. There were times they wanted to stay over a long time and sleep over. Sorry, but not on my mom’s watch.
Also, my mom would hardly ever invite anyone to our house — no huge celebrations, no gossiping moms, and no nosy relatives. It’s peace all year long.
Nevertheless, my mom has numerous friends who reach out to her because she’s a great listener. But I can guarantee she won’t burn extra energy if you come over unannounced.
2. Short, but fun, activities
For other parents who plan events, the idiom “the more the merrier” is often the case. But not with introverted moms.
One time, our relatives invited us to a resort, so we traveled for two long hours to get there. Right after we got out of the car, my mom whispered, “Finally, we’re here! Now let’s go home.” Funny enough, I felt the same way. Honestly, preparing for the trip — packing, etc. — was draining enough… and now we had to socialize?!
As an introverted family, quiet, private celebrations were more intimate and preferred. And the best part was that when we wanted to go home, we’d go home. I loved how my introverted mom was resolute enough to bid goodbye to friends and relatives without any pressure.
3. Always having an alibi
My mom was my constant alibi: Telling my friends, “I’d love to come, but my mom said no” was a lawful, authorized, and invincible excuse.
Back in college, my friends made fun of me for it — they’d say I was old enough to make my own decisions. I’d shrug and pretend to be disappointed; little did they know, I had never even asked my mom.
And even if I did ask her, the answer was an automatic no. Never did my mom force me to join activities I didn’t like, which I appreciated. On good days, we were an introverted tag team.
4. Learning to be more responsible
My mom always cared for us, but in a unique way. She would attend school programs, but if I could do something by myself, then she preferred that.
Whenever I’d see my mom exhausted while engaging with others at these events, I’d feel bad. So when it came to attending my younger sister’s school orientations, I’d try to help out. Thankfully, my sister didn’t take my mom’s absence negatively. We both knew and understood the drill — that our mom was more comfortable staying home. Because of this, my sister grew to be independent and self-reliant like I did.
Although she often wasn’t socially up to attending events, our mom cared for us in the background. She’d do things like cook our favorite meals, buy us books, and help us prepare for school, which I am truly grateful for. Plus, she made sure to never miss significant events, like our graduation ceremonies.
5. Not being forced to participate in activities
I have good academic standing. So if I skipped school, my mom wouldn’t question it. Instead, she’d get a gleam in her eye (I guess she was glad I could help her clean the house instead!).
I love how my mom was (and is) fine with what I had to offer. Unlike other parents, she didn’t force me to join 101 extracurricular activities just so she had something to brag about. For her, as long as I was at peace and safe, then everything was fine.
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Challenges I Had Growing up With an Introverted Mom
The above were the many perks I had from having been raised by an introverted mom. But we know parent-child relationships are not always smooth sailing. Here are a couple of the obstacles I had with my mom’s introversion.
- Asking me if she “had to” attend school meetings and events. If parents were required to attend school events, my mom should be there, too, I thought. Otherwise, I felt left out. While other moms seemed to go all out to impress the school community, my mom was the type to ask me twice if she really had to attend. As a kid, it was easy for me to assume it was a lack of support or interest. Picture this: I invited my mom to my college pre-graduation ceremony because the program included a “Tribute to Parents.” She genuinely asked, “Do I have to go?” I chuckled. She laughed at her response, too. She came with me anyway and even bought herself a new dress. And, during the ceremony, her emotions definitely came out as she cried, which reminded me how soft and sensitive my mom was despite being strict and “uncooperative” at times.
- Hiding from the spotlight. At one point, I envied my classmates’ moms because they were supportive of their kids during school programs. They were the typical “stage moms” who over-involved themselves in their children’s’ performances and even volunteered as leaders of the Parent’s Organization. But my mom? She didn’t care about that. Instead, I’d expect a relieved face from her after we got home, saying “Finally [I’m at home]!!!” However, although she never took the spotlight, she made sure I was at my best while she was in the shadows. She may not have attended parent meetings, but she made sure my sister and I were well-dressed for events, like prom. She’d take us shopping to buy the best pair of heels and would set us up with a driver she knew to make sure we’d arrive safely at our destination. (I was even Prom Queen once.)
The Lessons My Introverted Mom Can Teach Other Introverted Moms
Growing up with an introverted mom may be confusing for a child. When it comes to their social life, kids have pretty high expectations of their parents. Without a doubt, they often see parents as either “cool” or “uncool” in the presence of their friends.
However, just because your kids expect you to be cool, extroverted, and fun, it doesn’t mean you have to force yourself into it the way other parents do it. Remember, you’re raising your child the best way you possibly can — and, besides, introverted parents can be just as cool and fun as extroverted ones! For example, because of my mom’s quiet demeanor, her unanticipated jokes often catch people off-guard and then they’d see how hilarious she was.
If your child understands you’re an introvert, then they will respect it. In my experience, although my mom never realized she was an introvert, we knew her way of being and likes and dislikes. For instance, introverted moms, you don’t need to invite your kids’ friends over just to make them “happy” if it will drain you all day (or for many days). So set rules at an early age and your kids will abide by them (eventually).
If you’re an introverted parent, also remember that you don’t need to force yourself out of your comfort zone to make your children love you. If you show them how much you care — through your small (yet big), quiet ways — they will appreciate it. It’s truly the little things that matter — a peaceful home, sharing your interests (like reading and certain books), conversations about history, preparing their lunch boxes, listening to their stories, and laughing with your kids.
As someone raised by an introverted mom, the little gestures are all the things I love and remember — then and now.