Being a SAHD, outside contact is limited without an effort made to strike out and make said contact. Up until now it wasn’t a big deal because I was taking two university classes which enabled me to get out of the house, sans baby, for a couple of hours each day. My son was also under 6 months old and still getting used to this world, so taking him out and about wasn’t a big priority. That and he enjoyed sleeping. 🙂
But now with school over, and a son just over 6 months with more energy and enthusiasm for life everyday, I’m looking to get out and do things with him. The problem is that it scares me.
See, I am an introvert, and while not severe enough that I shun all human contact, it does severely discourage it. New situations scare me. New people scare me. Crowds are draining. Loud places are draining. Talking to people is draining.
So the rational part of me wants to get out there and meet new people. It wants to go to the park and sit down and talk to other parents. It wants to go to playgroups and things like that. It wants to be normal. But this crazy introvert side of me doesn’t let me. It turns my stomach into a writhing mess. My palms sweat. My heart races. My breathing increases. And this is just at the thought of going out and doing something like that. And I know 95% of the time it is fine. People are generally really great, but I just hate that initial awkward phase. I can’t just go over to someone and say hi. So I end up standing there like a tool.
This is something that has always plagued me. It isn’t something I thought about these past 6 months, but now that I actually want to get out and do something, all these introvert responses begin to turn on and I’m frozen. I start to check into things and see what is out there, but it stops there. I never take that next step and go out and do things. A step that in my head seems really simple when looked at objectively. But I just get stuck.
This is something I need to work on as a dad. He’s only 6 months old and I’m struggling with going out to new things. What am I going to be like when he starts activities? When he starts school? Not even just my mental state, but I am displaying this overly-introverted attitude and he will pick up on that. This isn’t a character trait I want to pass on to my son. At least not this severe. My wife and I are both introverts, but I seem to be a little more so. Or maybe she’s just better at dealing with it. 🙂
Anyway, this is something about fatherhood I hadn’t really thought about and it kind of crept up on me this week. It is an issue that I need to address sooner rather than later. I don’t want my own issues and insecurities to affect my child. Other parents must deal with this. What do they do? How do they address their insecurities so they don’t negatively impact their children’s lives? This isn’t something that comes across online, of which I am a prime example. I love talking to people on line. I’m making lots of friendships/connections through twitter because there is none of the anxiety. This is a “irl” (in real life) sort of problem.
For more great Fatherhood Friday posts, check out Dad-Blogs.com. It is a great community for dads (and moms). There were 30 contributors last week which makes for lots of good reading.