being a mom
I Don’t Want My Kids To See Me As A Shy Mom
â€œSo, we will need some volunteers for service night,â€ the PTA president said. It was my very first PTA meeting and I was already uncomfortable. Very suddenly, I felt like that scared little kid back in elementary school. I hung my head and stared at the floor. I began to have flashbacks of my own childhood. I donâ€™t think I ever volunteered back then either. I only participated when forced. Yep, itâ€™s great to be back. This time, Iâ€™m here for my daughter, who started Kindergarten this year. It was her turn to go through the whole school experience I loathed as a kid. My biggest hope is that it is a better one than mine. At forty-one years old, I sometimes still feel like the same nervous and scared little girl.
I have been shy since birth. Painfully shy. Ask any of my former classmates, and they would remember me as the kid who barely spoke. I was somewhat okay with one-on-one conversation, but groups really intimidated me. In particular, large groups. I vividly remember going through my four years of high school hoping and praying that the teacher wouldnâ€™t call on me and I wouldnâ€™t have to participate. I wanted to be invisible. If I was lucky enough to be ignored, I walked out with sweaty palms and a racing heart, feeling very fortunate just the same. It always felt as if I had just dodged a bullet.
I have often wondered about my shyness and what exactly made me that way. More than likely, it was a combination of a few things. Genetics must have played a role. My father, now in his seventies, claims he didnâ€™t talk to anyone until he was thirty years old. It also didnâ€™t help that I was the firstborn child to very overprotective parents. As a baby, they were continually on top of me. There was always a fear of me getting hurt. Or saying the wrong thing to an adult. Because of this, I was always quite anxious of embarrassing myself.
With age, the shyness has diminished a little. It has been a very gradual process. But now I donâ€™t have a choice about it. As a mom to a 5-year- old girl and a two-year-old boy, it is impossible to be a hermit.
In wanting to make my childrenâ€™s memories as pleasant as possible, we try getting â€œout thereâ€ as much as we can.Â I struggled at first. One of my worst fears was for my children to be shy like me. On the contrary, I wanted them to be assertive and confident leaders. Interestingly enough, my first starting point was working on myself. If there was a mommy get together or class, I pushed myself to go. If anything, I did it for my kids. I realized that their happiness far outweighed my being socially anxious. I want to be a positive role model, just as my own mom was for me.