being a mom

I Don’t Want My Kids To See Me As A Shy Mom

By  | 


“So, we will need some volunteers for service night,” 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 don’t think I ever volunteered back then either. I only participated when forced. Yep, it’s great to be back. This time, I’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 wouldn’t call on me and I wouldn’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 didn’t talk to anyone until he was thirty years old. It also didn’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 don’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 children’s memories as pleasant as possible, we try getting “out there” as much as we can.  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.

Pages: 1 2