I’m on the cusp of introvert and extrovert, though I lean more toward the former than the latter. Beyond the standard trappings of introversion, you have people like me. Weird people with strange minds who don’t fit into most groups, especially not moms groups. This leads to a conundrum because …
1. I want my children to interact with other kids.
2. As homeschoolers, this often means joining a mom’s group or attending community events.
3. I’m weird and empathetic.
4. Other people in groups sense this weirdness and don’t know how to react to it.
5. Feeling their discomfort, I retreat into myself and do my best to hide everything about me.
6. Exhausted after having to be social, but hide who I am, I take the kids home.
7. I do not want to go back, but that’s ok, because I’m usually not invited back.
See also: Why my parties are small despite large guest lists, and Why I’m a wreck after family gatherings.
I like people. I like interacting. I like parties and games and having fun. But I’m weird and few people get me enough to want to spend time with me. Because I also like cuddles and bouncing and dark humor and science fiction and contemplating odd scenarios and … I don’t feel particularly human because being human the way people expect me to be human isn’t the way I am.
So I cosplay Pinkie Pie on Easter because people understand Pinkie Pie. Who is like me when I don’t have to hide.
I don’t join moms groups. Instead, we go to community events open to all, and make the best of it. I’ve learned there are two things I can talk about that don’t feel like small talk: parenting and gardening. But I have to resist hugging the first person who displays a shared passion or interest.
Thankfully, my kids love me, and I have good friends who accept me as the oddball I am. Mostly because they’re oddballs, too.
Do you ever feel uncomfortable in moms groups or community events? Start with local newsgroups and find out which families share similar interests. You might not become best friends with the parents you meet, but it’s possible you’ll have something to talk about while your kids develop their own friendships. Support in parenting, especially for parents at home, is crucial to staying sane. (Also, you might become best friends. You never know.)