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Mothering › Baby Articles › Shy Mama in a Social Family

Shy Mama in a Social Family

Good morning friends.  Another quiet morning on the farm, or at least it started out that way.  Only been up for 3 hours and already we’ve had 3 visitors, and know of 4 more coming by this afternoon.  At the heart, I’m a shy girl – I tend to derive my energy from time on my own or with one or two friends.  Keeping it small is what it’s all about.  And then I got married to a marvelously social man, known and loved in our community of friends.   He thrives on people – and lots of them.

Thankfully, we are both deeply commited to community, and somehow we manage to find a good balance.  Our rural home on a hillside helps me find the privacy I crave, and occasional days when I see nobody beyond our two families living on the land & the chickens and cows. Other days are more abundant with visitors, and on these days I cherish the good people who are part of our life, and retreat to the kitchen when I need a moment!  Here is a guest post from my wonderful husband sharing with you one of our more abundant days (yesterday):


Come Fall Apart in My Backyard, by Rick Juliusson

Numerologically speaking, WildSide Farm is a five. Not in the half-of-Bo-Derek sense, but something like it’s alive with people, comings and goings, life. At least, that’s what visitor # 14 said today.

Take today, for example. A day with Absolutely Nothing in the dayplanner. No people, no appointments, no reason except school to leave the land. But then…

The phone rang and I was suddenly babysitting a 2 and 4-year-old for a gloriously fun and active hour in the afternoon, then a visit with their mom at pick-up. Amy and her four (4) children stopped by to take care of the cows. Zekiah’s friend invited herself over after school to help rake up apple-branch prunings. Two grade-eight boys came by to help me move a pile of lumber into the barn to dry. The neighbour boy lurked around on his stilts, and his mom joined him to visit the calves. Rachel and her son came to pick up the eighth-graders and stayed for a quick tour and visit. Valdelia brought Tristan home from preschool. A repeat visitor/friend came for an unexpected overnight in our WildSide B&B room. Crystal and her son Tristan joined us for dinner as usual.

In case you lost count, that’s a transformation from a quiet 2-adult, 2-children family day to a joyous cacophony of 9 adults and 14 children. That, my friends, is what I love about living in community, and why our farm website exhorts you to “Come fall apart in my backyard.” (It’s also probably why I’m staying up on my own to write this and enjoy the silence.)


How does community shape your experience of home, mamas?

How do those of you with partners who are more shy / more social than you handle the difference in your needs?



Mama Renew

About Sarah Juliusson

Sarah Juliusson, founder of Mama Renew, is a gifted facilitator and writer on the journey of birth & motherhood. She brings two decades of experience supporting families through pregnancy, birth and motherhood to her work. Sarah is mother to two growing boys, a playful crafter with cloth & wool, student of traditional food preservation, and a diva at heart. Join the conversation on http://www.mamarenew.ca & on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mamarenew

Comments (3)

I'd like to read more about these differences! I tend to crave more social time than my husband, and our answer has often been for me to seek that in the outside world on my own and to stay much quieter when at home than I naturally would ... This comes as somewhat of an automatic response, as I grew up in a rural introverted family.
Hi Zoe - it is interesting, isn't it - when it shapes not only the ways we seek what we need, but the degree to which it shapes our ability to be our authentic selves in our HOME - which is where we should be able to be fully ourselves! Writing you after we had well over 40 visitors on our land yesterday... I'm curious to know how you experience the reality of being quieter at home than you naturally would?
Hi, To be perfectly honest, I find it very difficult to have home be such a quiet place, even if I grew up in a similar situation. I love spontaneous parties and drop-by visitors. In college, I made my apartment into our gang's bustling epicentre. Life with small children is very different than those days (i.e., my husband isn't the only reason life has calmed), but I do miss the thrill and energy of the unexpected. To put our different needs in context, I must mention that we have always had very different employment situations: as a grad student, freelancer and now stay-at-home mother, I have always had a flexible schedule while he has always had a high-stess salaried job outside the home. When he gets back after a busy day suurounded by people, he's looking for a quiet evening, time to himself and to catch up on "life adminstration" he can't do at work. I, on the other hand, am really ready for some stimulation! This has amplified our natural extroversion/introversion tendancies when at home. It's truly a hard line to dance because our inherent needs are opposite. And compromise isn't always satisfying! The solution I've found is to be social when it doesn't have an impact on him. For instance, my daughter and I see friends every day and take part in various weekly groups and gatherings... all during work hours! Weekends are devoted to being with papa. This has the weirdness of a double-life: we have intimate relationships with friends and neighbors that my husband has barely met. He is planning on becoming a freelancer in the fall. We both anticipate that increased flexiblity in his life will make more room for go-with-the-flow for all of us. I will let you know! Zoë
Mothering › Baby Articles › Shy Mama in a Social Family