Off Duty Mom

Thoughts from an exhausted mom who is NEVER really "off duty"

The making of a well-adjusted grown-up

I don’t really like people.

This is not a revelation or grandiose admission.  I’m just sort of throwing this out there.

But, it occurred to me quite some time ago that I am just not really a “people” person.  I am annoyed by bad driving, poor grammar, religious extremism, uneducated commentary, snobbiness, crooked baseball caps, republicans, loud laughs, cat owners, and the implication that my hand should not be shaken firmly because I am a woman.

I often say that I hate people, but that’s not really true.  But, people — all people, really (including my own family) just get on my nerves.  Most of the time.

I don’t mean to imply that I am superior.  I fully expect that I irritate other people, too.  In my mind, people aren’t really meant to work with, eat with, shop with, talk with or really see other people all of the time.  I treasure my moments alone.

Now, I am not considering selling my belongings and living in a cabin in the woods with just a huntin’ hound and a shotgun to ward off young’uns and lookie-lous.  But, I do value the few moments I get from time to time to sit in silence, by myself, and do nothing.

I used to fear that my antisocial behavior would mean that I’d be a terrible parent.  I think I’m hanging in there okay, though.  I do enjoy spending time with my children.  I also enjoy when they’re both sleeping peacefully.  A whole lot.

Generally, I think that my irritation with the general populace came about when I realized what it meant for me to be an only child.  I like having my stuff and my space.  I don’t take orders well at all which makes me a pretty miserable employee.  I don’t like to share with others which makes me a terrible “team player.”  I am bossy and always have been which makes me pretty difficult to be married to.  And, I just noticed that I ended that previous sentence with a preposition and it is eating me alive, but I’m trying to work on “me,” so I am going to leave it there, but it is worth mentioning that my grammar nerdism makes it a little tough to make friends.  There aren’t a whole lot of other people out there who would happily discuss when one must use “lie” instead of “lay.”

So, all of this has me wondering if your position as a child in a family helps to shape the rest of your personality.  Am I am who I am because I am an only child?  Did I forever mold my kids’ personalities by virtue of the fact that I decided to have them both and to space their births three years apart?

Feel free to weigh in here.

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18 thoughts on “The making of a well-adjusted grown-up

  1. pileofbabies on said:

    I too, dislike people. I love alone time. You are not alone. Which is ironic.

    • Love that! Add that to the list of things I hate about people: most don’t understand the meaning of the word “ironic.” Thanks for having a good vocabulary. I should have figured I could count on you…

  2. I have difficulty taking a person seriously when I am hit in the face with grammatical errors that would eat a child! “It’s time to eat baby.” STOP EATING BABY!! Or was that supposed to be “it’s time to eat, baby?”

    Some good alone reading… Eat, Shoots, and Leaves.

  3. As you know, I’m both the youngest in the family and anti-social…so it all makes sense to me! It’s kind like being the only child…

    • I am glad to hear it, actually. It refutes the notion that my only-childness made me such a crank. It lets me believe that our childbirth timing, decisions and choices don’t necessarily dictate personality.

  4. I completely relate. As moms (and dads, too), I think, that often our time is spread so thin our alone time is necessary to refuel and be a better person.

    I’m the oldest of 2, however, I think any birth-order position has a case for future therapist visits. We can only hope for a solid foundation and good examples to follow. That said, I think kiddos from a larger family have the better shot merely because they get so much practice at compromise and negotiations!

  5. nikamarie on said:

    I think the theory of birth order on personality is crap. I’m the oldest of three and pretty much your carbon copy (hence the reason I was such a wonderful student). Your boys will be just fine because they have you and your husband as role models on how not to be jerks.

  6. OHMYGOD WE REALLY WERE SEPARATED AT BIRTH! I could have written this! Except … I have two cats. And I love them. Is that a deal breaker? Can we still be friends? I promise to always use the correct forms of your/you’re and their/there/they’re.

  7. Pingback: Things That Don’t Suck « Off Duty Mom

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