Mamas, I related to every word of this article on the website Grown and Flown. I spent way too much time worrying about the fact that my oldest son often preferred to eat lunch at school by himself. Totally alone (with a pair of headphones and a smartphone, of course).
He had plenty of friends at school he could have had lunch with, but he just… didn’t. There’s no telling how many times I asked him about it, trying to figure out if he was sad or intimidated or left out. He wasn’t. He was totally fine, and I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
Finally, I just accepted the fact that this was a much-needed slice of downtime in the middle of the school day where he could just decompress, relax and be inside his own head — one of his favorite places to spend time. He enjoyed it. Needed it.
I finally realized that, having grown up as a shy person, I wanted my kids to have a comfortable social life because it was something I always struggled to have myself. I didn’t want them to deal with the same kind of anxiety I did.
But, like the author in this great essay, I finally accepted that my kids are happy on their own and maybe it’s hard-wired into them because I’m the same way. As much as I love being with close friends, I also need some time to just chill out in a room by myself. No talking required.
If this sounds familiar to you, read this essay and join the club of mamas who are no longer going to lose sleep over it when one of our kids prefers to hang out at home on the weekend instead of going a million places with groups of friends.