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Anniina Heikinheimo
September 2023

I really enjoy meaningful interactions and people around me but I often find myself drained from social situations. It's like my internal battery runs out easier than others. It made perfect sense when I figured the term "Ambivert". As much I like connecting with people, I like being alone and having my own space. I think that ambiverts probably can adapt easily in different situations with people. At least for me, I feel like I can understand and connect with different personalities and navigate in social situations but I also feel like that comes with some challenges. I might be reserved in one situation and quite enthusiastic later in another which could be confusing

Becoming a mom has really been a learning experience for me. For moms like me who are a mix of introvert and extrovert, it's extra hard. I really like my personal space but is feels like it's almost impossible to find it these days. I think for me it's the endless engagement with kids which is particularly demanding. To be honest, for me is the relentless energy and constant communication with kids that really challenge my abilities to keep that sense of peaceful mind. Also, there's social pressure to meet other parents and set up playdates, but also the pressure to be the "Super mom" who juggles a career, studies, raising kids, housework, and always being engaging and sociable. 


So really, they is no doubt in my mind, why sometimes I feel inadequate. That's why I am trying each day to understand and accept my own needs but also communicate them to others. As an ambivert person and especially now as a mom, I have noticed that when I have my mental space  "safeguarded",  I am more present and connected with others. If I don't set clear boundaries for myself I tend to compromise more of who I am and allow people to be more invasive to my privacy.


"I pre-selected art pieces from my gallery that I resonated with me with the themes of seeking solitude, desiring personal space, and the emotions that arise in crowded settings."

​"If you feel that the whole world is loud, 
remember that there is beauty
in whispers and quiet introspection"

Anniina Heikinheimo 2023


Anniina Heikinheimo
August 2023


This is the famous dishrag :)

Earlier this year on a cold, dark and slushy day in Finland, I was home with our kids when my husband called from his business trip in U.S. I was still holding a wet dishrag in my hands as she shared details about his business trip such people he hat me and the lavish mansion he had just visited. The contrast to my situation was harsh because of the responsibilities at home with kids and managing own career weighted heavily on me. 

I had chosen the role of a stay at home mom few years ago. Before we had kids, I supported my husband's decision to start his own business. However, I didn't understand the sacrifices back then, especially as he grew his business quickly. He missed out on the usual parental leave some other Finnish fathers enjoyed, always prioritising his business. It wasn’t completely his fault. Maybe he felt he couldn’t step away or perhaps I didn’t voice my needs enough. Or maybe it was a bit of both.


What made it more complicated was that our eldest child was quite sensitive as a baby and had difficulty sleeping during the first year. She was also attached to me and shy even around her grandparents. Even my attempts to take short breaks were challenging. I remember once when she cried for over an hour during a really rare night out I took with friends literally pulling me back home in the middle of dessert. I was pissed.


I've always been proud of my husband. He is kind-hearted and loving. But I sometimes feel overshadowed. I want to grow in my career and find my identity beyond just motherhood. Over the past seven years, I've told myself this situation is temporary. But as the time flies, I feel stronger need for change. Also I have been proactive, working and even acquiring a new degree.


While we see many things eye to eye with my him, we differ in family dynamics. I value family time, while he is career-focused. I prefer sharing responsibilities, but his long hours makes it really hard for me to even work a post 5 pm job. I quite often feel like his extensive work hours limit my job choices and sometimes exhaust me to the point that I'm hesitant to do any work. While I see the value of hiring help, which we are lucky enough to do so, I believe it shouldn’t always be at the kids expense. Since my husband can't be there in the evenings, I'm torn between being there myself or hiring help. I have to choose between my own time and spending time with my kids. It's a challenging decision for me. 


I really try my best to enjoy these moments with my children and I am 100% committed to their well-being even if I feel that my life isnt always how I had pictured my life to be. Now as I am writing this I am  thinking out can I transform these challenges into opportunities?

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