Introverted Mothers Unite!
What Is An Introvert?
If this is your first time even seeing the word Introvert, great! Let me help enlighten you on the struggle of having an Introverted personality. Maybe you have seen the word or heard it thrown around, but you aren't entirely sure what it means. Maybe you even know what it means and are curious to see if you are one or not.
An Introvert is a person who finds rejuvenation in solitude and can become very wary and run down when they do not receive it. We tend to avoid social events because they are emotionally/mentally exhausting, especially with children in tow. This does not mean however, that they are not social people at all, or that they do not enjoy being social. I myself, as an Introvert, love being around other people. I love talking to other people, and on occasion, do not mind a nice social gathering. The problem comes in when I have been out for too long, have not had enough time to unwind, or simply have sensory overload with everything that is going on. I begin to get overwhelmed because I have not had any downtime. Time to recharge is so important to the Introvert parent especially. Parenting is exhausting in general. Being an Introverted parent who requires downtime to be able to function properly, is a struggle.
Signs That You Are An Introvert Mom
Do you find yourself exhausted just from interacting with your children? Are you completely worn out because you play tea with your daughter for what seemed like hours? Are you slightly irritable because your son is still talking to you non stop about the game of ninja turtles you have already participated in fifty times? Then you may be an Introvert.
Its hard being an Introvert and being a mother at the same time. As an Introvert, constant social activity can be overwhelming and draining. Of course, we cannot really avoid this having small children, but that does not negate the fact that it is still extraordinarily hard to ALWAYS be enthusiastic about another hour of play time.
You May Be An Introverted Mother If...
- Play time exhausts you, and not the normal kind of exhaustion. You don't have to run around and jump up and down with your kids for you to be downright worn out when its time to settle down.
- You're more ready for naps after social outings than the kids are. That birthday party might have been fun, but you would have enjoyed a two hour nap so much more. Too bad the kids are hyped up on cake and soda now...
- You use the kids as an excuse not to have to leave your house. If you ever find yourself saying "Oh I cant today... My kiddo has a cold and I just cant get them out." All the while your child has nothing more than a booger hanging out of their nose, you are probably an Introvert.
- Get together events are a hassle that you do not enjoy, at all. Birthday parties, big social gatherings, Christmas parties, anything along those lines including a lot of people and long hours definitely detours you. Especially when you consider having to bring the kids along with!! You'd just rather not.
- Telling your friends and family that you have plans for the day so you cant do anything else. When in all reality your plans are sitting down on the couch under a blanket, in your pajamas, watching TV and trying to unwind.
- When the kids aren't home, you have every excuse in the world to be left alone.
Tips On Downtime With That VERY Social Child
If you know your children are going to be up by a certain time, trying setting your alarm thirty minutes to an hour before they get up. This is especially necessary if you have an extrovert child, who loves to talk, be social, and active, which can all be very draining to you.
Waking up early can ensure you have some time to yourself before the day ensues. Also, if they have set bedtime, you could always try to stay up an hour later or so to do something that you want to do. The dishes can wait, and so can the laundry. If it isn't urgent, then set aside that time for yourself.
How To Not Feel Guilty During Downtime
All in knowing that we need our downtime, it can still be hard to achieve it without feeling guilty in some way about getting it!
As mothers we let our minds wander to other things that are definitely not relaxing or stress free.
I could have gotten so much done. I needed to do laundry. I could have taken this time to sit down and pay the bills. I should have played catch up on this house work. So on, and so forth..
Do yourself a favor. DONT DO THAT!
As an Introvert, you need time to be you. You need solitude to recharge your batteries. What happens to anything that its batteries have died in? It doesn't work. It doesn't function properly when the batteries are running low, and unless you recharge them, eventually it just completely quits working. The same can be said about us. If we do not take the needed time to rejuvenate our mind, body, and soul, then we cannot properly function for our families. Do not look at it as a selfish act. If you do, then remind yourself, you are taking care of yourself so that you can take care of everyone and everything else!
As an Introverted mother, you may be dealing with feelings of being overwhelmed, overstressed, guilty, or depressed. You may even be at the point where you feel like something is wrong with you because simply interacting with your children is exhausting. I understand. What you need to understand is that you are not alone.
There is nothing wrong with you. You are just a very special kind of person.
Every parent deals with their struggles differently, and every parent may experience different struggles. I can tell you some things that I have experienced as an Introverted mother that you may have as well.
- Interacting with your small children for extended periods of time is completely exhausting. It takes everything out of you. It is not that you do not want to be spending time with them, because your children are a joy. It is the constant social interaction that just zaps the energy right out of your body. They just siphon the energy out of you like little mini gasoline thieves.
- You feel guilty because you desperately crave moments to yourself. Whether it be in the middle of giving your baby a bath, or doing homework with your grade school child, you find yourself daydreaming and wishing that you could be curled up somewhere relaxing in the silence. Who needs to daydream about a lavish life when all you want is an hour of quiet?
- You get agitated more easily when you have not had any alone time. Its been days, and it seems like every single day from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, someone is talking to you, touching you, trying to interact with you, and it is just too much. Things start to bother you that normally don't. People touching you, people being over affectionate, your kids or husband wanting to talk to you constantly, or even just too much noise. Little stuff starts to irritate you more and more. You can literally feel yourself turning into the Grinch.
- You find yourself giving excuses not to get out and do anything. If you know you will have the opportunity to have some down time, the last thing you want is to get out of the house and go interact with anyone. Don't have the kids for a few hours but your friend wants to go out for drinks? Chances are, your going to politely decline with some reasonably made up story about how your too busy, so you can sit down and eat a bowl of ice cream in peace.
- When you do get downtime, its sacred. You do not want to be disturbed. Your phone might even go on silent or off. You just want to be left alone. No calls, no texts, no loud noises, just you and a good book/your TV show.
There is nothing wrong with being an Introverted mom! It doesn't mean you should feel guilty or worry about your child because of it. You simply have to find ways take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family!
Reach out to other moms if need be (when you feel up to the socialness of it) and talk to someone who understands. Get different ideas on how you can better manage your time so that you don't have to sacrifice getting things done in order to take care of yourself. If you do have to give up some things though, that is okay! Always remember that if you don't first take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of everyone else.
How do you deal with needing downtime?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.