My life changed the moment I learned I am an introvert.
One day, I read an article on Facebook while my daughter was napping. It was about the qualities of an introvert.
While I had a hunch that most likely I would be an introvert, I never knew what introversion meant.
I thought introversion meant being shy and socially awkward. And I always didn’t feel good about social events. So I considered myself an introvert even though I didn’t fully comprehend what it meant.
I thought I was a bad mom for feeling angry when I was interrupted all the time. I thought I lacked some “motherly gene” because I always looked forward to my babies’ nap time and felt so relaxed when they were not with me.
I thought maybe I was not meant to be a mother until I learned I am a normal introverted person who was craving to recharge her empty batteries.
It pushed the start button on a journey of self-love for me.
Now my kids are older ( 4 and 7 ). I get alone time when they are in school. But still, when they are back, it takes a lot of effort for me to stay calm when they start whining and fighting (I am a highly sensitive empath too).
In short, parenting while being an introvert is a daily struggle. But is it doable? Yes! If you have certain systems in place for you and your kids, you can survive being an introvert mother.
Here are some tips to help you thrive as an introvert mom.
EMBRACE THE MESS
First of all, what you need to know as an introverted mom is, you can’t always go hiding. No matter how you plan your day, on some days things go upside down.
It’s definitely easier to lose your calm on such days, but learning to embrace the chaos is the key.
Your kids definitely don’t know that you are an introvert. And you can’t take it on them because it’s not their fault that they crave for connection. Or it might be that they need your help on something.
If you are running on low batteries, it’s natural to feel impatient. But I often worry about the effect my anger will have on the relationship with my kids. What if they came to me calling mommy, to tell them something that’s important for them?
I don’t want to snap at them and make them feel like I am an unapproachable person in case of a need. So in those times, I take a deep breath and try to gather as much patience as I can.
It’s not always easy or possible but can get better with practice.
EXPLAIN TO YOUR KIDS WHEN YOU NEED ALONE TIME
As an introvert, if you don’t have a special place for yourself in your home, you can feel lost. And this is why our bedroom is a heaven for many introverts. But your kids definitely follow you wherever you go.
So, sometimes I go to the dressing room or even bathroom to find my quiet time.
Now sometimes I tell my kids politely that “ I need some quiet time to do certain things”. If they resist, I tell them I would get back to them as soon as I am done.
As this has been repeated enough times now they understand it and don’t protest much. Of course, make sure your kids will be safe when you retreat to your recharge zone.
Asking them politely also teaches them to respect others’ boundaries and the right way to express requests when they have their own needs.
If you have younger kids, like babies and toddlers, it’s hard to do it. I used to make use of nap times to get my mid-day peace by reading or browsing Pinterest.
But I want you to know that it will get better. As they grow up they become less needy and more independent. You will have much more uninterrupted time than now and you can binge-watch all the Netflix shows and nobody will bother you.
ENCOURAGE INDEPENDENT PLAY
Though you should spend time with kids to connect, it’s not your duty to keep them entertained forever.
Encourage independent play in kids from a very small age. For babies and toddlers, you don’t need to leave the room while they play.
When my daughters were young, I would scatter all their dolls and building blocks on the floor. I would do this once I made sure they are fed and have had enough sleep.
Because when they are needy, they would more likely cling to me. But once they are happy and nothing else is bothering them, they are happy to play for some time.
They are also comfortable because I am in the room.
Once the kids are older, you don’t need to ask them to play. Because they do it on their own.
While they play independently, do not interrupt them. They like to talk alone in their imaginative world and make things up as they play.
Let them do that because it might embarrass kids when you overhear them and respond to their talk.
FILL THEIR LOVE TANK
Kids don’t need much to fill their love tank. They are usually happy if you play a silly game with them or read a story to them. But once it is filled, they are usually happy and like to do things on their own.
So before you need your time to refresh, try to fill their love tank, so that they go about to manage their business and you get to mind yours.
- 10 simple ways to connect with your kids in your busy schedule
- What every daughter needs from her mom
UNWIND DURING SCREEN TIME
Numerous studies are released regularly about the bad effects of children using tablets and other screen devices.
I have strict rules for my kids when it comes to screen time. They don’t watch TV and I let them use my tablet twice a week with time restrictions.
So I don’t use screen devices to make them sit quiet, but on the days that I let them use my tablet (they don’t have their own tablets yet), I make sure I have my own downtime. I work on my blogs, read a book or any other self-care activity to unwind.
WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR KIDS
This is absolutely crucial for introvert mothers. I remember how I used to go crazy on the days I woke up at the same time as my kids.
I used to start my days being angry and frustrated. I knew something had to change. Waking up even half an hour before my kids started making a difference.
Then I created a morning routine for myself which includes meditation, journaling, and other routines. Meditation helps me a lot in staying calm with kids.
Introverts usually enjoy the time spent with themselves. They enjoy solitude and look forward to it every day. So when you get it in the morning, you fill your cup and can look forward to the day with positive energy.
GET HELP FROM THE VILLAGE
It is hard for an introvert to ask for help. It might be because we introverts draw energy from within and we are often self-sufficient.
As an introvert, it’s hard for me to ask for help from people unless I am not super comfortable with them. introverts have their own perfect way of doing things and they are usually afraid if someone else handles their affairs, it won’t be as perfect as doing it on their own.
I don’t trust people with the simplest things, so how am I going to entrust my precious kids with someone?
And also asking for help means interacting with people “unnecessarily” and if they don’t do it my way, I become more anxious. Huh! It’s such a dilemma, right?
As people who don’t like to burden others with our problems, we tend to ask for help with only whom you share a good rapport with.
Most of the time when I need alone time, I ask my spouse or my mother to babysit them for some time.
Sometimes, I decide to go out of my comfort zone and let other family members take care of them.
If it is affordable for you, you can hire a baby sitter for a few hours a week while you can go out to catch up with other areas of your life.
HAVE A CONSISTENT BEDTIME FOR KIDS
Since my kids were babies I would never let them be up past 10 pm. I would always feel frustrated when their bedtime got late. I didn’t know it was my introversion causing this frustration at that time.
Now that I understand it, I let go of any guilt and pursue early bedtime for them.
Now that they go to school, they are usually in bed by 8 pm after I read them a bedtime story. And they are usually asleep by 9 pm.
And then I have my own downtime routines like reading, journaling, planning for the next day, talking with hubby, etc.
It’s a win-win for both moms and kids because kids need lots and lots of sleep which is hard for them to get once they start going to school. So early bedtime is a must so that they can get up early easily and not feel sleepy in class.
Spending time for myself first thing in the morning and the last thing at the end of the day helps me to survive as an introvert mother. Oh yes, sometimes I needed the mid-day breaks too when they were young. And that’s what the nap times are for, right?
I mention journaling whenever I can in my articles. I don’t know if it is probably related to my introversion or not. Introverts are usually quiet unless they have an interesting topic to talk about.
But it doesn’t mean their brains are quiet. An introvert’s brain is loud and always thinking deeply about something.
For the same reason, it sometimes gets overwhelming for us introverts. But we are very private beings and sharing doesn’t come easily to us. We don’t like to bother other people with our overwhelming emotions.
So what has helped me over the years is jotting down my thoughts in a journal. It helps to release my frustrations and helps me to vent.
Before I understood introversion, I didn’t understand myself well. When I was a child, I have always felt I was different because of my quiet nature.
That was ridiculed and pointed out as a flaw by many people which led me to think there was something wrong with me.
But recently I came to know more about my personality and why I behave and think like the way I do. It was a game-changer. I stopped comparing myself to others and started moving from self-loathing to self-loving.
I am constantly rediscovering myself every day. I understand the way I am able to understand people is because of my introversion. We have a vivid inner world, love solitude and therefore pursue our creativity more.
Introversion benefits in parenting too. I am an empath by nature and that helps me to understand the pain of my children. Introverts are good listeners, and what do children want? They want to be seen and heard and as introverts, it comes naturally to us.
I like to think that I will have a strong bond with my daughters in the future because I know the depth of their feelings and can feel it in my heart.
And introverts usually prefer deep relationships. So being an introverted mom helps us to build a deep relationship with our kids as well.
We are creative beings and can pass on those skills to our kids. Imagine how it will enrich their lives?
So being an introvert mom is not all bad. And you can cope with it if you can deliberately give space for introversion in your day.
What are your best tips for introvert mothers? How do you cope with motherhood as an introvert? Let me know in the comments below!
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