Three Tips for an Introverted Mom

introvert

Are you an introvert or an extrovert ? I never knew what that was until I took a psychology course in college. That’s when a little light went off in my head and I came to the realization that not only was I shy, but I also needed time by myself in order to feel rejuvenated and rested. Once I got married, it became even more apparent that I needed my own space and just time to myself.

My husband is an extroverted introvert. He can talk to strangers on the train or store and chat with them about anything, but he likes his time alone/quiet time to recharge. I, on the other hand, am a bit more shy. Sometimes I feel awkward in new surroundings and with people I don’t know, but I am better at adapting now that I am older and don’t feel like an awkward penguin in the corner of the room.

Since introverts get their energy from spending time alone, what’s a introverted, married, stay-at-home-mom of a toddler supposed to do? I love my daughter. I love being a mom but we are together all day and I’m tending to her needs. When she was younger, it was physically harder (lack of sleep, breastfeeding, feeing tired) but now that she is a toddler, I find it to be more emotionally and mentally challenging. It’s my joy and privilege to do what I can for her, but by the end of the day I am beat from taking her on playdates, entertaining her, and just taking care of her. These are some things that have helped me find balance with taking care of her needs as well as my own.

  1. I find time for myself. I’m very lucky in that my daughter is a good sleeper. She sleeps in late so on the days when I wake up early, I have time to myself in the morning. Honestly though, that doesn’t happen very often because I am not a morning person. I usually spend time to myself after everyone has gone to bed and sleep in.
  2. I say no. I have some friends who are definitely extroverts and after they put their kids to bed, they go out all the time or are on the phone talking to friends. There are times when I will go out after A has gone to bed, but for the most part I don’t because I’d rather stay home and relax. I know that it will make me a better mom the next day if I’ve had some down time to recharge and rest. I don’t have any qualms about saying no to GNO or MNO because I know myself and what my needs are. Sometimes I just need to stay home and play Candy Crush for a little while to unwind. Sometimes I also just can’t talk on the phone or text all night long because I need to decompress.
  3. Banish mom-guilt. There are some days when I feel especially drained so I will let A watch TV or use the iPad and I’m ok with it. I know there are numerous articles about technology and young kids, but there are times when you have to do what you have to do in order to survive that day. I’m not going to beat myself over it. Being a mom is hard enough without feeling guilty about your parenting choices unless those choices are neglectful or dangerous.

If I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t be an effective mother or wife. I know these things about myself so I’m more intentional in what I do. It doesn’t mean I’m not a social person, but I know my limits.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What helps you find balance?

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26 Comments

  1. August 22, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    I think I’m a ambivert- a new term I learned as an adult. I can be social when I need to be but I definitely need alone time to decompress and recharge. I didn’t realize I was an introvert until I became an adult, when I realized I can’t stand all the socialization, the noise and constantly being surrounded by people. It made me feel drained. The hardest part of being a mom of two kids was the noise part. I never had alone time and it drove me mad and the only way I can feel happy again is if I get my quiet time in my own space without anybody. Now I understand this as well as my husband so we make sure kids give mommy some alone time. Now that i have a third here I don’t know how I’m going to balance their needs and mine but I guess it’s a work in progress. And yes I sometimes use technology to keep my kids occupied so I can get through the day. Who doesn’t? Without it, how do we survive? lol

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 1:47 am

      How is it going with three? I just learned that term recently too! I don’t consider myself that outgoing but I can be when I need to be but I definitely need my space to decompress like you said. I don’t know how our parents did it without technology! They probably just made us read books, practice the piano or go to a tutor to take up our time. lol.

  2. August 22, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Gosh. Your third tip. Banish mom guilt. This is wear I struggle the most. I just can’t shake it. How, exactly, did you learn to be okay with your decisions and not feel guilty about them?

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 1:48 am

      I think I just came to the realization that I am doing the best I can and I can’t beat myself over the head for what I can’t do. I also had to just be more secure in who I am and who I am not and be ok with it. Ultimately, I am my own worst critic and I need to be kinder to myself than I have been. I extend so much grace to others, I needed to do the same for myself. Does that make sense?

  3. August 22, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    I think I’m more of an introvert more because my the time I’m done running about with my 4 kids I want to hide and just be alone with my Oreos lol.. Although I do know that I need adult time and to tell you the truth at times I think I wouldn’t know how to act I’m wearing an itchy sweater lol I’ve also learned there should be no guilt we are ALL in this motherhood journey we all have different ways and that’s OK and the best thing we can do is support one another. .. Thanks for sharing this post!

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 1:50 am

      Thanks so much for commenting! How do you do it with 4??? You are amazing! You need a drink on me for all the wonderful things you are doing to raise 4 beautiful human beings!!!

  4. August 22, 2016 / 6:56 pm

    I agree about the staying home and relaxing. I think that if I was constantly on the move, it would make me more stressed and tired, which could show in my mood or behavior in a negative way. When I do go out, I used to feel guilty, but that has stopped now that my son is a little older.

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 1:51 am

      Yes, I think now that my daughter is older, I don’t feel as guilty when I go out to hang out with some friends or need time to do something. I’m thankful that my husband is supportive and will take care of our daughter or change his plans if I have to really do something or be somewhere.

  5. August 22, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    You’re speaking to my heart today! I love this post…especially #2. It’s ok to say no! I’m constantly reminding myself that.

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 1:53 am

      Awwww! You are so sweet! It took me many years to be ok with saying no! I used to always be accommodating and put other people’s needs before my own. Not that I’m selfish now but I do a lot less and try to take care of myself a little more.

  6. August 22, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    I’m more of an extrovert, but I definitely need quiet time. It’s usually late at night when everyone is in bed! And I agree on even getting 30 minutes while they watch a show…you gotta do what you gotta do!;)

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 1:54 am

      I think you’re like my husband– I saw you chatting with random strangers at BlogHer! LOL. He would totally do something like that. You could put him in a room full of strangers and he will become buddies with everyone in there. But he also likes just vegging out too.

  7. August 23, 2016 / 8:45 am

    Great post!! I’m an ambivert. I can definitely be social but I recharge when I’m alone. I’ve started saying no more and I am trying to find time for myself. Mornings before he wakes up or after he goes to bed help! I just have to gauge how feeling/what I need that day. Sometimes I need socialization. Other days I need alone time!! And yes! Say no to mom guilt!! xx

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 1:55 am

      Thanks so much for commenting! We need to find a shirt that says “just say no– to mom guilt!”

  8. sayhellonature
    August 23, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    Definitely needed this! I’m super introverted and while motherhood has opened me up some already, I’m never going to be an extroverted mom.

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 1:57 am

      It’s all good. I was a lot more introverted/shy when I was younger. While I’m still an introvert, becoming a mom has made me more open to strangers since I had to make new mom friends. But sometimes I feel super awkward but pretend not to be. lol!

  9. August 23, 2016 / 2:23 pm

    MOM GUILT! Yes, let’s just get rid of it. No matter what you do, it’s wrong to someone. BLAH

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 2:05 am

      So true! Someone always has something to say about it. It’s best to just be confident in what you are doing and know that you are doing your best for your child because you love them. Thanks for your thoughts!

  10. August 23, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    This is great, I am not a mom yet, but hopefully its in my very near future. I’ve been reading a lot if stuff and I do not want to lose myself in the process.

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 2:06 am

      Being a mother has been one of the most rewarding and most difficult things ever. But it’s so worth it. I learn so much from my daughter too. Sometimes more so!

  11. August 23, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    It’s so important to find time for yourself! My daughter is a really good sleeper too, so I haven’t lost me-time (yet) with having 1 child 🙂

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 2:07 am

      Yes! It’s so important to find that time to yourself. Sooo thankful for good sleepers!!!!

  12. August 24, 2016 / 11:44 am

    I’m mostly an introvert who likes to stay in! I’m pretty awkward socially. I find myself overwhelmed when my kids talk to me non stop! It’s hard!

    • lovestalgia
      August 25, 2016 / 2:09 am

      Awww! It is hard when you are around your kids all day long. Sometimes I do have to tell my daughter to go color or play with toys while I sit to catch my breath or just have 5 minutes of quiet time. But I know that it won’t always be like this and I have to try to enjoy these moments.

  13. Emily
    September 18, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    I have the hardest time saying no! That was my birthday resolution this year– to start using no more often!

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