Thursday, January 17, 2013

Being An Introvert And How It Affects Parenting

My Experience As An Introverted Parent:

Quiet Time

First of all, I think it’s important to explain what exactly an introvert is and to debunk some of the myths.

In simple terms an introvert is a person who becomes energized by being alone, and exhausted by external stimulation - being around other people. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. Introverts are not always shy, stuck up, anti-social, loners, nerds or weird.

While I am shy, and probably very weird, I am also an introvert. That’s just my personality.

For the longest time I actually thought something was incredibly wrong with me. How was it that I could literally, and physically feel drained after being around other people? Why did talking with people at work, and school and even my own family and friends make me feel so tired? And being alone doing the same things make me feel energized? I noticed this happening, but I didn’t know there was a term for it, and that other people also experienced this.

Then I learned I’m an introvert and there’s nothing I can do about that.

My real concern is, how does being an introvert affect parenting? I’d be lying if I said Sidney didn’t tire me out. And living at my parents house again, being around more people, tires me out even more.

It’s hard to explain I guess. While I absolutely love my daughter, and adore spending time with her, there are days when I would love to just be alone.

To make things even more difficult, my husband and child both appear to be extroverts. Sidney is constantly demanding my attention. She doesn’t understand why mommy would ever want alone time, because she hates to be alone.

So I started to do some research on parenting as an introvert. I got some great tips to meet both my introvert needs, and my child’s extrovert needs.

  • Make sure your child gets lots of time with other people whether it’s a playgroup, with family, or after school activities.
  • Thank goodness for school, and that my daughter can spend a major part of her day with a classroom full of other people - if you work at home, enjoy the quiet while it’s there.
  • Take the time to be alone and don‘t allow yourself to feel guilty - you will be a better parent this way because you will be more energized and happy.
  • Have your spouse spend some quality time with your child so that you can have some time to yourself, whether it’s to read a book, take a bath or simply sit and think.
  • If you have to, hire a babysitter and instead of going out with other people, go out alone for a couple hours.
  • Skip the busy, crowded gym and workout at home alone - walking, jogging, yoga.
  • If your child is old enough to have friends over without being supervised really closely, have them in another room where you can still hear and be aware while still having quiet time.
  • Do not try to parent like an extrovert and always (physically) be there 24/7. While family time is important, and yes parenting is a 24/7 job, alone time is important, too.
  • Hopefully you have a job where you get to work alone most of the time, or with few people. Allow this to be your refuge. I used to love working alone up in the photo lab with no one there but me, myself and I. We had great conversations.
  • It actually helps to have the television and radio off. For some reason even added noise to a room all ready full of people can add to my exhaustion.

The end result is this; while spending quality time with your child(ren) is extremely important, so is self-care.

Just like bathing, exercising and Friday date nights are important, so is quiet alone time.

Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or an extrovert? And does it affect your parenting?


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  1. I'm also an introvert. I've always found making new friends/girls night/anything like that to be exhausting. Funny, I've never thought about how that could affect my kids though...

    1. Yes, I find girls night and making friends exhausting, too. I actually never noticed how being an introvert affected my parenting until recently.

  2. I totally agree that self-care is so important! I'm a mom to two young boys and although I love spending as much time with them, occasionally I do need my own downtime...a happy me make an even happier mama!

    As for being either an introvert or extrovert...I think I'm more of an introvert but I have my extrovert moments ;)

    Jessica from Blogging Buddies ... Come stop by sometime and follow me back :) Thanks!

  3. Definitely!

    I wish I had extrovert moments once in a while lol.


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