I have a secret… shhhh… I’m an introvert. How does a mom of four kids get by as an introvert with all the parties, school functions, and people constantly demanding attention? I’m here to share my best tips for succeeding as an introverted mom.
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I’ve been a mom for nearly 15 years now, and I love it. But I’ll admit, some of the typical parenting interactions can be pretty draining for an introvert.
Introverts know all too well the mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion that can come from social interactions. Some have even described it as an “introvert hangover.”
Starting from pregnancy, your social interactions are multiplied. Complete strangers notice your baby bump or your beautiful new bundle of joy and come over to strike up a conversation, ask intimate questions, or share unprompted stories and personal advice—agh!
It’s enough to make an introvert’s head spin, and that’s just the beginning! Soon your kid is saying “mom” 754 times a day, and you’re adding play dates, school, sports teams, extracurriculars, and all the interactions that go along with them.
Not to worry. You can thrive as an introverted mom and get great enjoyment from motherhood.
Here’s what I’ve learned about how to preserve yourself while being an awesome introverted mom.
Take time to recharge
I don’t think I can stress enough the importance of taking time for yourself as an introverted mom. It is so essential.
When you’ve got one or more little ones clinging to you, asking you things, and demanding your attention all day, you’re going to need a mental break. Even a few minutes of solitude can do wonders.
No wonder some moms can be found hiding out in the bathroom!
Seriously, savor that alone time in the shower or during nap time. Start to add in some time for your personal interests and hobbies.
Try to squeeze in some time each day for reading, personal reflection, meditation, or whatever recharges your batteries. If you make it a priority and a habit, it is possible. Ask for help if you need it—it’s that important.
You may find spending some time alone in the mornings before the kids wake up can help prepare you for the day ahead. Evenings are another good time to have some solitude and release the tension from being socially “on” all day.
Of course, if you can, mini-breaks throughout the day are also beneficial. Kids benefit from quiet time too, so don’t feel guilty for making it part of the family’s routine.
It’s okay to say no sometimes
You don’t have to do all the things. The pressure to be super mom can feel intense.
You know what? I’m not on the PTA, and my kids are okay. You don’t have to sign them up for scouts, music lessons, and three different sports. They’re going to remember the love and attention you gave them, not the number of extracurriculars they participated in.
Find a few things that are doable and meaningful for your family, and focus on those. Selecting a reasonable number of activities will help ensure you aren’t overwhelmed and are able to have the downtime that you and your kids need.
Practice phrases like, “we can’t make it this time,” and don’t feel guilty for prioritizing your family time and mental health over attending every event your kid or family is invited to.
With four kids, I’m definitely selective about our commitments. Life with kids can feel crazy enough as it is, so be kind to yourself when scheduling your time and focus on what matters.
Know your strengths as an introverted mom
As an introvert, there are some parenting activities you’re better suited for. You’re going to rock the one-on-one time with your child, which is so important. I hope you feel good about that!
Enjoy those moments at home with your kiddo, and you’re sure to have a special bond. My kids love mom for snuggle time, crafts, movie nights in, building forts together, and reading books by flashlight.
That’s not to say we don’t go places either. I also love outdoor time, tromps through the woods, and paddling them out in a canoe. We like going to the science museum and library story time.
Relish in the things that you enjoy together and let those fill your cup.
If you have an extroverted support person you can rely on to handle some of the kid events you find more draining as an introvert, by all means go for it.
If the grandparents offer to take the kids to the fair, yes please!
Thankfully my husband loves talking to people. He goes to 90% of the birthday parties our kids attend, because he enjoys catching up with the other parents. I’m so glad it works out that way, because I’d rather visit the dentist than Chuck E Cheese.
If your partner is also an introvert, find a new one. Just kidding! But maybe you could at least go 50/50 and split the socially intense kid activities. There’s no reason it always has to be mom attending.
Once your kid gets to a certain age and maturity, it generally becomes acceptable to drop them off for some supervised activities like birthday parties or practices. Take advantage of that!
But know when to push yourself
While I recommend playing to your strengths as an introverted mom, there are of course times when it’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone for the benefit of you and your kid. It’s all about balance.
Stretching yourself can be good—just allow for some recovery time as mentioned earlier.
I’ve made some great friends by attending mommy meetup groups. While it’s scary at first, you all have something in common to bond over—your kids. Every outing might not be a hit, but it’s worth giving it a try from time to time.
And if there are events that are important to my kid, like their school performances, of course I’m always there. I’ve thrown them birthday parties with their friends (we invite 5 kids, not 23). See more tips for introverts on surviving your child’s birthday party.
If you have some consistent kid activities, putting effort into getting to know some of the other parents can be beneficial. Weekly practices where you’re spending hours of your life can become a lot more enjoyable if you have a parent tribe you can hang out with.
The same goes for your child’s classmates. They may be in school with these kids for many years in a row, and trying to develop some personal connections can benefit you both.
Arranging play dates by text makes things so much easier nowadays. It’s really low pressure. Some of my kid’s classes also have Facebook groups, where parents arrange meetups or say “going to the park at 2 pm if anyone wants to come.”
Sometimes putting yourself out there a bit can pay off, daunting as it may be for us introverts. So give it a try and be proud of yourself making an attempt, whether it turns out or not.
Love yourself as an introverted mom
Stop comparing yourself to all the other moms.
Your kids may not have as many play dates, but as long as they have some social interactions, they’re fine. You may not be leader of the second grade social group or organizing happy hour after swim practice, but would you want to anyway?
Not all moms look alike! Your kids love you, and you have unique strengths. You’re showing them the value of quiet and taking time to recharge. They’re learning important skills like how to entertain themselves, be excellent listeners, and spend time with their own thoughts.
You might even have an introverted child, and you’re showing them all the awesome things about being an introvert. It’s great that they’ll grow up knowing it’s okay to be who they are. The Quiet Revolution has resources for parents and a podcast on introverted kids.
You may not have as many mom friends, but quality is more important than quantity. And even if you don’t have any yet, if you’re trying, that matters.
Chances are you have a strong family bond and a close connection with your child. And just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you don’t have fun!
Be kind to yourself. You bring special gifts to parenting as an introverted mom, so don’t forget it!
For more introvert inspiration, check out these: