Mommy Needs 5 Minutes Alone!
Parenting young children can be draining for introverted moms
Do you often feel drained and exhausted at the end of the day with your kids? If you’re an introverted mom–like me–it might be because you aren’t getting enough downtime to recharge. I know, it’s hard to get quiet time alone when your baby won’t take a bottle and your toddler wants to climb you like a jungle gym. Now that I’m aware of how my increasing introversion affects my parenting, I’m trying different ways to recharge throughout the day.
I didn’t always identify as an introvert. In high school, I definitely thought of myself as an extrovert, but over the years I’ve moved along the spectrum inching closer to introvert. The most noticeable change is my need for quiet downtime in order to recharge. Even before becoming a mom, I started to notice how attending family birthday parties full of little kids would leave me feeling drained afterwards. It was like those happy children zapped my energy, siphoning it off for themselves. I assumed I felt worn out simply because those gatherings tended to be loud… and I didn’t have kids yet so I wasn’t used to it.
I had no idea what I was in for!
At 3 years old, my daughter displays a lot of extrovert characteristics. She is very social, super talkative and thrives off being with other people. She can play on her own, but prefers to have an audience most of the time. Having a sibling helps take some of the entertainment pressure off of me. Now my son, he loves to go off and play on his own. He doesn’t seek out as much attention to be entertained.
Knowing that my daughter is energized by others and that my need to be alone to recharge helps explain how drained and touched out I feel on a regular basis. We can have a great day, but I’m completely wiped by the time my husband comes home. Previously I felt guilty about wanting to hide for a bit as soon as he walked through the door. But after reading about introverted moms on Today, I have a better understanding of our situation.
One of my parenting resolutions for this year is to be more intentional about “me” time. Usually I think of that as a date night with myself–something that is lovely to do, but doesn’t happen every day. However, I need to recharge every day to be a better mom and wife. Since I can’t always be completely alone, I’m getting creative with how to provide myself with downtime.
My daughter absolutely loves to rough house. She wants to climb and wrestle, so I try to alternate louder, more physical activities with quieter ones, such as reading a book together or setting my daughter up with an art project to work on. I read or play games on my phone while they play on their own.
If I’m lucky enough to have them nap at the same time, I take advantage of that (unless I have to work). What really helps me recharge is when my husband and I “divide and conquer,” where each of us takes one kid. Since my son often entertains himself, I am able to recharge while my husband entertains our daughter in another area of the house. These trade-offs and mini recharge moments really make a difference.
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