Being an introverted mother adds unique challenges to the already challenging position of motherhood.
I wanted to share the tactics I used–especially when my kids were younger–to help make life work well as for me as an introvert (and inversely, the things that caused life not to work well when I ignored them)!
I’ve found that these six strategies helped me stay sane as a mama who recharges best alone:
1. Institute a mandatory rest or nap time.
I encouraged my children to nap for as long as possible (in both number of hours and age!).
With three children approximately the same developmental age, I knew I needed to count on some down time each day. Allowing them to drop their naps with nothing in its place just wasn’t an option in my mind.
Even as teens, the kids still usually have some alone time in the afternoons. It just works well after a busy homeschool morning together.
2. Outsource playdates.
When my kids were young, I found hosting playdates at my home to be stressful and exhausting.
I wasn’t at all concerned with having my house get trashed or messy, but I found it challenging to keep an eye on my own kids while attempting to have any semblance of conversation with another mother when at home.
I preferred to meet for a playdate at another location–park, museum, etc. That way my three would be distracted by the cool new play area and I might have a better chance to focus one-on-one with my friend.
3. Accept invitations (or extend them).
Even introverts typically get a boost of positive energy from being around others.
The challenge is that you may already feel exhausted from being around your young kids all day. Don’t let that be an excuse.
Reach out to a friend and go out for coffee–make the effort because it does pay off!
4. Teach your kids to use a whisper voice.
I ain’t lying, ya’ll, my house used to be LOUD (and still is, at times). Back in the day, three little people were always attempting to beat out the others’ decibal levels in order to be heard.
When too much bickering threatened to make me lose my cool, I instituted a whisper time. This helped to calm things down for a few minutes so that my head didn’t start spinning.
Did my kids like whisper times? Nope. But that’s okay–I didn’t really like it when they’re loud, but I recognized they need to be at times.
We all have to compromise when we live together.
5. Write every day.
Introverted moms typically need reflection time, so make sure you have a teeny bit of time to process your thoughts each day.
This helps you both to focus on the positive as well as make sense of what is going on inside that gorgeous head of yours.
6. Alternate times of expansion with times of contraction.
The theory of expansion and contraction is a beautiful take on a child’s development–and works for an introverted mom as well.
The goal here is to alternate between expanded and contracted activities in a balanced way, without having one dominate more than the other.
Expanded activities include playing outside, loud indoor games, going for a walk, and so on. Reading stories, baking, watching a video, writing–these are all contracted activities.
One focuses inward–one outward.
Try to go from one to the other. This serves two purposes–you give yourself a break from overload and you help your children learn to regulate their own emotions.
Make sure that as an introverted mom the quiet activities you choose when you do have free time actually refuel, rather than just distract.
Sometimes I catch myself just mindlessly surfing online after the kids are in bed, when a hot bath with a good book would serve me more.
Find what works for you so you can keep giving your best to those who need you.
Ready for more calm, less guilt, and quiet joy? Request Jamie’s free self-care list here!