If you are like me, you have both introverted and extroverted friends. If you are…
6 Unavoidable Truths Of An Introverted Parent
Parenting is hard.
Really, really hard, right?
Children are just hard work no matter what.
For myself, specifically being an introverted parent, has its unique challenges and struggles. Many other introverted parents probably face them daily as well.
That isn’t to say that extroverted parents do not have unique challenges and struggles. It is just a little different than what introverted parents go through.
It is different in many ways since extroverts and introverts have different personalities and ways that they deal with the challenges.
Of course parenting is a very tiring task for any type of parent, but it can be very different for introverted parents for many reasons.
Introverts typically love close relationships with people they care about. There are a lot of parents who are probably close to their young children. Since this is the case one might ask why introverts have certain challenges with parenting.
One reason is that introverts typically feel drained from socializing too much and prefer alone time after too much socializing, whereas extroverts typically get their energy from a lot of socialization.
Introverts love deep, meaningful conversations and while you can definitely have conversations with your young children, you can’t really have really meaningful conversations with your children until they get a bit older.
You can only talk so much about bugs, toys, and how to share for so long until it becomes repetitive and tiresome- at least until the next day when it starts all over again.
Often times children, especially small children, need constant socialization throughout the day (let alone depend on you for almost all of their needs).
You love your children to death and would do anything for them, but it is amazing how exhausting little children can be.
As you read through these truths that I have found as an introverted parent see if they sound familiar to you as well!
1. The constant socialization makes you exhausted x10
Oh my goodness, the constant socialization throughout the day can be so exhausting.
It doesn’t matter if you stayed at home with your child all day or the minute you get home from work and your child is all over you.
“Give me milk”
“I want a snack”
“I want to go outside”
Then they follow you to the bathroom, to the kitchen and everywhere around the house!
Getting just five minutes alone can seem like Heaven, but those five minutes that you can actually find alone are hard to get during the day.
Typically introverts are exhausted by a lot of constant socialization- and we all know that some children like to talk. A lot!
Children seem to need constant interaction or stimulation, which for an introvert can seem almost unpleasant in many ways.
One thing that I like to do is make time for myself every night no matter what. It may not be as long as I want it to be, but if I get at least a good 30 minutes of relaxation before bedtime I feel a little more refreshed the next day.
Read my previous article where I talk about taking care of yourself and tips on how I stay on top (most days) of taking care of my twin boys in my article “4 Ways To Help Keep Your Sanity While Raising Twin Boys.”
2. Meeting new parents is hard- really hard actually
For me, since I am a shy introvert (read more about 4 Ways To Live A Happy Life As A Shy Introvert), it is really, really hard for me to even go up to new people and talk to them.
Small talk is really hard for many introverts- it’s basically a turn off.
For a shy introvert walking up to someone and making random small talk is about as likely to happen as my kids being able to leave me alone when I go to the bathroom. (Hint- it’s not going to happen anytime soon).
Know what I mean?
If an introvert has a hard time meeting new parents, it can be hard for them to get to know the parents of their children’s friends. This can make sleepovers and birthday parties either awkward or non-existent.
I personally like having play dates every so often, but only if I am really close to other family.
It’s just hard, and honestly sometimes in my case I do not even feel like meeting new parents.
It isn’t that I despise other parents, but I love having the deep connection that I have between my family and a few close friends and their children.
3. Those few hours after your children go to bed are pure bliss
I am not kidding; when my twins are awake during the evening before bed I feel so sluggish and worn out often times by the evening. The minute they go to bed and get quiet it’s like a huge energy wave goes over me and I am suddenly more alert and have more energy.
Amazing isn’t it? Sorry boys!
The bad part is those few hours between when your children go to bed and you go to bed goes by so fast it’s absurd really.
So fast that it almost feels nonexistent a lot of the time.
If you are like me, just sitting in your bed, catching up on your favorite shows, scrolling through your phone is so magical…..until you look at the clock and it’s way past your normal bedtime.
Why must you do that time?
I make taking care of myself and spending time by myself a priority after my kids go to bed. It doesn’t matter if I do not get anything “productive” done; it’s my time.
4. A hard decision every night: should you spend time by yourself or with your partner/spouse?
Having time alone after your kids go to sleep brings up a different issue.
You find it challenging to find time to spend with your spouse/partner after your kids go to sleep.
The question probably comes up every night- should you spend time by yourself or spend time with your partner/spouse?
The time between when your kids go to sleep and you go to bed probably isn’t a very long time.
A few hours at the very most.
You find yourself really wanting to spend some time by yourself, but maybe you feel guilty about not spending that time with your significant other instead.
So that should you do?
Compromise of course!
For example, one night after your kids go to sleep you could do something for an hour by yourself while your partner does something by themselves, and later you could do something together right before bed.
Or you could set aside certain days where you know you will want to spend more time with your significant other. The next day it will be entirely something you can do by yourself after your kids go to sleep.
5. You breathe the biggest sigh of relief when someone offers to watch your children
Ok, so probably every parent does this even if they are not an introvert.
But oh my goodness is it nice when a grandparent offers to watch your kids while you get something done.
I am not necessarily talking about someone offering to watch your kids so you can go on a fancy vacation with no kids. I am talking about even just when you need to get something done around the house.
For me, I put on some music and start cleaning or organizing. It gets done much quicker when there aren’t children there to drag everything back out or start messing up a room two seconds after you clean it.
Even if that only lasts a few hours, as an introvert, it still feels good to do certain things by myself around the house every once in a while.
Take this advice from me: vacuuming your living room is much more enjoyable when you do not have children constantly pulling out the cord every five seconds.
6. You want your child to be active and outgoing, but it can be very hard to let them
Take sports for example, personally, I love it when my daughter play sports and I hope my sons will play some type of sport when they get older.
But…yes there is a ‘but’ here- I was kind of relieved when my daughter did not want to sign up for any sports this year.
I was disappointed at first, but then it soon went away.
I thought about how we will not have to hurry right after work/school to get her to practices and games, no figuring out a quick supper at night or going out to eat too many times than we should.
Also no chances of small talk with other parents at games and practices. You knew I was going to say that, right?
We could just stay home, and that really is perfectly ok with me.
I will never discourage any of my children from playing sports or doing extracurricular activities, but I will not shame them if they do not want to play.
Parenting as an introvert has many unique challenges.
Anything from having a difficult time meeting new parents to having a hard time finding time to spend by yourself or with your significant other.
This isn’t to say that some extroverts may not agree to these truths, but typically for introverts, these challenges can be a daily struggle as an introverted parent.
You should find at least some time to spend by yourself everyday as well as occasionally compromise your own ‘wants’ on certain days between you and your significant other.
That way, you can find balance between getting alone time with just yourself and alone time with your significant other.
Of course, there will always be challenges when you’re a parent and they will only get different as your children grow older.
Someday you may look back and really wish you had your small child follow you to the bathroom just one more time. Instead, they are out with their friends and ignoring your text messages.
As an introverted parent, do any of these truths sound familiar to you? Are there any other truths that you can think of as an introverted parent?