January 07, 2022 8 min read
While being a parent is one of the most fulfilling experiences for many, it also brought up feelings of pressure and anxiety that you had never felt before. As a parent, you are given so many questions about what to do that it starts to feel like you are losing your mind sometimes!
Parenting as an introvert is hard. It's hard because you are constantly fighting your instinct to put yourself first or avoid social interactions by getting outside. You are literally fighting your nature to do this, but it's worth it.
The truth is, parenting is not easy for anyone. As an introverted parent though, it can be even more challenging to know how to best take care of yourself while taking care of your kids at the same time.
This blog post will give you some insight into what life is like as an introverted parent and how you can make the best of your experience with children.
It's not uncommon for people to think that introverts don't like to socialize or that they shy away from social interactions. This couldn't be farther from the truth, but it is true that introverts need time and space to themselves in order to recharge their batteries and process what has happened during a social interaction.
Introverted parents often feel like their personality is at odds with what it takes to be a good parent. They may feel embarrassed by their toddler’s tantrums in public, or feel pressure to take part in social activities for children. These feelings can be difficult for anyone to manage, especially when they are an introvert who feels the need to keep themselves hidden from society at large.
Introverts are not natural parents, they need to change their mindset, their lifestyle and the way they interact with the people around them. Introverts are great at interacting with people in their own quiet space.
Parenting is a huge responsibility. Between managing work and family life, it can be difficult to maintain the introvert's need for solitude and peace, especially with super active kids. But introverted personalities can actually be a boon when it comes to parenting. Because introverts are more empathetic and observant they are often known for being very good listeners. This means that when it comes to parenting, they are more in tune with their children's needs and are better able to see things from their perspective.
Parenting is often tough on introverts. This is because they struggle with the balancing act of taking care of their own needs while also satisfying their children's. However, if they can find ways to be in solitude with themselves and wind down after a long day, they will be better able to take care of themselves and their kids.
Create a routine or set rules for your family that includes quiet time every day where the whole family is expected to stay together in one room and quietly work on their own projects, read books, etc. You can also take advantage of nap times for your children to focus on yourself and recharge your strength by doing what satisfies you most.
Parents can also take turns between engaging in activities with their child and having some quiet time to themselves.
Love your children unconditionally. As an introvert, you might not always know how to show them how much you care in a way that they understand.
At most, introvert parents struggle between personal space vs. parental space. Introverts need a lot of personal space in order to function properly and have peace of mind. However, the introverted parent might start thinking about how their child needs them and not themselves, but this is a mistake because it will make them feel even worse about themselves and less capable of taking care of both themselves and their child at the same time.
To avoid this, planning a routine for activities with your kids can help. Here are some tips how you can show your kids you loved them without giving up on your personal space and time.
List and plan a quiet activity that you can both enjoy other than sleep time like drawing, solving puzzles, reading books, cooking, gardening or watching movies.
Introverts are known to be observant, thus it becomes easy for you to identify what interests your child that you can also enjoy doing with them.
Children always love to get attention and they don't want you to be the center of attention or the only person talking. Besides, everyone loves attention on occasions.
As an introvertive listener, there may come a point where you can't take it anymore. You're not alone; I think that children are very accepting of their parents and the way they communicate.
They learn to take turns speaking or taking other simple things into consideration when talking with other people. This is a great way for talkative children to gain these skills early on in life.
With young children it's easy to distract them by showing them something else and they're easily bored if they don't have much to absorb their limited attention span. You can also usually tell when a child will be chatty or focused based on their tendencies at a young age.
Children need to be given an outlet to express themselves. There are many different things they like doing, so it is important for you to find out what interests them and invest in these activities. For example, they might like coloring or playing with play-dough.
One should also understand that infants can learn from cartoons, so if it doesn't work - then one should try a more educational program. When you feel yourself becoming irritated, take a moment to breath and remember that it’s not just you that’s feeling the frustration. Your child can sense your irritation and will suffer as a result.
Tell them, when they understand what you're saying, that you need to take a break and recharge. Not only will they learn to be more considerate but they'll also learn how to identify and share their own feelings - Kids don't just learn by watching.
You can choose to treat your children to a spa day with a soothing massage. But buying them a present from their wish list will be greatly appreciated.
Take your kids to secluded places such as the library or museums, where you can enjoy each other's company in peace.
Introverts don’t always have to sacrifice their alone time for their children.
The key is to plan ahead and set boundaries. Decide when it’s OK to go into a ‘parental space’ and when it’s not.
Thinking of yourself as a extrovert or an introvert is the best way to understand the benefits and drawbacks of being in each personality group. Knowing your personality type helps you to be more mindful of how you approach parenting.
Accept your nature. Once you accept your nature, you can give yourself the permission to take some personal time and start designing a life that's actually suited to your needs.
When you accept that your introversion is actually a blessing (not something to be ashamed of), things will start changing for the better.
Being a parent is a long and tiring journey so it's important to make sure you take care of yourself as well as the kids. It's important to find time for yourself because if you don't, you might find that your physical and mental health decline because of stress.
If you monitor your energy levels throughout the day, you can see what activities deplete it. This way you'll know what to avoid and also know how to refuel it.
Once you're able to recognize the need for solitude, it's easier to take measures to get some time to yourself. Maybe you'll find opportunities outside of your kids' nap-time to do something by yourself, but it's also important not to neglect time solely spent with them.
Seek out all the support you can get. Try hiring babysitters, helpers, swapping playdates with other parents etc. to help you balance work + life. Keeping tabs on your kids is always good, but as long as they're with somebody who's kind and caring I don't see anything to worry about. This is you being a smart parent, choosing to focus on other aspects of your life so you can be a loving & calm mom/dad when you're with your child.
You don't have to say yes to every invitation or do everything. You can say no to most of them, too. Chances are, you'll spend a lot of time with other people and it can be tiring. In order to recharge, you should also have time to spare for yourself as well as time for resting.
You don't have to give in to every demand your kids make. You should say no if being somewhere else will make you miserable.
Instead of feeling bad when cutting back on your social events, realize that if your child is able to go off to their own event or do something in the interim you are teaching the child independence and responsibility.
Yes, really! Setting boundaries with your kids is crucial (even if it seems like too much work). This can be done in a way that is neither cold nor unloving; It seems like a no-brainer really - you grow up with it.
You should be patient with your kids. Although they might not have the language to communicate their feelings, they could have their other feelings, so make sure your reaction is helpful or simply measured.
Can he wait? Can you teach him that at certain times of the day it's not polite to interrupt mom or dad when they are busy. Should there be some sort of emergency, he can just come and join you for a bit.
Schedules are also important for introverts. Having consistent routines can make life much easier.
If your child is well-aware of what to expect & when, then it might be easier for you to avoid having their routine turn into chaos. The result? An introvert can stay calm and collected.
Kids need to get bored and frustrated often in order to build grit & resilience. If you were doing everything for them, then that would be a disservice to them.
It’s easy to get lost in the social demands of parenting and forget about your own needs.
In today’s society, it is all too common for parents to put their children before their own needs. This is a mistake, as babies come with many physical and emotional demands that require a lot of work from both parents.
All too often, when one parent has more free time than the other, this difference in schedules creates a sense of inequality. The parent with less free time feels like they are not making up for what they are not doing for the child.
Even if you don't like what's happening, know that you can still do it! You don't need to enjoy it (or maybe you'll end up getting into it), but push through anything that makes you flinch and then reward yourself afterwards with some peace & quiet.
Parenting is about being able to take risks and improving yourself as a person without sacrificing your comfort. Find the boundaries that work for you and it'll help you find your balance.
What are the challenges you face as an introvert parent? Share them in the comments section and help others with the challenges of being an introvert mom/dad.
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