I have been a parent for 3 and a half years now.
I’ve always wanted a big family, kids running all over the place. It was my dream to have about 4 or 5 kids.
A year and a half ago I had my second kid.
I had 2 under 2. As a stay at home mom, let me tell you, the first 12 months was the hardest thing I’ve ever done!
I now have a 1 and a half year old and a 3 and a half-year-old being as rambunxious as one would expect at their ages.
I recently started looking into why I can’t handle noise and chaos like it seems other parents can. My Husband, for example, hardly seems phased by it. And he notices that I tend to “flip out” at too much noise and chaos.
I know a big part of it is because I have anxiety, which I am actively working on. But I have recently learned and recognized that I am indeed an Introvert.
What is an introvert?
According to one of my new favorite websites Introvert, Dear,
The definition of an introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone.
This. Is. Me 110%. Always has been.
But I didn’t really think much about this characteristic of myself until I had kids. Particularly after I had my second kid.
Before that, I knew I wasn’t a super outgoing person who is the life of any party. And I knew I really, really liked being by myself. And I definitely noticed I never had more than one or two friends at a time, and I liked it that way.
But it was after having my second
I have noticed that my introverted characteristics have affected my parenting – positively and negatively. One thing I have learned as a parent is that I am never the only one going through a rough time! So let’s talk about the negatives of being an introverted parent.
These are the things that I feel make it difficult to be an introverted mom.
Why It Sucks To Be An Introverted Mom
Common Introvert personality traits:
- Easily depleted by too much external stimulation
- Enjoys solitude – a lot
- Has a very small group of friends – possibly just one or two.
- More prone to depression and anxiety
- Deep thinker
- Highly self-critical
Easily depleted by too much external stimulation
Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kids are loud. This is normal and a known fact. Learning to talk, discovering that they can scream, practicing silly sounds with their mouths, banging on anything in front of them to hear what noise it makes, etc. are all normal developmental methods of discovery for these tiny humans. Running, playing, jumping, throwing, tackling, falling, tumbling, crashing, and zero impulse control – pretty much the definition of a young child.
As an introverted mom, I can only take this romping, yelling, skipping, and hollering for a very short period of time, unfortunately. I’m talking, by about 10 am, I’m mentally DONE.
Related post: Is It Naptime Yet?!
Colin DeYoung, the assistant professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota states,
The levels of stimulation extraverts find rewarding can be overwhelming or annoying for introverts.
By about mid-morning, I’ve very clearly had too much external stimulation. The loud, loud, loudness and running around (normal) of my kids has me feeling what I would describe as annoyed. Not that they annoy me. But the noise and chaos do.
If I had a dollar for everytime I say something to the effect of, “Quiet please” or “Please stop talking so LOUD” or “Can you guys go in your playroom and give me a minute please?!” I’d be rich. Filthy, filthy rich.
Around late morning is when I usually am in dire need of some peace and quiet, and often times out comes the iPad or Netflix for the kids so I can go sit in the other room alone for a few minutes.
Which leads directly to my next extremely common trait of an Introvert…
Enjoys solitude – A Lot
Like, A LOT, a lot.
For an introvert, being by ourselves is like a recharge after feeling completely drained from external stimulation. Things like going out to eat with friends, any kind of social event, hanging out with our partner, and hanging out with our kids are all external stimulations.
Before kids (and any rare chance I get now), I would go out to eat by myself on the regular. I’d go see movies alone all the time and thought nothing of it. I’d go to theme parks by myself. I would go home on a Friday or Saturday night after stopping and getting myself a bottle of wine from the store, and with excitement would have my list of movies I couldn’t wait to watch with my bowl of popcorn. (Oh man, this all sounds so glorious as I’m typing it because I almost never get to do these things since having kids!)
I have not one, but TWO “velcro babies.” I swear these kids would crawl back up in the v
Related post: Me Time – A Bare Necessity of Life!
Related post: Why You Should Go To The Movies Alone
As much as I love the cuddles and am totally soaking it all up because there will come a point when they’re teenagers and want nothing to do with me (lol), I get “touched out” quicker than you can finish reading this post.
I hear myself saying, “Can you guys go play and leave me alone for a minute?!” all the time. And a lot of times it’s more of a shout than a calm request.
Has a very small group of friends
I have literally 1 friend here where I live. 1 person who is my for-real girlfriend whom I would (and do) call to cry on or call in the middle of the night if I were in need.
I do have a couple others whom I would consider friends, but they are more like the once a month or every other month text of hey-whatcha-doin-wanna-come-over-for-a-playdate kind of friends.
Let me just say I am absolutely content with having 1 friend at a time. I’ve always been that way! See my above
But, only having 1 friend means the whole “it takes a village” concept of raising kids does not apply for me. Except for my 1 friend, I’m basically on my own in my child raising (besides my husband, obviously). My husband and I get very little date nights. When I have an appointment that I can’t take my kids
More prone to depression and anxiety
…according to THIS study.
I have anxiety. Big time.
I don’t really have depression. But for some people, anxiety and depression go hand in hand.
Being an anxious parent is tough. I worry about ev-ry-thing. Overthink and overanalyze everything. Lash out because it’s a “high anxiety day” and I have little to no patience. Irritability levels skyrocket more often than I’d like and my kids are oftentimes in my line of fire.
Related post: 10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety
I make mountains out of molehills daily. I once flipped the hell out because the marble run I had just built for my preschooler was knocked over by my toddler within minutes of me making it. And then I felt like a jerk for flipping out over such a trivial thing.
The insomnia is real over here, too, thanks to my anxiety. My insomnia plus my mind constantly racing with stress, unwanted thoughts, guilt, and things I should do, haven’t done, and can’t do have me waking up exhausted every single day. I don’t even know what it feels like to wake up rested!
It goes without saying, a tired mom is a grumpy mom.
Related post: Anxiety-Related Insomnia: 6 Ways To Help You Fall Asleep
Imagine what it would feel like to always be told, “You suck at this. You are practically failing them as a parent.” To have someone constantly pointing out your non-existent failures and flaws.
And the person telling you this all day every day is yourself. Ugh!
Oh man. This is me 150%.
To say that introverts are their own worst critic is an understatement.
We can’t help to look straight past the positives as if they aren’t even there.
I criticize my parenting every freaking second of the day. And it’s worse once the kids go to bed. My mind just starts on the self-critical rampage and there’s no stopping it.
What I should have done. What I did wrong. Why did I do that?! Ugh, I shouldn’t have said XYZ to him…2 weeks ago. Etcetera. Etcetera.
Related post: Overthinking With Anxiety – Am I Good Enough?
You go into each day, trying your best. But according to you, your best is never good enough.
This one can sort of go hand-in-hand with being highly self-critical listed above.
The deeper an introverted parent thinks, the more likely they are to start coming up with nonexistent mistakes and failures.
Ok, now think of overanalyzing your overanalysis.
Mmhmm, yep… That’s me.
Me as an overanalyzing mom: *My 3-year-old pushing over his little brother because he wanted that toy and not really showing much empathy for it* – “OMG he clearly must be a sociopath! Or what if he’s going to grow up to be a bully?! What’s wrong with my kid?!?!”
On comes the unnecessary stress of wondering if there’s something wrong with my kid. Which increases my anxiety.
Note: I know that empathy is typically not something that is fully understood by a child at age 3. But these irrational thoughts are so automatic!
Ok, so now that I’ve bitched and complained about the struggles of being an introverted parent, head over to my post:
What are some of your struggles as an introverted parent? Comment below!
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