Why It Sucks To Be An Introverted Parent

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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.

The parenting struggle is real! Could you be an introvert and not know it? Being an introverted parent can potentially make that struggle even more difficult. Here are some signs you might be an introverted mom. #introvert #introvertedparent #introvertedmom #introvertedmomextrovertedchild #introvertedmomtoddler
The parenting struggle is real!  Could you be an introvert and not know it?  Being an introverted parent can potentially make that struggle even more difficult.  Here are some signs you might be an introverted mom. #introvert #introvertedparent #introvertedmom #introvertedmomextrovertedchild #introvertedmomtoddler

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 child, when all the fo’real chaos of motherhood kicked in, that I noticed myself having a very hard time with being “touched out” and noise and nonstop external stimulation.

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

boy shouting

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 vajayjay if it were possible. They’re always wherever I am. If I get up to go into the kitchen, they’re walking right behind me like little baby ducks. Anywhere I am sitting, they are ON me. Like, literally on top of me at all times.

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

2 women talking

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 point where us introverts LOVE SOLITUDE. Too many friends would require too much “friend time” and that’d be overwhelming for me.

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 to, unless my ONE friend is available to babysit, then I can’t go (I have experimented with numerous babysitters and I gave up on that, because apparently all the good ones are taken up…so yeah, that’s out. And we have no family where we live, so that’s out as well.)

More prone to depression and anxiety

Depressed woman

…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

Related post: A Bedtime Routine For Adults To Help You Fall Asleep FAST

In Post Facebook Anxiety Group Banner

Highly self-critical

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?

It’s exhausting.

You go into each day, trying your best. But according to you, your best is never good enough.

Deep Thinker

The thinker

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.

Think “overanalysis.”

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:

5 Ways To ROCK Being An Introvert!

What are some of your struggles as an introverted parent? Comment below!

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As an introverted mom I struggle with my parenting due to my introverted personality.  Here\'s why it sucks to be an introverted parent! #introvert #Introvertedmom  #introvertedmomextrovertedchild

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2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Darcey

    December 20, 2018

    I can relate to this post so much. I’m an introvert like you. I’d rather have only a couple close friends and I need my down time. What you wrote about the loudness and chaos makes a lot of sense. I work with kids as well and after a day at work, I come home and want to wind down, but my daughter wants to play. While I love that she is excited to see me, I’m desperate for quiet. I just need some time to myself. I feel guilty, but there are some days when I just turn the tv on and let her watch for a while so I can be alone in the kitchen or just zone out with my phone. I’m working on finding a different type of job, but until then, I don’t know how to fix this. Thank you for sharing.

    https://www.aflourishingrose.com

    • Reply

      DaLorean

      December 20, 2018

      I definitely feel the guilt with the amount of screen time I often resort to! But hey, it’s better than lashing out and being grumpy to your child because you literally NEED and aren’t getting that few minutes alone time to be able to function, right?!

      Being an introverted parent shouldn’t be a curse. I’m determined to learn how to embrace my personality while also being the mom I want to be. We CAN do this, mama! And I’m planning to share it all here on this little blog of mine because I know I can’t be the only one struggling over here!

      Hugs! Thanks for the comment!

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