Motherhood is loud and unpredictable. Young children have no concept of why you might need to think a complete thought now and then. You can be interrupted at any moment; even the bathroom isn’t sacred. That’s hard for all moms, but it’s especially challenging for moms who are introverts.
An introvert is not what most people think: a shy person standing in a corner at a party and avoiding all eye contact. Introverts are capable of being the life of the party and can master just about any social situation, but it drains them. While extroverts are recharged by being around other people, introverts recharge by being alone. Or, if not alone, at least alone with their thoughts. But even that can seem out of reach for a lot of moms. Here are some tips on how to cope:
. Don’t be afraid to say, “Give me a minute.” Take the time to disengage from what you were doing so that you can fully focus on your child. If they’re old enough to tell time, be specific about how much time you need. If they’re not, try setting a timer.
. Structure your routine to take advantage of the time you feel the most social. If you’re a morning person who is drained by bedtime, read to your kids in the morning or afternoon. Or try doing it at naptime. What’s important is that you read to them; it doesn’thave to be at bedtime.
. Get your kids on the same nap schedule. For those who are too old to nap, have them spend that time playing quietly in their rooms, even if it’s just for 30 minutes.
. Focus on structured activities. A lot of introverts have no idea how to “play tea party,” or drive a truck around the floor. Instead, opt for board games, cards, or even coloring or working a puzzle together.
. Get up earlier. A lot of introverted moms find that starting the day with some peaceful “alone time” fuels them for the rest of the day.
Your children need you. They need to connect with you to feel secure and to help them grow into the people they’re going to become. By using these tactics, you can recharge your batteries without disconnecting from your kids.