I love “me time.” My alone time that is. It’s the sweet hours when my kids are asleep or at school and I can slow down, recharge and center myself.
The thought of socializing and attending an event where there will be a lot of people to converse with and coming up with clever conversation starters makes me cringe. I am usually the person who is wistfully checking the time on my phone until I can go home. I’m a bit of a party pooper.
I would much rather lay on the couch with my dogs, lose myself in a book, tackle a home project or really, just do about anything other than hang out with a group of people.
It’s not that I don’t like seeing my friends and spending time with other people. It’s just that I get my energy from being by myself… thinking and contemplating.
My husband is the exact opposite.
He gets his energy from people. He comes to life when he’s with others, going to dinners and concerts and conversing. He has a quick wit and can strike up a conversation with just about anyone, without fumbling over the right thing to say like I do.
I’m very clearly an introvert.
He’s clearly an extrovert.
I knew I was an introvert before I had kids, but once I became a stay at home Mom and the entirety of my awake time was spent with other people, I dug into the label even more.
I hate confrontation and I prefer texting over having a conversation on the phone any day. Some might think of me as shy or even unapproachable but I don’t see the point in making small talk. I say no to parties and going out. Actually, I say no to most anything that impedes on the hours after my kids have gone to bed and when I get to recharge my battery.
During the first few years of motherhood, between around the clock care, activities, and nighttime feedings, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying Motherhood as I first had when the kids were born.
I started looking at our routines, scrutinizing my parenting and trying to pinpoint the reasons why I was becoming unhappy being a Stay at Home Mom.
What was missing now that the kids were older were the naptimes and earlier bedtimes when I got to spend time by myself.
I no longer had time to sit by myself, to grab a book or even a magazine and veg out. Unless I went to bed at some ungodly hour, the several hours I used to have by myself after the kid’s bedtime was cut in half.
This is the truth: Introverted Moms need to find time for themselves – alone – every single day.
HOW TO FIND ALONE TIME AS AN INTROVERTED MOM
I found ways to build alone time into our routines and take back some of the time I was missing that helped me recharge so I would be a happier and more patient Mom for my kids.
- Now that my kids had stopped napping, we replaced that time with quiet time where the kids learned to play independently while the baby napped. This is anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours that they play solo and quietly with each other.
- I pushed bedtimes up a little bit which it turned out my kid’s do better with earlier bedtimes and their behavior has improved with the extra 30-minutes of sleep I put back into the schedule. The baby is already on an amazing bedtime routine so now all three kids are in bed and asleep by 7:30pm on the nose.
- I joined a neighborhood gym that has childcare hours where I can workout kid-free and lose myself with some earbuds and a sweat session. This is a definite sanity saver for the stay-at-home and introverted Mom.
- The kids began preschool and for 2 – 4 mornings a week they attend school in a nurturing environment and could socialize (I’m raising two extroverts and one introvert so this is great for them!), learn and play with other kids their own age.
- I may not be a morning person, but I learned that when I wake up before my kids, it gives me a little boost for the day to start off with quiet time to contemplate. It helps me begin the day peacefully and gather myself or take a moment to prepare before the chaos of the morning rush ensues.
Sometimes being an introverted Mom can be challenging, especially as the kids get older and become involved in school and outside activities, but finding a healthy balance between group and alone time is the answer.
Plus, three cute kids make it totally worth it.
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I have never related so much to one article. I feel like this article was made for me! I also have 3 kids, all girls, 2 extroverted like my husband and one introverted like me. Thank you for sharing your experiences and it is so nice to know there are other moms out there experiencing the same issues so I don’t feel so alone in this stressful yet wonderful and rewarding thing we call motherhood….