Making Time for Yourself as an Introvert Mom

I’m not even two years in yet and SO not claiming to be an expert at getting everything I need to maintain self as a mama. BUT, I am someone who has worked hard to balance introversion (essentially my need to create and be with myself internally) with family and home life. It’s month 21 and here’s what I’ve got so far:

Say “No.”

You just have to. I still fight with myself on this, because as an INFJ my people mean A LOT to me. The relationships I have are never surface level. Even when I talk to strangers, the conversation somehow gets deep. But I literally wont be able to function in my personal life if I don’t have time to process my thousand introverted thoughts per minute.

So a lot of the social gatherings I used to attend may have to go. OK, they have gone. lol Not that I don’t need to get out, because trust me I do. And I still want to be invited, BTW! But I have to put my own well being first so that I can be at my best for my family. Sometimes that means saying “no” and that’s an imperfectly perfect answer.

Wake up at least 15 minutes earlier than the kids.

The mornings I can manage to do this are glorious. Even a short time of quite to start the day can give an introvert a special boost of energy. It’s time to make coffee and read a bible verse. Time to take a shower. Time to journal. Whatever will give you a push to start the day in a focused frame of mind rather than having to think all the thoughts while managing the little lives you grew at the same time.

Have designated YOU days.

On these days, if you don’t want to get dressed that’s OK. If you do want to get dressed and go sit in a corner of a coffee shop with headphones on (that’s OK, too). I usually do a combination of uninterrupted work and sleep. Do whatever will fill your soul and nourish your body. And have someone you trust watch the kids so you’re not worried.

Take long bubble baths at night (with the door closed).

Some weeks I do this every night. There’s just nothing like the sanctuary of a tub. Also get some Epsom Salts and high quality EO’s for detox. Some of my favorites are Lavender, Stress Away and Deep Relief.

Take the kids to a low profile park.

And enjoy the sound of the air mixed with giggles while they play. Getting out of the house doesn’t HAVE to mean socializing or even that you have to enter a high energy situation at all.

Journal.

I haven’t been the best at this since becoming a mom, but as far as making use of my alone time it is always valuable. I’m so introverted that I sometimes don’t even know what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling until I write it down.

If you’re feeling frustrated or stressed, try taking a few minutes a day to freely write it out. And don’t filter yourself. A wise person once told me, “just write. Whatever comes out on the page is important.”

Hope this helps mama friends! As always, email me if you want to chat or have a topic idea for me! stephanie@theintrovertedmom.com

Introvert Myths: Christmas Callout

I realized I haven’t directly talked about introversion in awhile. And I know some of you are like mehh who cares… I’m extroverted AF. Well, so is my husband and most of my close friends too. 

But I bet more people than you are aware of identify with my side of the fence. And they may not even know it either! Because just like any other group in society, introverts face judgy stereotypes. And, OK some of them are true. 🤷‍♀️One being that the holidays are sometimes stressful for us because of all the planning, expectations and social commitments.

So I’m calling out the stereotypes! I blogged three false blanket statements I hear all the time and what we want you to know about us instead: 

Introverts are shy.

Yeah, no that’s not what it means. While some might be shy, other introverts are actually prolific leaders. Introversion is about how we process information (internally). Everything carries specific meaning to us, and it takes time to understand life’s events and then put them through our brain’s filing system.

This just clicked for my husband one day about a year and a half into marriage. He looked over and realized I wasn’t listening to him because I was thinking too loud.

He said, “You’re thinking aren’t you!?” My response? Of course I was! I literally cannot shut my brain off, so I need alone time to think. But I’m not at all “reserved” or “timid,” which is how we would describe a shy person. 

Introverts don’t like people.

While I’ve heard some introverts directly admit that they do not In fact “like people,” this is definitely not the case for all of us or even the majority. Remember those non-stop thoughts? Yeah, I kinda need to recharge from that.

Think about it. When I hang out with you, I will ask for your thoughts on life, considering I am incapable of small talk.

I will then start thinking about your thoughts on life, my thoughts on your thoughts and then just my regular thoughts that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Exhausting isn’t it?? Enter alone time and misunderstanding or judgement from the other side. 

Introverts have no people skills.

The opposite is usually true, it just may manifest in different ways. I consider myself good one-on-one and OK to reserved in a group setting. This is because I crave the kind of deep connection that my complicated brain can create meaning from. 

See, when someone is going through something I actually feel it. I am so sensitive to human emotion that I will start to carry your struggles as my own.

So when I need to be alone, it’s not about being socially awkward (although sometimes I am 🤣) or being away from people I “don’t like.” It’s about being at peace with myself so that I can go back out into the world and rejoin its people as my best self. I’ll feel like a cluttered version of myself unless I get that time. 

Not as bad as you thought? Good. Because once we love you, you’re stuck with us for life! But give us some understanding. And that includes introverts giving ourselves grace! Especially around the holidays, OK?

stephanie@theintrovertedmom.com