Reflections from an introverted mom

//Reflections from an introverted mom

I don’t know about you momma, but sometimes this world feels really loud, and busy, and demanding. There’s always a place to be, a thing to do, a deadline to be met. And the kiddos. Those precious kiddos–if we’re not going to that place or doing that thing or meeting that deadline for work or for our own adult lives, then we’re certainly doing it for them. Parenting requires a lot of “on” moments. More than I ever could have imagined nearly 7 years ago when I gave birth to my first.

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This might be ok for some–perhaps even for many. But if you’re like me, it can feel a bit draining. Maybe even more than you think it should. And when it feels draining, the guilt can set in and make you feel like there’s something wrong with you, something wrong with your parenting.

But I’m here to tell you that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this feeling. I needed someone to tell me this 6 years ago. So I’m telling you now, because no one warned me, either:

Being a mom while also being an introvert is hard!

When motherhood happened to me, I felt whole and content in ways I never had before. And at the same time, I began to feel a new level of mental exhaustion I had never felt before. I chalked it up to all the things that motherhood is; all the caring for another human being, worrying about doing things “the right way,” waking at odd hours of the night in response to a child’s needs and cry, just learning a whole new dance of life.

And then one day I noticed that even on those less stressful days, those days where things seemed to just come naturally, the day’s schedule went perfectly, the baby wasn’t as needy, was sleeping all night, nursed well, ate well, played well…that even on those days, those really, really good and happy days, by the day’s end, I couldn’t wait for just one minute to myself. I couldn’t wait for the baby to go to bed so I could just sit and be.

And I felt guilty. Horribly guilty. Here I was, finally “getting” this whole mothering thing, with a pretty awesome, laid back baby, feeling confident in my execution of motherhood, and yet, all I could think about by lunchtime was the next time I could steal time away just for myself.

And yes I realize this is not an uncommon thought. But I work all day; I send my child to daycare while I talk to adults and have lunch with adults and get time alone to myself in a car. And yet, even when I would get home with my baby (whom I hadn’t seen most of the day), on many days I still just longed for bedtime to come immediately.

And that’s when I realized: It wasn’t that I didn’t love being a mother, caring for this beautiful human my husband and I created, this hilarious, snuggly, wonderfully smart and funny little guy. It wasn’t that I didn’t love the cuddles and the time and the bonding.  It was just introverted me needing to recharge, to decompress (by myself), to turn “off” what was constantly “on” throughout my day as a professional and as a mother.

And once I was able to identify that about myself, I felt a little less guilty. It’s still a struggle. I still have moments of guilt, moments in which I feel like a failure. But I know it’s not failure. I know I am a good mother.  I know my husband and I are doing a great job of loving the mess out of our kiddos.

ANOTHER #MOMLIFE CONFESSION: I knew full-time SAHM life wasn’t for me… Or was it?

I just have to remind myself that it’s ok to need to recharge. It’s ok not to sign up for all the play dates or mom’s nights out.  It’s ok to feel a flutter of excitement as nap time or bed time near. It’s ok.

I have learned over these past 7 years that taking care of my introverted side is a must in order to be my best self in all situations. Here are a few things I have learned to do that might just help you:

  1. Find a routine {a regularly scheduled morning run or coffee with a close friend, knitting, reading, writing, hiking} and carve time for it every single week–put it on the calendar so your partner or a caretaker can be sure to have your kiddos for that time and you know that time is coming. Even when the other days feel loud and busy and crazy, you can count on this specific routine for yourself.
  2. Protect one full hour of your day {either in the early morning before everyone rises or in the evening after everyone is in bed} to just decompress, meditate, read, watch tv, whatever it is you need to recharge.
  3. Now that my kiddos are a little older {nearly 7 and nearly 4 respectively}, I no longer wait until everyone is in bed to turn to doing something for myself.  I will simply tell them that I am taking 30 minutes to myself, to read while they play, or walk on the treadmill, or something else that fills me up. I tell them. They know not to ask me to play with them at that time–that I will play with them once I have had that time but during that protected time, it’s just for me.
  4. Designate quiet time {especially if your kids are at ages where they are no longer napping} and make sure everyone engages in it. This can be a practice that everyone will grow to appreciate.

So listen up, fellow introverted moms: You are not alone. The mental exhaustion is real. The many “on” moments of parenting are real. No need to feel guilty. Just recognize what you need to do to take care of you in those moments.

Your family will thank you for it.


Morgan Studer - theCityMomsABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Morgan Studer is a southern transplant in the Midwest who still considers 70 degrees jacket weather, and is always on the hunt for the best biscuits and gravy. Her day job in the higher education world connects her passions for continuous learning and personal growth with community engagement.

On weekends you’ll find her adventuring with her husband and two children, grabbing ice cream, Geocaching at a local park, or snuggling up with a few good books.

Morgan enjoys a hot cup of coffee, exploring new places on foot, and settling in for a good Netflix binge.

2019-02-20T16:42:20-05:00February 20th, 2019|
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