For a very long time I didn’t know there was a label for people like me: People that thrive on being alone, who don’t need a lot of socialization, and are much better off having a long conversation with a friend than hanging out in a group of people.
But when I realized what the word introvert really meant, it all fit together. That was completely and totally me. I hit almost every qualifier even down to the low blood pressure.
We hate confrontation, we dislike talking on the phone, we are easily overwhelmed, and we are often labeled as “shy”.
These are all things that we can handle pretty easily because whether we realize it or not, we’re creating our world to fit those needs. We simply say no to parties, sit in the back of the room during a school lecture and don’t answer the phone when it rings. We adjust our life to accommodate our introversion.
Until we have children.
After those babies are born the personal space and alone time that we thrive on like water suddenly disappears into thin air. In fact, for the first few years most days I had zero minutes of alone time, co-sleeping and nursing through the night.
It took me quite a while to really understand what was missing and what I needed to be a more patient and loving mother. What I needed to not boil over with anxiety and stress every day.
I needed to be by myself.
That empty time during the day where you sit and do nothing but veg out on a book or a little TV that some people think are pointless and boring? They are critical to our well-being.
It’s important to understand yourself and your needs and be willing to accept them; nurture them. Needing to be away from my kids for a little bit each day does not make me a bad mom. (Even though I thought that for a long time.)
So here is how to survive as an introverted mom, it’s very simple: find time to be alone. Everyday.
No, you won’t always get the perfect afternoon to yourself (sometimes!) but you can find time in other parts of the day. There are two easy ways to do it: wake up early or stay up late.
If you have kids that wake up before the sun then evenings will be for you. The important thing is that you find a little bit of time for solitude everyday.
Being an introverted mom isn’t easy, but the good thing is it’s totally worth it.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.