12 Practical Tips to Help You to Thrive as an Introverted Parent

12 Practical Tips to Help You to Thrive as an Introverted Parent

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I’m an introvert.  Nothing has driven home the truth of that statement like parenting young children.  Young kids, as we all know, talk, move, and just need constantly.  The relentlessness of parenting can make me feel like I can’t even finish a thought, let alone grab a few minutes for myself to recharge.

That recharge time is crucial – without it I find myself losing my patience, exasperated, and quite frankly, not being the kind of Mom I want to be.  Here are some of the strategies and tips that I use to thrive as an introverted parent.

1. Engage Fully

I know, it seems counter-intuitive, but bear with me.  My kids need me.  They need my time and attention, and they don’t care that I need quiet time to myself.

So I give it to them.  I get down on the floor with them and play their made-up, imaginative game.  We play cars, or Transformers, or Lego.  We build a tower out of stacking cups and knock it down over and over.  Whatever it is, I give them my full attention.  I ignore my phone, the dinner that needs to be made, the floor that needs to be swept, and just play.

Then, when we’re done (or let’s face it, when I’m done, because they could do this all day!), I move on to something that I need to do.  Sure, they’d like me to keep playing with them, but I find that giving them my full attention for a period of time is a good thing for all of us.  We have fun, and if they’ve had some quality time with me, they seem to be more understanding of the fact that I now have grown-up things to do.

2. Make Time for Yourself

This is hard, I know that.  But even if you’re a stay-at-home parent, there are ways to carve out time in the day just for you.

  • Find a gym with childcare included.
  • Trade off childcare with a friend – host her child(ren) for a playdate, and send them all to her house another day (this can be a win/win, particularly if your kids play well together and you can let them occupy each other without needing to constantly intervene).
  • If you have a spouse or partner, trade off – one of you gets a break on Saturday, and the other on Sunday.  This gets trickier the more kids and activities you have, but even an hour or so can give each of you a much-needed sanity break.
  • Make nights out – with or without your spouse – a priority.  Or, if nights out aren’t feasible, meet a friend for brunch or coffee.
  • If getting out isn’t possible, make the most of your downtime.  It’s too easy to waste the time after the kid are in bed mindlessly staring at your phone, and then collapsing into bed, exhausted.  Do something that recharges you instead – read, write, exercise, take a bath.  Make the time count.

Related: The Importance of Self-Care: A Wake-Up Call

3. Just Say No

As an introverted parent I need downtime at home.  If our schedule is overbooked, that time is not going to happen.  Know your limit in terms of activities and events, and stick to it.

4. Quiet Time

Our three-year-old is threatening to drop his afternoon nap.  As any introverted parent of young children knows, that midday downtime is crucial to survive the rest of the day.  The rule we have for him is the same rule that we had for his older brother: he doesn’t need to nap, but he needs to have quiet time alone in his room.  I explain to him that we all need to have some quiet time by ourselves, and we talk about the fun activity that we’re going to do afterwards.  Getting him to actually stay in his room is definitely a work in progress, but we will stick with it, as the downtime is beneficial for everyone.

Tips to survive as an introverted parent: go for a walk

5. Go for a Walk

When the noise and the activity and the demands are just too much, one of my favourite activities is to go for a walk.  This works especially well with just the little two, who will happily sit in the stroller for as long as I’m willing to push them.  If my oldest is with us, he’s perfectly content to ride along on his bike.

6. Get Outside

If a walk isn’t feasible, any outside time resets all of us.  My kids are happier outside – there’s more to explore, and more opportunities to be active.  They’re better at independent play outside, and this in turn gives me much-needed space to breathe.

Related: Some Days Are Hard

7. Go for a Drive

Another go-to activity when I’m talked and touched out is to make up an errand and go for a drive.  My kids tend to zone out in the car, so this gives me a few minutes where I can tune out and just enjoy the quiet.  Of course, if you have kids who hate the car, or kids who tend to get car sick, this might not be the best option for you!

8. Screen Time is OK!

Obviously, we don’t want to plant our kids in front of the TV or on the iPad for hours at a time.  However, if giving them 30 minutes of screen time is going to give you the break and energy you need to get through the rest of the day, by all means do it!

9. Prioritize One-on-One Time

One of the things that wears me out about having three children is all of them talking to me or needing me at the same time.  I do much better when I’m able to focus on one person or one thing at a time.  Because of this, I make it a priority to get one-on-one time with each of my kids.  Whether it’s an elaborate “Mommy Date”, or just playing alone with one of them for 10 minutes, that time is so good for both of us.

Related: How to Make Time for Quality Time with Your Kids

10. Focus on the Positive

I love this clip – it’s all about perspective!

At the end of the day, when you’re talked out, touched out, and exhausted, it’s easy to forget the wonderful moments.  One of the strategies I use to focus on the positive each day is to keep a journal.  I use this one and LOVE it.  It’s just enough space to record the highlights of the day, but not so much space that it becomes a daunting task to fill it.  It has helped me focus on the positive and remember those magical moments that happen every day.  I’ve been writing in it for almost five years now (it’s almost full!) and it’s become one of my most treasured possessions.

11. Model Recharging Behaviour

Tips to survive as an introverted parent: model recharging behaviour

In elementary school, we had “Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading” every day after lunch for about 20 minutes.  That was my favourite part of the day.  My goal is to one day be able to implement something similar with my kids.  We’re not there yet, but I’m working on it.

I’ll read to them, or I’ll read to myself (actual books, not just my iPad!) while they look at books.  We’ll colour quietly together, or they’ll work on an art project while I write.  Most of the time our house is fairly chaotic (hence the name of this blog!), so this gives us a nice chance to enjoy quiet activities while still being together.

12. Let Go of the Guilt

I cannot emphasize this enough.  As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.  Some days you will be counting down to nap time or bedtime, and that’s ok!  I love my kids, but I know that to be the best Mom I can be for them I need to make my needs a priority too.  I’m a better Mom (and much more fun to be around!) when I use some of the strategies above to give myself time to recharge.

Related: 11 Realistic Tips to Help You Become a More Patient Parent

Are you an introverted parent?  How do you balance your needs as an introvert with the chaos of raising young kids?

If you're an introverted mom, you know that the relentlessness of parenting can be overwhelming. These practical tips will help you to recharge and thrive as an introverted parent - so you can be the mom you want to be.
If you're an introvert, you know that the relentlessness of parenting can be overwhelming. These practical tips will help you to recharge and thrive as an introverted mom - so you can be the parent you want to be. #introvert #motherhood #parenting #introvertedmom #introvertedparent
The non-stop chaos of raising children can be overwhelming if you're an introverted mom.  These practical tips will help you to recharge and thrive - so you can be the parent you want to be. #introvert #motherhood #parenting #introvertedmom #introvertedparent
If you're an introvert, you know that the relentlessness of parenting can be overwhelming. These practical tips will help you to recharge and thrive as an introverted mom - so you can be the parent you want to be. #introvert #motherhood #parenting #introvertedmom #introvertedparent

21 thoughts on “12 Practical Tips to Help You to Thrive as an Introverted Parent”

    • I completely agree! It’s so hard to make it a priority, and it seems to be the first thing to go, but when Mom’s happier, everyone’s happier.

  • YES re #4! Our 4.5 year old is probably, by most standards, WAY too old to still be napping, but she is napping and even when she doesn’t sleep she knows that it’s quiet time. This is something I’ll always enforce as an extremely introverted parent who absolutely NEEDS nap time to survive. I live in constant fear of losing nap time should we ever have another kid. I rely on it SO much.

    • Haha yes, our oldest napped for much longer than most as well, because I couldn’t give it up! The nice thing about when they drop the nap when they’re older is they actually are capable of playing independently during quiet time!

  • Great tips! I am an introvert homeschool mom of three boys. With a postage stamp yard. And all three were horrible sleepers, so I didn’t ever get that consistent break of bedtime. It’s amazing I’m still halfway sane! 😂 I try to get up early before them so that I have some time to myself in the morning. I definitely feel better equipped to focus on them if I have that time first.

    • Yes, great tip! That one is really hard for me, because sleep tends to win out, but the days I’m up before them are SO nice!

  • Yes, yes, and yes, to all of this! My husband is 100% introverted. I’m about 50/50 but my introverted self agrees with this and I see the need for this with my husband. Great post!

  • This mid-day quiet time is the best! I’m an introvert too, and this is a great list. Little kids talk. so.much. It’s so foreign to me, and feels unnatural to be talking all the time I’m with them. I’m constantly reminding myself about their rapid brain development that happens at this young age, and forcing myself to fully engage even when that’s not my natural tendency with adults. Glad to know there are more introverted parents out there thinking about this!

    • The midday quiet time is vital! The rest of our day goes so much smoother when we all get a little break from each other. I had to remind my big kids the other day that saying “Mom, Mom, Mom…” when I’m trying to think doesn’t actually help me answer their question faster!

  • Wow this is hands down the best blog post I have read in…. FOREVER. I am a blogger and read a lot of blogs and you nailed it right here. Great post. Awesome.

  • I love this post! Great work. I would in so many ways consider myself and introverted mom. This post was really inspiring! I’ve been working on a post myself of ways to create a positive home. It includes a list of resources. I would love to link this post in the resources!

    • Thanks so much! I’m definitely an introvert through and through – becoming a parent has confirmed that! 🙂

  • I am so happy and relieved that I am not the only one that feels this way… I always feel bad and think I’m a bad aren’t because I seek nap time or time be alone or create activities for them to do so I can calm …

  • Thank you very much for all these tips. Honestly I was starting to think I’m just a bad mom . I would get easily irritated sometimes and yell but now I know better and I’m determined to practice these tips …. I feel really happy and at peace . Knowing about being an introvert mom has really helped …I didn’t know such a thing existed

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