I know this well. I am an introverted mom. There are days when I just want the whole world to go away and leave me alone. Childish giggles and squeals grate on my nerves, and ringing phones make my skin crawl. By the time my husband gets home I want to run screaming from the house. It’s tough to be a stay-at-home mom or homeschool mom when you are an introvert, because as an introvert, people drain you and your little people are with you all day long.
There are many good tips in this chapter, I won’t mention all of them. But I want to highlight three in particular. One I’m already doing and it makes a big difference and the other is something I’d like to do and another is my own unique tip that works well for me.
Institute a mandatory rest or nap time. This is a tip a learned from my mother (also an introvert) even before I had kids. My daughter is five, and still has naptime/quiet time. She can play in her room, listen to audiobooks or read stories. But she has to stay in her room. My son is almost three and still naps. I’m not sure how I’ll manage his semi/mostly potty trained status and quiet time. (Meaning preventing accidents but also discouraging too many assisted bathroom trips during quiet time) but I’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. My daughter often resists this time, but I know we all need the break. Jamie mentions homeschool moms with teenagers who still have daily quiet time.
This is something I want to and need to do. I’m working towards it but I’m not there yet. This is even more important for me I think, not just because I need to get my thoughts out, though journaling is fine. But as a writer I need to feel like I’m making progress on my work. It is a major way that I manage my mental health. When our finances allow, I would go to a local Panera and have dinner and write one night a week. That isn’t happening anymore, but nothing has taken it’s place yet. But it needs to, because I need that time.
Something You Enjoy
One more thing that works for me is handicrafts. Knitting and crocheting. They mostly involve my hands more than my brain, depending on the difficulty of the pattern. I’m learning to sew, but I’m not good enough for that to qualify, it requires too much concentration. At the end of a difficult day, especially if I’ve been slogging through painful phonics lessons or arguing through handwriting or math (or just spent the whole day trying to get the toddler to stop screaming) I need to do something fun, yet useful with my hands. This is what differentiates it from chores. I enjoy it, it’s beautiful and yet also has an aspect of practicality. I find it almost therapeutic.
So what do you do to help maintain your sanity as an introvert mom or an extrovert mom? We all love our kids, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need breaks.