Hey folks! Thanks for joining me again today. If you missed Part 1, you can catch it here. Today I am going to be sharing my own struggles with parenting as an introvert and suggesting ideas on what we can do to get out of our occasional “funks”.
I thought this would be as good a time as any to write about this subject because I've been having a particularly difficult week. I'm one of those weird INFJ's* who is introverted, but still kind of extroverted and wants to get out and do things, even though it wears me out in all aspects. So, most of the time I can overcome my introverted, antisocial side and force myself to get out more for the kids' (mainly my 3 year old's) sake, but lately the introvert monster has been winning.
Maybe it's just the gloomy, rainy weather we've been having, but I have not been able to make myself do anything “fun” this week. Usually I look forward to getting out of the house, but not this week. I have just not felt like being around people in general.
I've been meaning to go to a local babywearing group's playdate day for awhile and was so excited to go last week until I learned that they had changed the location due to primary voting day. This week, I had no desire to go even though I really probably should get some help with this mei tai I'm borrowing. That's a story for a different post, though. ;)
I was also excited to go to the summer kick-off party for our playdate group this Saturday. But, I was already wanting someone to at least watch Myka one weekend soon so that hubby and I can actually spend some much needed alone time for our anniversary. (He is even more introverted than I am and we really do need the alone time!...Especially since a certain 3 year old is no longer taking naps. :/) But, since this is the only weekend for awhile that my mom will be able to watch her, I decided to drop her off for the weekend instead of going to the party since I'm already being antisocial Annie. I've not been this bad for awhile. So, I'm taking it as a sign that I truly need a break, so I don't feel quite as bad for skipping the playdate party festivities in return for Myka spending the weekend at Gigi and Papaw's.
The one thing I have been making myself do is take Myka to the free story time and music and movement class in Bloomington. She really likes it and gets to interact with other kids AND run around and dance, so I've been making myself get over myself and go. She has no concept of time, really, and didn't even realize it when we missed a week because she was sick, but I would feel guilty if I didn't take her to at least that just because I don't like going. Why? Because I feel like “Billy No Friends”, as my British friend would say. I realize I could attempt to strike up conversations too, but no one ever talks to me and I usually end up feeding Ripley on the bench outside (at least it's an indoor mall) because 1) I'm weird about nursing in front of a bunch of people and 2) there's usually no room inside because everyone else crowds in and there's no room. No, no. That's ok. I don't want to watch my kid or anything. Sorry. I guess that's a whole other can of worms...
So, what's an introverted parent to do? In my opinion, all the alone time and help you can get, the better! Try to make at least a little bit of time for JUST YOU each day, even if this means getting up extra early or staying up a little late. (I'm writing this at midnight and the solitude is making me feel much less stressed out, not going to lie!) A nice, hot shower all alone without kids interrupting is heavenly too. Pop in a movie and away you go! I've always enjoyed collecting my thoughts during this time, personally.
A reliable babysitter is crucial, whether it be a family member or other trusted person. Trust is the key here, otherwise you'll just worry about your kids the whole time, and that kind of defeats the purpose of having a sitter and relaxing, right? Even after I stopped working at a regular job, I still very occasionally had a trusted sitter watch Myka when it was just her. Again, everyone needs alone time!
MAKE YOURSELF DO THINGS FOR YOUR CHILDREN! If you don't, you'll probably regret it at some point. I am starting to dread Thursdays (aka dance class days) more and more each week, but I see how much Myka enjoys it, therefore I make myself go. Because as parents, it's not always (and usually not) about us: the kids come first and foremost.
Do you struggle with being a “mom hermit”? What do you do to try to get over it?
*Check out either of these websites if you would like to learn more about the Myers-Briggs personality test and/or find out what your personality type is!