Monday, May 23, 2016

Fighting Your Inner Introvert for Your Kids' Sake

             The world is full of all types of different people. Some of those people are introverts, some are not. I'm here to tell you that becoming a parent does not magically make you an extrovert, as nice as that would be some days. As some of you are probably already aware, it can be really challenging sometimes being an introverted parent, and I'm here to talk about my own struggles and what it's like.
             If you have no idea what I'm talking about, introverts are people who tend to like to reflect inwardly and spend more time alone than others to think. This doesn't mean we're antisocial, necessarily. We just need more alone time to recharge our batteries, so to speak. Extroverts thrive off of being around others, whereas being around large groups (or even small ones for long lengths of time) wears introverts out and can be mentally and physically exhausting.
             So, now that we're on the same page, what does any of this have to do with parenting? A lot, actually. Parenting can be exhausting enough for obvious reasons, but throw in an introverted personality and it can feel down right impossible some days. Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to throw a pity party for us. I just feel like it's something that should be talked about more because I have a feeling that it's a big reason for “parent guilt” in some.
             Parent guilt is something that we, as parents, will all deal with at some point in our parenting careers and, if we don't, we're probably doing something wrong. Lol I think introverted parents deal with it more than others. Why? Because we just can't constantly pay attention to our kids and/or interact with them constantly. This is obviously true of most parents, especially those with multiple children, but I think you understand what I'm trying to say here. It is just too physically, mentally, and emotionally tiring, as much as we may want to.
             That's not to say we're bad parents. We try our best and I wouldn't say we're neglectful by any means...but if we can't find ways to recharge and have at least a little bit of down time for ourselves throughout the day, or even have someone else watch the kids occasionally, we burn out quickly. That's when we start getting cranky, tired, and withdrawn.
             Stay tuned for part two where I share about my own experience and feelings about being an introverted parent and ideas on what we can do to battle it for our kids' sake!
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