Our household is curious, out of the 6 members, I’m the ONLY introvert.
What it does mean is a difference between the way Introverts and Extroverts recharge. Extroverts gain their charge from others. Introverts by themselves. Before I dive further into this topic, I’d like to clarify a misnomer. Being an introvert does not mean a person is anti-social. Not at all!
Thus, an introvert can enjoy a crowd – for awhile at least. Then it’s off to a quiet corner to recharge. In theory that’s how it works anyway!
In my case, finding a recharge moment is tough. Afterall, my extroverts think nothing of continuously seeking me out.
For the longest time I allowed them to do so. Isn’t a good mother required to be present for her children at all time?
Yes, she should….but with some boundaries!
I found I could delay crawling into my lair without too much of a negative affect for at least a little while. Repeatedly doing this however was NOT helpful and in fact over time I began to feel it weighed heavily upon me.
Instead of dropping with exhaustion, or a migraine, here are some helpful tips I was given and what discovered about those tips:
- Depending on your season of life, rising early may grant you some recharge time. Notice I said depending on your season. This isn’t the season for it in my life. My youngest has super sonic radar and knows when mom is awake (Notice I said *awake* and not up. He knows the minute my eyelids open in the morning. Did I mention this is the child who talks non-stop the minute his eyelids open?)
- Get your recharge time during naptime. Again, refer to my response above. The same youngster stopped napping right after his 1st birthday. Moms of early nap-quitters, I feel you!
- Put your kids to bed early and get your recharge time in the evening. Again, this sounds wonderful, but please refer to #1. And, if it is not the baby of the family interrupting, it is for sure to be a teenager, who needs to pour out his/her heart and will do so because it is quiet. I have 2 of these who do not keep “normal business hours.” Though it’s tiring, it is in fact time well invested. Moms of nocturnal teens, again, I feel you!
Now that conventional wisdom doesn’t quite work out and it’s not feasible to have a Mom’s Night Out every day of the week, how’s an introvert to survive homeschooling her brood of extroverts? Honestly, it’s tough! But, I’ve been able to get bits and pieces of recharging here and there in this busy season. Some tips that worked for me are:
- Get outside – a walk in the sunshine does wonders!
- Take a short phone call with a friend for prayer.
- Journal your thoughts
- Sign up for a co-op that offers a downtime period after you have done your duties. Volunteering has been a fabulous and predictable way for me to have some time totally to myself to recharge.
- For your early risers, set a timer and explain to your child that for the next x minutes you are having quiet time and that they need to play quietly on their own. (Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.)
Now that I’ve shared some of my tips, what are some of the ways you recharge as an introvert in the midst of extroverts?