Introverts might seem like a strange breed. We can seem aloof or shy or socially awkward. People can’t understand why we’d turn down a moms’ night out to watch Netflix in our pajamas. Some people are confused when we don’t pick up the damn phone, but then immediately text back.
But we introverts, we get it. We know. We understand.
And introvert parents? Well, let’s just say we understand why you mourn the end of naptime so much (mama needs a few minutes of quiet, dammit). Here are a few other truths about parenting as an introvert.
1. You love watching your kids play.
But you don’t necessarily love playing with them.
2. The chaos of parenting can be a serious trigger for anxiety.
The messes, the noise, and the unpredictability of parenting can make you feel anxious and ragey.
3. Playdates are exhausting.
There’s about a 15-minute window after you’ve made it through the initial awkwardness and before the “too much peopling” phase has begun, when playdates are awesome because you feel understood and a little less alone. Those 15 minutes are the only reason you keep coming back, because by the end of it you are completely wiped out.
4. Moms’ night outs are exhausting.
Sure, you love to spend time with other moms who understand the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Throw in a few cocktails? All the better. If only it weren’t for all the talking and the fact that you can’t keep your eyes open past 9:05 pm anymore. The couch sounds so much better.
5. Parent-teacher conferences are exhausting.
Little chairs. Teachers. Other parents. Talking about your kids. As if that weren’t uncomfortable enough, you always cry. So not only are you mentally drained, you are emotionally drained as well.
6. You will beg, borrow, and steal to get a few extra minutes of alone time.
You hide in the bathroom pretending that your pooping. You enforce “quiet time” long after your kids stop napping. You tell them that Santa won’t come if they don’t sit still and watch a freaking show for 30 minutes instead of beating each other with light sabers.
7. Other kids in your house are both a blessing and a curse.
They occupy your kids (blessing), but there is double the noise, double the mess, and double the chaos (curse).
8. You become a master at avoidance.
You learn how to avoid talking to other parents when picking kids up from school and attending school concerts by pretending you have a cold or just don’t see them. It’s not that you don’t like them; it’s just that communicating can be so much work sometimes.
9. Your friends live in your phone.
You communicate for days, weeks or even months through texts, emails, and Facebook posts. Because when you’re yelling PUT YOUR SHOES ON! to little people 89 times a day, and answering Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama? all damn day, the very last thing you want to do is talk to another human being. You can’t even stand to hear the sound of your own voice, much less carry on a conversation.
10. You do a happy dance whenever you are in your house alone.
And then you immediately crank up the rap music and dance to songs with inappropriate lyrics.
11. You find hiding places around the house.
The bathroom. The closet in the basement. The shed in the backyard.
12. Small talk with other parents can be brutal.
You’d take a long heart-to-heart with one or two MBFFs over five minutes of small talk with a fellow parent while you wait for dance class to finish or watch your son’s band concert.
13. Parenthood feels both isolating and stifling at the same time.
It seems illogical that someone could feel both lonely and never alone at the same, yet that is parenting in a nutshell – especially for the introvert parents.