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10 Tips for Introverted Moms

10 tips for introverted moms

This post was last updated in April 2019.

When I wrote about the downsides of homeschooling, I mentioned that having the kids home all the time can be a little bit exhausting if you’re an introvert.

(A simple definition is that an introvert gains energy by being alone. In contrast, an extrovert tends to gain energy by being around other people. I’m very friendly and outgoing, but I consider myself an introvert because I recharge by being alone.)

Anyway, since I wrote that post, several of you wrote in asking how I make this mothering/homeschooling thing work.

Before I share what’s worked for me, I want to acknowledge:

  • that both mothering and homeschooling presents their own set of challenges for extroverts, since kids and homeschooling can definitely put a damper on one’s social life. However, that’s not the particular set of challenges that I face, so I can’t offer any advice there. Find an extrovert mom and pick her brain!
  • that I’m writing about my experience as a stay-at-home mom and homeschooling mom, but I know there are dads out there who stay home and homeschool. I think what I’m sharing will still be mostly applicable to situations like that.

I’m just going to throw my ideas out there, and you can pick and choose what will fit your family/life stage/personality.

First, here are some things I did when my kids were younger.

my people and me in 2010

I didn’t co-sleep.

Except for the odd night in those first groggy weeks, my babies slept in a bassinet or crib. And by the time they were nine months old, all of them were sleeping in a crib in their own rooms.

Also, they have not been allowed to get up in the middle of the night and crawl into our bed. I love my children dearly, but an overnight break from them is very good for me.

(Just in case you’re thinking I’m cold-hearted, know that I did get up many, many, many times in the middle of the night to nurse my babies when they were small. I wasn’t deserting them overnight; it’s just that I didn’t share my bed with them.)

I trained them to stay in their beds until I got them in the mornings.

When they were babies, of course, this did not apply.

And once they were of potty-training age, they were allowed to get up and use the bathroom (duh!).

But otherwise, the rule was that they had to stay in their beds until I came in and said it was time to get up (usually around 7:00 or 7:30).

They didn’t have to sleep, but there was no waking up at o-dark-thirty and deciding it was time for everyone to be up for the day.

This rule allowed me to have a little bit of peace and quiet in the morning to shower, get dressed, read my Bible, and pray, and that made for a better start to our days.

Even now that they’re all older, there’s an agreed-upon time when they can emerge and start their days (though they are free to read or do schoolwork if they wake up early).

I put them down for naps consistently.

This made for happier babies/toddlers and a happier me. Once we got past the nebulous first weeks/months with a new baby, we always settled into a regular napping routine, and I stuck with it. I seriously planned my life around naps, and so for about nine straight years of my life, I almost never went out in the afternoons. Even if only 2/4 kids were napping, the relative quiet was good for my soul.

I used the TV sparingly.

When my kids were little, I usually let them watch a half hour of TV per day (which was usually one Kipper or Richard Scarry DVD).

Because the TV wasn’t on all the time, they considered this to be a big deal, and they sat quietly through the whole show.

If you have the TV on all the time, though, it’s not nearly as effective at producing quiet children.

We had consistent bedtimes.

None of my children have been at all good at sleeping in, so it always made sense to faithfully put them in bed on the early side of things. This provided me with some downtime in the evening to clean things up and spend time with Mr. FG.


And here are some ideas that will work with older kids.

Send them to bed to read before it’s time for them to go to sleep.

For example, if a kid is supposed to be asleep at 8:30, they head to bed at 7:30 to read for an hour. This gives them some time to wind down before they go to sleep, and it gives me some extra quiet time.

Have a quiet hour after lunch.

You can have your kids read or watch an educational DVD, and use that hour to do something that recharges you.

Limit your outside activities each week.

An extroverted mom might be able to do six outside activities each week, but that would be very hard for an introvert.

Know your limits and work within them.

If your spouse is extroverted, send the kids out with him.

Mr. FG is more of a get-out-of-the-house kind of guy, so I dump that part of the parental responsibilities on him sometimes as often as possible.

Leave the kids with their other parent (or some sort of babysitter) and go somewhere by yourself.

The biggest treat for me (and many introverts!) is to be left home by myself, but it also helps to occasionally go out somewhere quiet with a cup of tea to get some planning done.

Allow some screen time.

If my kids have finished their chores and schoolwork, they each get a half hour of screen time. And screen time=quiet time!

So. Those are my best ideas for navigating motherhood as an introvert.

I know there are other introverts out there, though, so if that’s you, I’m really interested to hear what ideas have worked as you’ve added kids to your life.

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Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Introverted here too! I could NEVER homeschool my kids, I would go cray-cray and we would all end up miserable!! (Plus, it's very rare where I live that kids are homeschooled. They surely exist but I don't know any).

I don't usually feel guilty for needing so much alone time to recharge my batteries. And I am very lucky to be sharing my life with an introvert (less than me, but still) that "gets it"! The one thing that bugs me about myself is that I need to be completely alone in the house to be able to recharge. If hubby and the kids are there, even if they are doing their own thing, I still feel the pressure to be "on". THIS makes me feel weird/abnormal....

Your list is pretty consistent with ours : no co-sleeping (at worse they can join on a matress beside our bed, if they are sick or scared. It's very rare that this happens), strict bedtimes, napping was extremely important and a sacred time, screen time is limited. Etc. Kids need stability and boundaries. So do I!


Monday 15th of April 2019

Yes!! I did almost all of these very things while my bunch was/is growing up. Only, with our babies, I always had a really hard time waking up at night, so once they were in bed for feeding that was it until morning - but, they slept longer in the morning . . . lol. I am definitely an introvert - and now that they are older and have their own schedules, life is even busier. I now give myself quiet time during the day since they are all too old for naps - and I go to bed early. :-)

Profesora H-B

Monday 15th of April 2019

I am 40 years old (with four siblings who are 37 and 27 (two sets of twins, hence the strict enforcement of quiet time!!)) and we STILL observe after-lunch quiet times when we're all together as a family. Everyone from infants to my 60-something parents scatters to the corners of whomever's house to just have some peace and quiet. It is SO important to have that peaceful time if you're even remotely introverted! We're all big readers, so it's often reading time (or sometimes nap time...let's be honest).

Katie D

Monday 15th of April 2019

I raised four kids on my own as I was widowed and found it hard to make time for myself. When I did, I invariably felt guilty as there was something I should have been doing. So once a month I would take myself out to breakfast. During and after eating I would write all the birthday/Easter/Christmas cards needed for that month. I really enjoyed my alone time plus felt good about getting a pleasant chore out of the way that I wouldn't find time for if at home. The kids are all grown now, but I still enjoy a monthly breakfast out on my own!!


Sunday 14th of April 2019

This post really made me smile! I'm a Total extrovert who thrives on Social situations but I had exactly the Same structures and routines as you when my kids were little!


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