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Two other thoughts about introversion+mothering, plus a winner!

Actually, how about the winner first? Maria, commenter 143, is the winner of the $50 Safeway gift card. Congrats, Maria! Enjoy your free groceries. 🙂

And then I just have two sort of quick thoughts I wanted to share about the introversion/mothering topic.


Thought the First

The years of your life with children under the grade school age can be tough, because kids of that age can’t understand a need for alone time and as a rule, they aren’t really all that fabulous at being independent.

So, for those of you in the throes of life with very small people, it’s important to remember that they will NOT be small forever. The infant/toddler/preschooler stages are indeed stages, which means that they have an end.

While I’m not a fan of constantly wishing for the next stage of life (it’s better to just focus on the good parts of the stage you’re in), on the hard days it is sometimes helpful to remind yourself that one day, your children will all sleep through the night, that they’ll be able to get up by themselves, and that they won’t need you for every single thing.

Thought the Second

While it’s important to know yourself and to know what habits and practices make it easier for you to be patient/kind/cheerful, etc, it’s important to not let introversion-care be an idol of sorts in your life.

For instance, it’s easy for me to think that I simply can’t be kind and patient if I haven’t had alone time to recharge.

Sure, it’s easier for me to be a kind and patient mom when I’ve had alone time (and when I’ve had enough sleep and when there’s not too much going on in the schedule and when my children are being good and when I’m healthy and when it’s sunny outside…you get the picture!)

The thing is, though, there are going to be plenty of times when situations can’t be ideal, and I can’t allow, “Oh, I haven’t had enough alone time!” to be an excuse. I still need to try to be a kind, patient, involved, and compassionate mom.

For me, that looks like extra prayer (God says he gives grace to the humble, so I try to humble myself and ask!), an effort to love my kids more than I love myself, and reminding myself that my kids’ needs are the same whether or not I’ve had my needs met.

Don’t think I do this perfectly, though…the reason I’ve even thought to share this is that it’s an often-present temptation for me, and I give in to it way more often than I’d like.

Ok. I think that’s all I have to say about this for now!

And I promise we will be back to frugal talk around here tomorrow. Maybe with a pizza-making tutorial.

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Tuesday 9th of April 2013

I'm joining this discussion late, but I wanted you to know I think you are spot-on. Staying home with my kids was exhausting emotionally--but now that they are 9 & 7, I can say that it was well worth it. There were definitely days when I wanted to pull my hair out, though. Thing is, your kids are always watching you and how you handle stressful situations ... which was a huge motivator for me to model calm reactions (I did NOT always succeed at this and I think we moms need to forgive ourselves when we occasionally lose it--and try to figure out a way to avoid it in the future).

It was helpful for me to have a time-out for myself during the day, so I too allowed limited TV usage and I would do something for myself (take a shower, exercise) during that time. I have a couple of other suggestions--check your local library to see if they have books on CD--my kids enjoyed hearing "someone else" read and if I needed a 5-10 minute break, this was helpful. If you have a friend who has kids, see if you can trade kids periodically and give each other a break. Also, while I never did this, I think it's a great idea--employ a "mother's helper"--maybe a responsible girl who is too young for babysitting but would like the experience of working with kids--pay her a small amount and have her watch the kids for a half hour/hour or so while you stay at home and get stuff done (or hide!).

Tonya Lawson

Wednesday 10th of April 2013

I haven't seen any posts from people on the "other side," so I thought I'd speak from someone who has lived the years all of you are going through and what I would do if I could turn back the clock.

1. First and foremost, I'd get my sleep. I remember functioning on fumes through the majority of those years because the only time for me was late at night; however, when we're sleep-deprived, spills appear bigger than they are, crying sounds louder than it is, sibling rivalry seems more explosive and annoying than it is, and most importantly, my patience was always shorter than it should have been. Experts say that adults, believe it or not, need 7-9 hours sleep/night. I know I got much less than this.

2. I would have captured more days with pictures and journaling. I was a scrapbooker, so I did a lot of this, but I wish I had done more. My 17-year-old and 23-year-old look at those scrapbooks now and LOVE them, but there was so much more that I wish I had memories of. If you're a picture-taker, find some way to write those memories down. If you're a scrapbooker, don't get so caught up in the craft that you miss the memories. Your kids will enjoy looking at pictures of themselves years from now, but if the memories aren't written down, and you don't remember them (trust me - you will forget a lot of these years), your kids will wonder what happened and why you took a picture of it.

3. Teach your kids to love reading. We, as a human race, should never stop learning. Learning and reading go hand-in-hand. Kids learn patience when they read because it takes time to get to the end, but the journey expands their vocabulary, imagination and intelligence!!! If they love to read, they learn to appreciate the journey and are willing to pursue it. Also, when your kids are teenagers, they will suddenly know everything, and you'll be dumb as rocks (this is only a slight exaggeration). You can try to unpack all your wisdom on them, but you'll still be a rock. HOWEVER, if you tell them to Google it (or whatever the search engine trend is by then), they will if they have the patience to read. Lastly, and most importantly, if they love reading, they might learn to love God's Word, the greatest book there is.

Enjoy these years. Cherish them!

(Kristen, sorry to hi-jack your blog)

Tonya Lawson 46-year-old wife, mother, homeschooler and Children's Pastor

Laura Vanderkam

Friday 5th of April 2013

I am deep in the throes of the little ones stage right now, and yes, I'm looking forward to them being a little older. It's not that there aren't great things going on now, but it's impossible to "treasure every moment" as some folks who seem to have amnesia suggest. I liken my feelings at the moment to senior-itis that last year of high school. It's not that high school isn't's that part of you is also ready to move on by the time you've been there for 4 years. Someday they will all be able to buckle themselves into the car!


Friday 5th of April 2013

Yeah. I mean, it's important to savor the good moments, but honestly, there is NOTHING about, say, the potty training stage that I treasured. It was all bad and I was over the moon when I finished potty training Zoe.


Thursday 4th of April 2013

Great points Kristen. Situations are rarely ideal and excuses just aren't ideal. I think it's a great thing to teach our kids that excuses are just that, excuses. It's often easy to make them, but better to avoid them and accomplish things. None of us do it perfectly, we just have to aim to do our best and give ourselves grace.


Thursday 4th of April 2013

Thank you so much! I can't believe I won! Please let me know if I need to do anything. I love your blog and thank you for your words of wisdom.


Thursday 4th of April 2013

Thanks for the post. I agree on being the mom* and not finding excuses to continue being the Mom* always, though it is hard at times, but that's just it, a time* it too will pass.....Do I make sense, lol?

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