Hello there friend! It’s been a while, but I have something to share today that I hope speaks to your heart if you’re a fellow introverted mom.
I’ve sat on this idea for a long time because I don’t want to be perceived as “selfish,” but I KNOW that some of my readers are introverts as well and I want you to feel A) validated, and B) understand that “me time” for you is NOT being selfish; it is also non-negotiable if you want to be your happiest self and keep burn out at bay.
This is a post that is near and dear to my heart because, for me and so many other introverted moms I know, daily self-care and “me time” is the difference between being happy + content, or unhappy + burnt out.
The heart of the matter is that you need to fill up your cup in order to continue to pour into others, most importantly your children. If you’re running on empty, you’re not able to give your best self. Taking time alone isn’t being selfish; In fact, when done with this intent, it’s quite the opposite.
An introverted mom can burn out quickly and sometimes not realize why or how she got there. I knew this about myself going into my new role as a stay at home mom (who’s extroverted hubby also works at home!), and have never felt happier, which I credit largely to the routine I’ve established for us that includes daily alone time for me.
I hope that by sharing some of the things that work to keep me from feeling drained as an introverted mom and wife, you will then find ways and give yourself the permission to have the alone time you truly need each day!
But Ashley, how can I find “me time” every day? There’s just no way – my kid stopped napping, gets up at 5:00 AM, I’m a mom of 4, I work full time outside the home!! No matter how busy even the most introverted super mom among us is, I promise you that you can find a way to make that “me time” DAILY. I would argue that it’s non-negotiable if you want to feel content and happy as an introverted mom. The ideas I’m going to share with you are not ALL going to be possible to do every day, or at all depending on your circumstances, but I KNOW that it’s possible to fit at least one of these in each day even if only for 5-10 minutes. And, those 5-10 minutes will make all the difference for you.
So, how do I know if I’m an Introverted Mom?
The core of introversion can be defined by this simple distinction: you predominantly derive your energy from being alone versus from being around other people.
Being an introvert does not necessarily mean you are shy, although many shy people are introverts. Being an introvert does not mean you are necessarily self-conscious either, or that you don’t enjoy being around other people. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t like to talk. Being around others and talking is enjoyable to most introverts (at least they are to me!) but definitely, drain our energy resources. Just as an extrovert feels filled up through and seeks out being around people, introverts are filled up through time spent alone.
Being an introvert just means that, in order to feel balanced and filled up you need solitude (AKA quiet, “alone time”)…daily.
Why does it matter?
Why is this important to realize, particularly as an introverted mom?
As a mom/wife/friend/etc. constantly giving of yourself to others around you have to be creative and intentional about finding the alone time you need to feel centered and re-energized. ALL moms experience some degree of burnout from time to time, and we certainly all need to practice self-care and find space for “me time,” but for introverted mamas, this need is at a whole other level.
Before we became moms, it was easy to find ways to be alone each day, and mostly these things were naturally occurring. But as soon as our incredible bundles of joy arrive gone are the days of solo commutes, quiet time around the house, regular trips to the gym, or even trips to the bathroom or showers in some cases! We wouldn’t trade the hours upon hours of reading to, talking to, singing to and playing with our kids for ANY amount of alone time, but I don’t want you to feel guilty about missing that quiet, alone space; It’s my hope to help you think of ways to infuse it back into your daily routine in new ways that fit with your busy life as a mom!
5 Self-Care Ideas for the Introverted Mom
1. Asking directly for what you need to feel refreshed.
The first and most critical piece of self-care for an introverted mama is for your partner to understands and therefore support your biological need to be alone each day, in some capacity, in order to feel centered.
Since I left my career to stay and work at home, our family situation is somewhat unique and awesome in that my husband (AJ) works from home also, so our family spends A LOT of time together. Taylor and AJ are both extroverts, and I am most certainly an introvert.
Probably THE most beneficial thing my husband and I have ever done for our relationship is to take the Myers Briggs personality test as part of our premarital counseling. Until then, he perceived my desire for alone time as me not wanting to be around him, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. The two are not mutually exclusive; As an introvert, in order to be a good wife and now as a mom, I NEED alone time each day, and he understands that. If your partner, especially if they are an extrovert, doesn’t quite “get it” I would recommend taking one of those tests and reading through the results together as a first step in creating that understanding. It really helped us to understand one another, and I hope the same for you.
The reason this understanding is important is that you will need to ASK your partner, or even your mom, to give you alone time.
One day per week AJ takes Taylor on a special outing and I stay home. This is something I asked him for, and he quickly agreed to do because he realized 1) this is awesome for their relationship/bond, and 2) I would benefit from time alone in our home to recharge. Happy wife, happy life right?
Ask your partner for a block of time alone, either in your home or out of your home (some intro-mamas love going and sitting at a coffee shop for 30 minutes, or even cruising the aisles of Target solo!) and explain why you need this to be the best mom and wife you can be. I bet once he sees how much happier you are, he’ll be asking YOU if you need that time!
2. Get up before your kids wake up.
Even if it is only 10-15 minutes before your earliest riser, I cannot say how much of a difference this can make. Drink a glass of water to rehydrate, think of or write down the things you are thankful for, take a shower, do 100 air squats, drink a cup of HOT coffee, or just sit on your couch and watch the news. Whatever it is and in whatever time makes sense for you, enjoy those quiet moments before your day gets going! I started this ritual after reading Miracle Morning, and I’m never turning back. Now that Taylor is waking between 7:45 and 9:00 AM, I am able to have a couple of HOURS of alone time to think, write, pray, meditate, etc. and it’s glorious.
3. Take advantage of gym childcare.
Finding a gym with childcare we trusted has been an absolute game changer for me. Taylor loves going, and I am able to get the endorphins and solo time I need to feel re-centered!. We do this 4 days per week as part of our mommy and toddler routine! Even if you aren’t a big fitness buff, just go walk on the treadmill for an hour and listen to a podcast. I bet you’ll feel better on several levels once this is a routine! You can read more about how to fit fitness into your busy life in this post!
There are many gyms, at many different membership cost levels that have childcare. If a gym membership isn’t something in your budget right now, but this idea resonates with you, make it a priority to tweak things or save in other areas to see if you can make it happen. There are women I work with through my SeneGence/LipSense business who get started with the goal of making enough money monthly FOR that gym membership – and then far surpass that! What difference would an extra $200, $400, or $1000+ a month make for you? If you’re interested, I can show you how to make that happen (read this blog post, send me an email or comment on this post and we’ll chat!!
4. Take a walk.
If you have a supportive partner, have them watch your kiddo when they get home (or when you both get home if you work outside the home!) and get out for a quick walk. Listen to a podcast or your favorite playlist, or just have silent space to think and be as you also get in some exercise.
If you’re home alone during the day and have a little one who will sleep in their stroller, take a longer walk with them and (gasp!!) let them have one of their naps as you walk and enjoy some quiet, reflective time as well as the benefits of movement/calorie burn! I did this every day during my maternity leave (read about our routine at that time in this post!) when Taylor was a newborn and I swear it saved me in so many ways.
5. Hop in the bath at night.
AJ and I switch off every other night with who does the bedtime routine. Most nights I have “off” you can find me in the bathtub with a bath bomb, glass of wine and maybe a podcast or music playing. A bath, regardless of what time you take it and for how long, is one way you can care for yourself and get alone time. This is one that could actually be done daily after the kiddos are asleep. I can’t think of a reason why this wouldn’t be possible. Even if you don’t have a bathtub, you can relax in your shower for 10-15 minutes accomplishing the same thing!
I know these ideas aren’t rocket science, but that’s the beauty of them – they can all be done by almost every introverted mom on a regular basis.I sincerely hope that you start incorporating alone time in some capacity daily and reap the benefits for yourself and therefore your family!
What are your favorite ways to put “me time” into your days? Did any of mine resonate with you? I would love to hear if incorporating “me time” into your DAILY routine makes a difference in your energy and happiness levels – would you let me know?
P.S. When I understood what it means to be introverted, I understood myself. I also read the book Quiet – and recommend anyone who is or loves an introvert – which made me feel validated and positive about this trait and the things I could accomplish because of it. I highly recommend this book to every introvert I know!