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Really interesting article on Today Moms about how being an introverted or extroverted person influences your parenting style and the challenges you face.
The demands of a temperamental toddler, the chattering 4-year-old obsessed with princesses, the tattling siblings who need Mom to solve their latest disagreement; it's all part of the noise and chaos created by kids in most households. For some moms, however, the constant clatter creates a problem bigger than simple noise pollution.
For the introverted mom — those who identify themselves as quiet, inwardly focused, and even reclusive at times — a challenging part of parenting comes from the need to find balance between spending quality time with their kids and seeking alone time to recharge.
Are you extroverted or introverted--do you think it makes a difference in how you parent?
Interesting article. I am an introvert and even with only one child I often find myself totally over done by the end of the day. I agree with Heidi Jeter's comments about small talk being exhausting and I am also really intentional about what social events I agree to. It is great to see this being discussed!
introvert here... i have 3 children - oldest (introvert himself) is 13 - middle is my step daughter (highly extrovert) at 11 years - and youngest is 3 years (and like his sister) is very active and loud for toddlerhood - when they are all three under the same roof, i get overwhelmed very quickly and want to run and hide LOL... i depend on dad who is also extrovert to help field some of the "noise" - i am thankful to have a partner who helps when he sees me starting to get stressed =)
I agree, I find that aspect very challenging. As a working mom, I often feel that my time at home needs to be spent with my son because he is at preschool for much of the week. Also as a working mom, finding time to recharge my batteries and do things that are good for me (reading, for example) is extremely difficult, so between the two, I often find I am stretching myself too thin. As a result, I rarely get out of the house to do anything else that is good for me, like meeting with other moms or good friends or just enjoying the community, because my plate already feels too full. Maintaining relationships is work (although important work that is very worth it!) for many introverts and it has only become harder to maintain relationships outside the family, due to the need to maintain a relationship with my son.
As an extrovert, I wouldn't claim that it is harder, but I want to claim equal hardness.
For example, any day that I am home without serious mental stimulation, with a purpose, I feel like I am going to explode. If I have sick children, or we are too tired to go anywhere, or I haven't had the time to develop relationships, I feel like a prisoner. I get totally burned out and useless. I'm a lazy, boring mom. But, if I can find people who are like-minded, I can do it all. It's just really, really hard to meet my needs of extroversion, while meeting my children's needs of childhood.
That's the main reason I get sucked into online forums for hours on end after the kids are in bed. Usually, forums are introverts' turf, but this extrovert needs PEOPLE. Conversation. After some particularly long homebound days, I'm hitting refresh over and over again on various sites just hoping someone commented.
I am most definitely an introvert and there are some aspects of parenting that I find challenging specifically the need to be alone to recharge. But I don't think being an introvert means I have a harder time being a parent than an extrovert. In reality, as a stay at home mom, I'm much happier being home all day with my children than my extrovert friends who crave the companionship of other adults to give them the energy to get through the day.
I have a group on Facebook that is dedicated to discussing introversion and extroversion in parenting, either how i/e effects us as parents or how i/e effects our kids. Come join us if you're so inclined: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IandEparents/
Crunchy, AP, Potterhead Whovian.
L is 4 and P is 2 and #3 is "due" in January.
I have three kids. One has severe ADHD. Another has moderate ADHD. The third is a todder. We homeschool because they're too intense for a classroom environment. My husband is also very loud and ADHD, and doesn't work. So we're all home pretty much all the time. And they are all LOUD. For an introvert like me, well.. it's really hard. My mom - also an introvert - can't even stay with us for a weekend, or babysit. It's too stressful for her. It's just something you learn to live with and try not to burn out.