Monday, 27 March 2017

Surviving Parenting as an Introvert

I read something this week that said something along the lines of ‘if socialising energises you then you’re an extrovert, if it drains you you’re an introvert’. This was like a bloomin’ revelation to me, I’d been trying to put into words for some time how I feel when I’m out the house, interacting with people or socialising. Just to be clear, it’s not that I don’t like seeing people, I do like to talk to people and I love my friends fiercely, it’s just that when I do spend time interacting, engaging, creating conversation etc, I’m always a little bit worn out after. I realise how bad this sounds and if you’re one of my friends reading this, please still come visit me(!!)- it’s a good sort of worn out. I think this comes from a place of shyness and from past anxieties about what people thought of me. I do genuinely love to be around people for example, if the boys and their dad are out I feel a bit lonely but when they are back I’m more than happy to have a bit of quiet time reading a book (which coincidentally is about as likely as pigs flying with my two!) knowing that the hustle and bustle is going on around me. I think my natural state is a quiet one. I got told time and time again when I was employed that I was too quiet or that I didn’t appear confident and that was always used as a criticism, as something that I should be working on. It took me a long time to realise that being a quieter person isn’t a negative, you can have a quiet confidence and an inner strength without being the loudest person in the room and this is always in the back of my mind now that I’m self-employed. One of the reasons I started the business was to get away from this kind of negativity, it was just so draining and those past criticisms are the fuel that drives me to keep going, to try and make it a success and if it is, it’ll be two fingers up to those very people that dragged me down.


As a parent, I’ll be honest, some days I can feel completely and utterly drained at being climbed on, or pulled about, or just having the constant chatter around me whereas conversely, there’s really nowhere I’d rather be. I can sometimes feel like I’m all touched out. How I’ve managed this over the last four years is to allow myself time in the day where I do get a bit of space. So for example, I’ll encourage them to play by themselves for a little while, I might pop Cbeebies on, or I’ll nip them in the car and just let them enjoy the ride, leaving me to my own thoughts. Most of the time, once I’ve had a cup of tea and a chance to breathe I’m energised and ready for round two. The point of this is to encourage you to be true to yourselves. If parenting and socialising energises you then that’s fab and if it doesn’t then that’s ok too, you don’t need to change, you just need to allow yourself to do whatever you need to do in order to keep going. I spent years trying to change, to adapt to an environment that made no allowances for me – for my inner quietness, but I’m at an age now where I’m not going to change without a fight and I think I owe it to myself to stay true to myself.  

woodland outdoors trees

Pink Pear Bear
My Petit Canard

12 comments:

  1. I totally agree. Sometimes it can all be a bit too overwhelming. I have a 3 year old who is in preschool 2 days which gives me a break but the 7 month old is with me all the time and wakes every 2 hours at night. It can get a bit too much as much as I love him. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

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  2. The introvert / extrovert comment really interests me. I've always thought that I was an extrovert but now realise that I'm getting more introverted as I get older. I really need time to myself to recover from time with other people! This was an interesting read. Thank you!

    #MMBC

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  3. Parenting is a hugely overwhelming experience, and energy zapping. Sometimes all that is left is enough energy to curl up into a ball! Or just spend sometime enjoying silence! Take it easy and be good to yourself! #MarvMondays

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  4. Sister. That's what you are. I'm such an introvert and as a single parent it hasn't been easy. But there are others of us out there pulling for you, praying for you and sending you good thoughts.

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  5. What a great post. I am overwhelmed as a parent almost on a daily basis. It's so hard isn't it? I've always been an introvert too. I like my own company! ha! xx #Twinklytuesday

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  6. I'm the same! Always told I need to speak up at work, when I really don't want to. I still do a great job, so why does it matter? Thanks for a really honest post, I completely relate #twinklytuesday

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  7. This is great, good for you, don't let people tell you how to be you. I see myself as somewhere firmly in the middle :-) I like a bit of both worlds.

    Also there's that idea of confidence you mention from a past job. And now you say you are self employed, well that has shown them, in my opinion it takes a huge amount of confidence and belief to set-up on your own. Something at this point I do not possess. Well done #DreamTeam

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  8. Parenting can be so overwhelming and there are so many people we come into contact with on a daily basis who then make us question everything we are doing! I'm glad you have found a way of dealing with it :) Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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  9. I'm amazed you were actually told at work that you are quiet. Please tell me it was the HR head because they had no interpersonal skills if so! How can we live in a world where everyone is loud and 'out there'? You've found your way so that's the main thing. #bigpinklink

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  10. Hi, I am most definitely an introvert and like you I do enjoy people's company, but find being around people so exhausting. I need peace and quiet to recharge my batteries and when the children that was not so easy.

    Being an introvert should not be a negative. Can you imagine if the world were full of extroverts? How crazy would that be. My children are both older, my son has left school and my daughter is coming to the end of her school years, and the one criticism that I have heard over and over again is that they should participate in class more. Which over here means taking part in class debates, going up in front of the class and giving their opinions on subjects. I've always ignored it, pointing out that not all people are comfortable in doing that and the schools should not put pressure on a child to be something they aren't.

    A person should not be penalized for being an introvert!

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC (sorry I'm late doing the rounds).

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  11. I found this so uplifting to read. I have lost count of the number of times that I have been criticized for my lack of confidence when actually it's just a fundamental part of who I am and I can't just "strap some on!" It does make parenthood a bit tricky at times if you're the kind of person that needs their own headspace to process their thoughts. I tend to go into "screen-saver mode" as my hubby calls it while I just zone out sometimes. Loved this post. Thank you for sharing with #DreamTeam x

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  12. This is a very relatable post. I too have been told that I'm not confident enough, especially in interviews. I think you may find a number of us bloggers are introverts. #mmbc

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