On Being an Introverted Mama Living in an Extroverted World

Are you introverted or extroverted? Below are all things I hear regularly as one of the admins of our local mom’s group, and I totally feel each and every one to the very core of my being. I am an introverted mama living in an extroverted world.

  • It’s so hard to make friends as a mom.
  • Meeting new people just feels awkward and scary.
  • Putting yourself out there is like dating for moms.

IntrovertedBut how is that possible, you ask? You lead a mom’s group. You put yourself out there daily to meet new people, make new friends, and keep the group engaged. Yep, and I love every bit of it! But, I’m introverted to the depths of my soul, and it takes every ounce of my energy and strength to meet these demands.

Add being a mom to that and I often feel drained. For instance, last week I had an introverted mama breakdown and locked myself in my bedroom. Let me put this into perspective for those of you who are totally wondering what the heck I’m talking about.

I work from home, with two young boys underfoot all day, every day. I recently started homeschooling our 4-year-old while trying to keep my always on the go 2-year-old from killing or seriously maiming himself while I’m trying to help my preschooler stay focused on his work. While my boys love to imitate one another, they LOVE to imitate one another {including instigating and annoying one another}. Constant chaos and noise.

I make home-cooked meals most nights, and keep the house in order while my husband works outside of the house 40+ hours a week. We had spent the previous weekend at the family lake house with the boys, Grammy and Gwapa. And the weekend before…a weekend away with my new husband for a “mini-honeymoon”. Relaxing, right? For most, yes. But as an introvert, all that “noise” drains me.

I’m an ISFJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. {A what???} According to the MBTI description, “people who have ISFJ personalities tend to be reserved, warm-hearted, and responsible”. They enjoy structure and strive to maintain this order in all areas of their lives. According to 16Personalities, an ISFJ parent’s focus is on ensuring that their children have a safe, stable environment filled with love, care, and support. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love being so involved with the moms in my community, with my boys, my husband, and my family. But I need quiet and solitude to recharge.

So, after all the activity that went on and a day filled with my boys fighting and whining about everything I couldn’t take anymore. My 4-year-old was fighting bedtime again and I had just lost my patience with him. I went to the one safe haven that was my own, my bedroom. And I cried. That emotional release and quiet solitude were all I needed to recharge. I was exhausted. I crawled into bed and didn’t get out again until the next morning. But it’s what I needed to make my world right again.

Research shows that 20 to 40 percent of people are introverted. Our western world puts a lot of emphasis on how to “win” at life and business through being assertive, vocal, and extroverted. That includes how to be a successful mama.

But the truth is that constantly busy, always on the go, social butterfly life is just not for the introverted mama. So experience tells us that we’re failing. Failing at life, failing at business, failing at being a successful mom, failing at being a friend. But the truth is, we just do things differently. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Studies of the brain have even shown a difference in cerebral blood flow between introverts and extroverts. We are still completely engaged parents and love to spend time with our family and close friends. And just because we don’t always engage in “small talk” with a stranger doesn’t mean that we’re being rude or unfriendly. And it doesn’t mean that we can’t put ourselves out there.

But at the end of the day, all these things drain our energy. They’re all “noise” that we endure as a mom, as a leader in our industry, as we approach all those “new” moms and potential friends that we’ve never before met. We NEED that quiet solitude, that empty house, locking ourselves in the bathroom, or curling up with a good book {or a nap} to recharge.

I recently read a book by Jamie C. Martin called Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy. I felt relief while reading it, reaffirmed that how I’m feeling and the way I “process” life with my family and those around me is okay and actually normal as an introvert.

For so long, I’ve felt like I was failing as a wife, a mama, a business owner, and a friend because I needed that break, that quiet solitude {even from my husband at times}. He gets that. He knows that if I’m sitting in my chair quietly surfing the web, or reading a book I just need ME time. This is important for me to be, well, me.

At the end of the day, I still love every bit of what I do, introversion, and all. But I totally get those mamas who struggle to find “mom friends” and feel totally awkward putting themselves out there. I feel an extra pull towards those mamas. They’re my soul sisters. I want to reach out to each and every one of them just to say “I gotcha, girl”.

Curious to know if you’re an introvert or extravert? Check out 16Personalities for their free personality test to find out.

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