Why Being an Introverted Parent Doesn’t Suck

introverts

I saw this graphic on Facebook and was immediately drawn to it for 3 reasons:

  1. I am an introvert
  2. It’s funny
  3. The baby yoga instructor at the library unofficially deemed my baby an introvert after seeing how reserved we were in class. What she said was, “it is sometimes a good idea for introverted babies to come early to give them time to adjust to the new environment“. What I heard was, INTROVERTED BABY. I found myself stuck on introverted babies, and couldn’t help but wonder if what she really meant was Introverted parents – like me.

Being an introvert is often a concern for me when it comes to networking and promoting myself for business purposes. I would much rather stay at home and partake in activities that involve me sitting on my rear, than I would mingle in a new environment and sing my own praises. But, it never occurred to me what being an introvert might mean for me as a parent, or how it might affect my child. Once that thought entered my mind, there was no going back. It had unleashed a fury of insecurities I didn’t know I had. For example:

“Oh lord, will my proclivity to spend time alone on my rear, rob my child of the social activity needed to avoid a life of involuntary solitude … on his rear?

In all fairness, thinking of myself as an extroverted parent would have yielded similar results. I probably would have thought something like:

Oh good lord! Will I cause my child to be loud and obnoxious? Or, too needy for attention?

I don’t think the baby yoga instructor meant anything critical by it. Any reasonable person would have heeded her advice and thought no more of it. But I am no reasonable person. There are days when no honest adjective or verbal description is safe from the deluge of self- defeat that runs amok in my mind. I must, therefore, prepare a line of defense.

Google.

Fortunately, there are other people who share my  concerns about the challenges of being an introverted parent, namely no longer having sufficient time alone to recharge, and feeling guilty about hoping your little bundle of joy takes a nap for longer than 20 minutes.  Knowing that I am not alone in this helps, but there’s more. There are actually benefits to being an introverted parent. I read an article on Quiet Revolution in which the author, Kristen Howerton, lists 6 benefits of being an introverted parent.  I may have stumbled upon a spec of gold for my parenting woes, here. Howerton describes herself as an over-thinker, and I don’t know how to possibly describe how much I can relate to being an over thinker! I’ve always frowned upon being an over thinker because it gobbles up so much of my – what would otherwise be productive – time. As it turns out, overthinking can be a BENEFIT when it comes to parenting.  Howerton says it actually helps her stay in tune with her kids. She is more equipped to read her kids’ emotions and see beyond their words, and is less likely to accept brush off statements from them,  like, “I’m fine”  when they’re not. This doesn’t apply to me quite yet. My kid is only 3 months old and unable to produce brush off statements. But, he is able to babble, coo and cry; and that is enough material for me to over-think and stay in tune with for decades.

Henry after Baby Yoga

The lil’ introvert after baby yoga.

P.S. If you are an introvert and you’ve ever felt insecure about it, Quiet Revolution is a great piece of ammo to have in your stash of weapons against introvert insecurity.

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22 thoughts on “Why Being an Introverted Parent Doesn’t Suck

  1. When my kids were young, I did worry about what effects my being introverted would have on them. So I made sure to do Mommy and Me classes (ugh), play dates, and always had birthday parties for them. NONE of it was comfortable for me. Luckily I no longer have to do it. But the other thing I realized was that it probably didn’t make much difference. Much of our personality is innate. My oldest has always and will always be a strong introvert. My youngest will be more extroverted. I feel I did my part. Now the rest is in fate’s hands. 🙂

    Great post! Hope all is well for you and your new sweet baby. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carrie!

      I am so glad to read about what your experience as an introverted parent has been so far. You are actually the first person I thought of when I saw the graphic! 😀 So, I was excited to see your comment, and especially excited to read that you realized the mommy and me classes probably didn’t make much difference. That makes it easier to lay off giving myself too many guilt trips for not going sometimes 😀

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      • We love to give ourselves guilt trips, don’t we? Even with teenagers I’m still giving myself them!

        Preschool is nice because it’s a great way for kids to socialize without us needing to be responsible for organizing it. 🙂

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  2. I don’t worry about my girl being introverted at all. They may not want to go out and have friends all the time, but she has her few and she is loyal to them. Being introverted is not a curse, it is an awesome thing. If it wasn’t for us uniting together, many things would never have been created!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hadn’t really even thought about how my introversion might affect my parenting style someday! I think all personalities have their strengths and weaknesses, and parents can be great parents no matter their tendencies. I know you are a GREAT parent, and I am definitely going to look up that book. I’m not exactly insecure about my introversion, but I do have to fight with myself to spend time with others sometimes! Happy Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jessica! I think you are right. All personalities have their strengths and weaknesses. Quiet Revolution is a website I found (I should have been more specific about that :P). It has some pretty great articles about being an introvert in all types of situations! Happy Friday to you!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to say…CUTE BABY! Oh, my goodness.

    I also have to say, as an introvert myself, I just get hopping mad (inside, of course) when extroverts imply it’s to my disadvantage to be that way. I know the yoga person was probably just trying to be helpful, but that “helpful” comment had you questioning your talents as a parent. I’m glad you came to the conclusion that you are, in fact, at an advantage. Keep introverting. I will as well, from the safety of my living room couch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Katie, it’s so nice to meet a fellow introvert! 😀 Thank you for your comment and encouragement. I am, indeed, starting to find that there are advantages to all personality types, including being an introvert 🙂

    Actually, I just read something about how we can be introverts in some situations, and extroverts in other situations; ambiverts. haha There are times when I can be talkative, but it is usually when I am in an environment I am familiar with, which is most often, my couch 😉

    Cheers to you from the couch!

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  6. First things first: that Henry is so darn cute. 🙂 And here’s something to ponder (for real), if you have your newborn baby in BABY YOGA, chances are, neither one of you are as introverted as you may think. (Baby yoga!) Haha…so yeah. As you and Henry (and the Mister) grow together and go on in life, you’re going to be given many anecdotal “goodies” from all sorts of questionable sources. Remember this: no matter how polite everybody was after enduring the Andes plane crash, they still ate each others’ frozen butt cheeks to survive. (From the true story movie “Alive”.)

    The moral of this story is, people say things to feel good about themselves sometimes! But when it really comes down to it, all of that talk goes out the window and means nothing at the end of the day. What matters, is that you have a healthy, beautiful child who loves you and that you love dearly. Everything else is sort of meaningless in comparison. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh for the love of all that is holy, I am so sorry it’s taken me so long to respond! And to think I had struggles with time management before! 😀

      I literally LOL’ed when I read “frozen butt cheeks”, and “anecdotal goodies from all sorts of questionable sources”. I had to show the mister, too 😀

      Thank you for the vote of confidence. Having Henry does sort of make trivial things seem meaningless in comparison 🙂 xo

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      • Atta girl. 😉 And yeah, I probably use the frozen butt cheek reference far more than I should. Over the years I’ve found that it applies to all sorts of situations! Bad jokes, quiet, reflective moments, frozen yogurt…you name it- it applies…haha… so glad you’re doing well. x 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel like the introvert/extrovert thing is too simplified anyway. Maybe we are all somewhere on a spectrum. I don’t think it is the same as having/not having self-esteem although there probably is a correlation. Introversion/extraversion is about whether you are energised by spending time alone, or energised by being around other people. (I’d answer yes to both – which is why I think it’s not black and white!)

    In regards to parenting, I was worried as you are, because I’m shy and have been described as “reserved” and “private”, and my partner is also shy and a self-confessed introvert but to our never-ending surprise, our daughter seems to be quite confident, makes friends easily and has the normal busy social life of a 16 year old girl.

    I think it’s equally important to encourage your child from a young age, to try things so that he/she is not afraid of failing, and also, have him do “activities” with other kids. When at school, have him do at least one thing outside of school. Our daughter has done drama outside of school since she was about 7, which her dad chose deliberately because he felt that drama skills help a kid to be confident around other people. Now, she’s even confident standing on stage and addressing an audience, something I’d rather melt through the floor than do! In the end, your child might end up an “introvert” anyway, and prefer to stay in with a book, but I think self-confidence is a separate and more important issue, and he could, hopefully, be an introvert with a quiet sense of healthy self-esteem.

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