Does Being an Introvert Make Parenting Harder?


Honest question. I wonder sometimes at my seemingly easy ability to get overwhelmed when all three of my daughters talk at me (over and under each other like waves on the beach) and the bass-line covered by my husband as he comes home from work and tells me things about work and politics and “did you know?”

Would it be easier if I didn’t hear each line of talk as its own unique melody and try and make out Tchaikovsky or Bach or Beethoven? Or Neruda or Yeats? Or just figure out who said “worms” and who said “dinner.” My head is so jangly with the strain of this communication, I get grouchy and spacey but still, I cannot block them out. They are the music inside my brain. In my ears, and in my voice and snarky humor. They are the main players in my daily dramatic presentation. They sing-song around and I often laugh and enjoy the exchange. But then? The other times when the demands of the circus around me feel too much, too whole, too engrossing.

And I hear my neighbor and her daughter (her only child) talking in civilized voices (mine are screaming, fighting, singing at the top of their lungs), and I think again about family size and what it means to need time to recharge, when there is so little, nothing really ever left over to set aside.

Days like today when everyone seems starved for my attention, and I’m starved to be alone, it seems like someone has to give something up. And isn’t it right that it should be me? The Mother?


13 Responses to “Does Being an Introvert Make Parenting Harder?”

  1. 1 karrie
    April 8, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    I believe being introverted does make parenting mroe challenging–especially if your kid(s) are extroverted. Feeling jangly is such an apt description.

    I’m an INFP, and very much so. My son is very outgoing, very noisy and very “on”. I become totally overstimulated at times, and want to hide. I recharge by being alone. Even as a single adult my need for alone time was well-known among friends.

  2. 2 PunditMom
    April 9, 2007 at 8:20 am

    For a long time, I thought I wanted, needed to have more than one child. But, with the jangling of PunditGirl and D., and the issues involved with parenting my seven-year-old, I’ve learned that my natural introverted self would probably not have done well by adding a second child. I try to stay focused on getting some alone mommy time, but it’s hard to come by. My husband and daughter think I get plenty of it when they’re at work and school … how much more alone time does Mommy need?? !!!! :O

  3. 3 Sue
    April 9, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Me too … feeling the “grouchy and spacy” and every now and then the “too much, too whole, too engrossing.”

  4. April 9, 2007 at 10:12 am

    It is the way of the mommy world.

    We sacrifice and they only notice it on mother’s day.

  5. April 9, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Oh man…I am a total introvert. I like quiet. I like being alone…I have two kids and a loud dh.

    what was I thinking?

    I too find the noise and demands overwhelming some days…..I no longer hear the words..it is just a wall of noise.

    The cure is simple though..the other day I sent daddy out with them to the park…I got 90 minutes of silence.

    My headache went away and I felt cleansed and ready to face them once again.

  6. April 9, 2007 at 11:46 am

    I don’t know. Having never been an extrovert I can’t compare, but I feel your pain. Daily.

  7. April 9, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    I always thought it’s because I’m bipolar… but I cannot handle that from my kids. I’m bad, but I will tell them to can it. I can’t deal with that much input.

  8. April 9, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Oh, this sounds so much like me. I have two sons and my oldest is 5 and he wants to talk to everyone when we go shopping while I just want to get my things say a couple of sentences to the cashier and be on my way with my introvert self. It’s a challenge for me everyday and when I do get a little silence to myself it goes by like a blink of the eye.

  9. April 9, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Yes! It does make it harder. As introverts, we need more quiet time to recharge than extroverts, so parenting can be overwhelming. I know some days I would lock myself in the bathroom for a half hour if I didn’t think the kids would do some serious property damage!

  10. April 9, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    I really think it does make it harder. As introverts, we need more quiet time to recharge than extroverts, so parenting can be overwhelming. I know some days I would lock myself in the bathroom for a half hour if I didn’t think the kids would do some serious property damage!

  11. April 9, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    I just spent a half hour in a car with a two year old who would not let up screaming about the fact that her car seat was broken (it’s not), and that her shirt hurts, her toes hurt, her eyes hurt, her hair hurts, her stuffed bear hurts, and so on and so forth. To an introverted parent like me, this was Chinese Water Torture, exacerbated by a lengthy red light mere blocks from my house.

    Drip, drip, drip, drip…

    I’m hiding now, thank you very much.

  12. April 9, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Wow I could have written this post. My two year old is a total extrovert and the baby is so far too. I am also married to THE biggest extrovert man.

    I can’t wait until they can drive and leave me at home now and then.

  13. April 13, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I think being an introvert definitely makes parenting an extrovert hard. I have three girls, one of whom is an extreme extrovert. I love that about her, but sometimes it makes it harder for her to understand where I’m coming from.

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