The Introverted Parent
There are so many ways to start this post; without me-time I turn into a monster, it’s harder for introverted parents, I need a lock on my shower door……. During MBTI workshops I always tell people that they should understand how to manage their energy. I try to break down the stereotypes that exist around introverts and extroverts, the real difference being not how shy or outgoing you are but rather where you get your energy from. And this is where my dilemma lie.
I work with people all day. Then I go home to eat with people on my lap, pee with someone on my lap, I answer a thousand why questions, I don’t even get to sleep alone. All the time giving energy away and never actually replenishing it. Don’t get me wrong; I love my family deeply. I love being needed in this way and I surely will miss it when they are older. What I am saying is that introverts are better people and nicer to be around when they are left alone just a little bit. Just sometimes.
There was one Surviver episode where a woman was sent to exile island as punishment. On this island she builds a bonfire and dances around it. Elated to be alone, by herself and able to re-energize. I sometimes get up at 4am to read my book. I quietly make coffee and breathe in the silent air of the empty lounge. On these days I feel that my day start out right. The downside is that I’m usually comatose by 7pm and end up never seeing my husband. What to do then? I will build in some time to go for a run every day, I have to, for my own sake and the sake of my family.
If you are an introvert and you work in an open plan office (heaven for extroverts), or if you are around people all day or if you, like me, is a working mom who is rarely alone, then pay attention to your energy levels. Do something good for yourself before you go over to the dark side. Remove yourself for 5 minutes or 30 minutes, go for a walk, read a book. But don’t let it reach the ugly levels that mine have reached today. I have to go, my neighbor is revving his car again and I need to go bite his head off.
Good luck dear introverts, united we stand, alone.