Parenting and Personalities: Why Introverted Moms Need Peace & Quiet

I never know what to say when people ask what my hobbies are. I mean, I’m a mom, I enjoy trips to the bathroom alone, and silence.

Are you an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert (an equal blend of both)?

Does it really matter?

Yes, it does.

If you know your personality, then you know what your brain needs to recharge, and nothing makes you scream, “Recharge my batteries!” quite like motherhood. Especially if you’re an introvert.

Introverted moms are at the front of the line for battery recharging.  

Because, let’s face it, motherhood is a social sport. From the get go, you’re interacting with your child night and day, and the older they get, the more social the interactions. In the beginning, it’s a lot of quiet (save the crying) nesting at home, but pretty soon it’s all play dates and swim classes and birthday parties and school functions. If you need peace and quiet to recharge, so much socializing, even with your own child, can be a real challenge.

Plus, you’ve got your partner to consider. After a day of being “on,” you may be desperate for down time, but your spouse wants to catch up and talk about the day. With your nerves shot, talking is the last thing you feel like doing

And it can make you feel really guilty—like you’re not cut out for parenting or marriage—when you’d rather be alone than hang out with your child or spouse. Especially if you don’t know that the need actually stems from biology. The brain of an introvert responsds differently to stimuli than that of an extrovert. Your brain requires periods of peace and quiet to function optimally. Perpetually depleted moms, regardless of personality type, are more likely to feel frustrated, resentful, anxious—the works.

I’d offer the same advice to an introverted mom that I would give to an introvert in a chaotic office environment: Make sure to schedule recharge time every day ... The key is to feel entitled to this time and stick to it as you would any other obligation.
— Susan Cain, Founder, Quiet Revolution

So don’t assume you’re an extrovert just because you’re a “people person” and love a good party, because introverts and ambiverts like people and parties, too; they just recharge their batteries differently. Introverts refuel via quiet activities like reading, gardening or going for a walk. Extroverts need social activities like going out with friends, taking a spin class or catching up on phone calls. Ambiverts need one or the other, but it depends on the day.

Here are 5 signs you need recharging:

  • You feel irritable or anxious.
  • You CAN’T WAIT for nap time—yours and your child’s.
  • Small talk wears you out like sprinting.
  • Hiding in the bathroom feels like heaven.
  • Your spouse wants to hang out and you want to stare at your screen.

And here are 5 ways to recharge:When the baby sleeps, you sleep (or read or do NOTHING).

  • Take a long shower or bath.
  • Turn off your phone.
  • Have a plan-free day (or week)
  • Go for a walk.

Whatever gets you back to feeling centered—that’s the goal. If you can make it a daily habit, great! You’ll be less likely to spiral into sensory overload.

If you and your spouse aren’t sure where you land on the personality scale, here’s a quick test to find out. It’s also a big plus to understand personality types, because as your child grows, theirs will become evident and if you understand what they need to thrive, you can take steps to create balance and harmony within your family.   

So, the next time you’re craving solitude, make it a guilt-free priority and know that you’re a better parent and partner for it.

For more tips on managing sensory overload, see our blog: Solutions for Moms Who are Touched Out