There are two kinds of people in the world. An extroverted parent feels energized by spending time with other people. An introverted parent feels energized by spending time alone. Introverts have gained some extra attention with the popularity of Susan Cain’s book Quiet. I’m an introvert. So is my husband. We’re pretty sure our two young daughters are introverts, too. This does not mean we are anti-social, shy, awkward, or unfriendly. We have friends and participate in social activities. We also need regular down time to collect our thoughts, pursue quiet hobbies, and refresh our minds and bodies.
Introverted parents face unique challenges. From the moment when our first child was born, we have almost never been alone. Even in the bathroom, those little fingers wiggle under the door, seeking me out. Just for fun, here are a few signs you might be an introverted parent:
Signs You’re An Introverted Parent
– You consider yourself to be busy if you have scheduled more than one play date a week.
– Your play dates usually involve a small number of close friends, deep conversations, and maybe a pot of hot tea.
– You’ve considered buying your groceries online and having them delivered to your house.
– You’d rather have dental work done than visit the mall during the holidays.
– You prefer large, busy playgrounds over small ones where only one or two other families are playing. At busy playgrounds, you can blend in with the crowd and not feel pressured to chit chat with other random parents.
– Your back yard is one of your favorite places to hang out with your family.
– You like taking your child to story time at the library and have made some good friends there, but sometimes you still feel wary at the prospect of making small talk with unfamiliar parents.
– If your child says story time is too crowded and noisy, you feel a sense of camaraderie with your introvert offspring and seek out a quieter story hour for both of you.
– You lament your children’s dropped naps – and that peaceful time to yourself – more than the average parent.
– You wake before your children so you can have a few tranquil moments to prepare yourself for the day.
– You stay up late so you can have a few tranquil moments after the kids have gone to bed.
– You may be a failure at attachment parenting techniques like co-sleeping.
– You prefer to RSVP to children’s birthday party invitations via text or e-mail rather than a phone call.
– You drag your feet when your child requests a big birthday party with a long guest list. You’d rather have a small gathering of family or close friends.
– You feel more dread than the average person about calling the health insurance company to haggle over a bill from the birth of your last baby.
– You want an afternoon at home and an extra cup of tea after spending the morning helping in your child’s classroom.
– You happily volunteer to bake treats for the school bake sale rather than run the table during the sale.
– You also prefer to help set up the school book fair rather than work the night of the fair.
– You feel sympathy when you drop off your introverted child at school – a very extroverted place by design.
– You’re convinced vacation Bible school is one huge, uncomfortable celebration of extroverted behavior. Especially the yelling, cheering, silly song motions, and big performance on the final day.
– You volunteer in the craft room at vacation Bible school because it’s the safest place for introverts.
– Your kid only participates in gymnastics while your extrovert friends’ kids do gymnastics, soccer, t-ball, dance, scouts, music lessons, and basketball.
– McDonald’s is a treat for your kids, but it’s a frequent necessity for your extrovert friends who zip through the drive-through on the way to their kids’ sports practices.
– Even as a parent of young children, you make time to read “grown up” books.
– You do a lot of reading in the bathroom where you can (sometimes) get alone time.
– Your idea of the worst job might be a sales person for a multi-level marketing company that sells jewelry, purses, toys, or kitchen products by booking as many home parties as possible.
If you’re a fellow introverted parent, what resonates the most with you? Can you think of anything I missed?
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Category: Family Free Time