A day in the life of an introverted homeschool mom

a day in the life of an introverted homeschool mom ~SimpleHomeschoolWritten by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

I always knew I was an introvert but I knew it in my bones by the time that fifth or sixth child arrived. At first, I thought it was exhaustion that sent me to my room every afternoon during naptime, no matter how much work I was ignoring. I blamed myself for being so lazy.

But then I remembered: I’m an introvert! And there are people here all the time! No wonder I feel overwhelmed!

personalities at home

Now we have seven children we homeschool. My husband works from home. And there’s me, the introvert. That’s nine people at home: all day, every day.

A girl’s gotta figure out how to cope, right?

Admit who you are.

Being an introvert doesn’t mean I’m shy. It just means I don’t derive energy from being around people. At some point, being around people all the time will exhaust me. I recharge from quiet and solitude.

Embrace Who You Are.

I had to admit that to continue our lifestyle and stay sane, I would need to make allowances for my personality. This doesn’t mean that introverts shouldn’t homeschool. In fact, introverts make great teachers because we encourage creativity and autonomy in students.

Being an introvert makes me sensitive to the personality traits of my kids. I understand their need for space and am happy to give it to them.

The Key: Plan Breaks Into Your Day

I love my people. I love serving them, listening to them, spending time with them. So I want to give them my best. But I know myself and I know that in order to give them my best, I need to build in breaks to decompress.

Coffee

After the flurry of fixing breakfast and getting dressed, I make sure that I drink my cup of coffee before we start school. It isn’t always ideal, sometimes I toss it back in between changing diapers and breaking up squabbles, but I try to take ten minutes to pour some caffeine down my gullet and read a few blog posts. This helps me decompress briefly before we begin school.

We do roughly an hour and a half of focused school time where I am actively teaching. During this time, my kids get my undivided attention.

Afterward, I send the kids off to play or give them a specific assignment and I take a moment for quiet. Now, this doesn’t mean they don’t interrupt me. They do. But I check my email, read a blog post, or some other mindless activity that doesn’t require any deep thinking.

Then I move on to the list of chores I have to get done before lunch.

Sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed by the noise, I will grab a protein bar and eat my “lunch” first. This gets my blood sugar back up and prepares me to jump into the lunch hour with renewed gusto.

After lunch, my Littles nap and my older children work on schoolwork that doesn’t require my presence. This is when I disappear for a bit.

My room is my safe place. My bed is my nest and I am always happy to head there.

My children interrupt me for questions about math, but that’s ok. We often discuss how Mommy’s Time Out makes her a better mommy. So they think long and hard about their questions before they disturb me. And likewise, if their question is school related, I am always happy to oblige. My responsibility to my kids still comes first.

While I’m in my room, I will try to do something mindless for a few minutes (word games on my phone, a quick TV show) before I move onto anything complicated like blogging or email.

If I feel like a nap, I’ll give it a try, recognizing that no nap is sacred when my children are home. Sometimes, instead of sleeping, I’ll just close my eyes and listen to a podcast. That way it’s not as frustrating if someone interrupts me.

podcast

Recently, I’ve started exercising during this time, but I do it alone, so that counts as “quiet time” for me.

After rest time, I jump back into the fray for the late afternoon and dinner time rush. I know I have a few hours until bed time and then the noise will settle back down.

Develop Time Out Signals With Your Kids and Spouse

Sometimes, it’s all too much. If the kids are being boisterous, the baby is crying, the toddler is whining, and I’ve just finished four math lessons in a row, I think it’s fair to ask for a time out.

The key is to ask gently BEFORE your head explodes.

My kids respond much better when I warn them, “Mommy is feeling overwhelmed, could you lower your voices please?”

Often, I ask them for Five Minutes of Silence. Out of respect for their time, I set a timer and don’t take one second longer than I requested.

I have a similar signal with my husband. Sometimes during dinner prep after a long day, I will greet my husband when he enters the fray with, “Hi. I need a time out. Ten minutes?”

chocolate

Then I run to my room, eat a piece of chocolate and play a word game on my phone, just to release the pressure from between my ears. When I emerge from my room, I return the favor to my husband (even though, by God’s grace, he’s an extrovert and doesn’t need as much quiet as I do.)

When I request a time out, I try to be respectful of his time and I promise to always come back.

When You’re In, Be All IN.

When it’s time to be “on,” I want to do it well. I tune out the other noise in our lives and focus on the noise of my kids. When I’m teaching, they have my total attention. When four of them talk to me at once, we will back it up and take turns, but I will listen to every word.

I ignore my phone, shut out my computer, and give them all of my mental energy.

And I can do it, because I know that there will be silence later on. I can do it because there is the promise of solitude ahead. And I can do it because I genuinely WANT to hear my people.

My children matter, their words are important, and my time with them is so precious. They deserve my absolute (introverted) best.

kids

So tell me: Are you an introvert? How do you build breaks into your day? Are you an extrovert? Even extroverts need coping mechanisms. What are some of yours?

About Lora

Lora Lynn earned her stripes becoming mom to seven kids in seven years. She’s lived to tell about it and shares her mothering know-how with comedy, common sense, and a whole lot of chocolate at Vitafamiliae. Through infertility, high-risk pregnancies, adoption, and life as a homeschooling, twin-raising, stay-at-home mom, Lora Lynn writes with humor and honesty on what’s most important in all the crazy – a life defined by family.

Comments

  1. I thought I was an extrovert because I love to be around people. However, I do take time to be by myself so I can “make sure my brain is working.” My husband gets up early, so sometimes after we’ve gone to bed, I get back up for “me time.”
    April’s latest post: Let Your Yes Be Yes

    • Re loving to be around people, I was confused on that point for years. I’m actually somewhere in the middle of the extra/introversion continuum, but I definitely DO need to be alone to read/journal/reflect/plan in order to recharge, and social situations fatigue me, so that qualifies me as an introvert!

      My introvert mom saves?
      I also have 9 people in my house. Yesterday I retreated to my room after dinner because I thought my head would explode from being everyone’s “monkey interpreter”. I’ve been playing the role of mediator/communicator since I was a child. It’s exhausting! Nothing a few minutes alone cuddling the baby, a small glass of wine and some dark chocolate couldn’t solve though. :-)
      Carrie’s latest post: My Beef With Standardized Testing

  2. Oh, I just LOVE this post!
    Thank you for the encouragement an practical advice, Lora.
    I’m definitely an introvert and am working on getting those breaks in my day. I usually get up early in order to have some quiet before everyone starts telling me they are hungry. I usually feel the need for a quiet break by mid-morning and am still figuring out how to make that happen.

    Thanks again.
    Stacy @ A Delightful Home’s latest post: 10 Homemade Natural Hair Treatments

  3. hi, this posts made me realised that perhaps I am an introvert too. No wonder I always lose my calm when there’s too much going on, or when I am tired and didn’t get the ‘time-out’. I do know that if I’m feeling overwhelmed, I needed time alone in my bedroom… and later emerge fresh. Thanks for sharing how you manage to cope with all the goings on in your big family. I don’t homeschool, but my daughter’s ‘schooling’ depended very much on me…

  4. Thank you so much for this! I am an introvert to an extreme. I am a fairly outgoing person though. So many people are surprised to hear me say I’m an introvert. There is such confusion between introversion and shyness. Any way. I eat breakfast later than the kids while we are beginning handwriting and things. This way I am not hungry for lunch until they are all napping or in quiet reading time. Then I can eat my lunch, read blogs or my Bible, or catch up on a DVRd show in peace. My membership at the gym that includes 2 hours of childcare for all of my kids is my other tool. I love the peace of my feet on the ground and no one chattering in my ear. It also relieves my anxiety that builds up through the day. I love my boys (6,5,2) and their thirst for life and curiosity. It is exhausting , though, and some quiet time in the car with classical music or 5 minutes spacing out, praying on the back porch is necessary throughout the day. Did I mention we are living with my parents while we remodel a house ourselves? And for one 6 week period my grandparents came and lived here too? It’s been a 7 month introverted nightmare, but we are at the end of the road and getting carpet this week, moving in next, and then I will sit on our screened in porch with the Anne of Green Gables series and let the kids play for a week!

    • My children are the exact same ages as yours and your note on dropping them off at the gym “daycare” struck me because I refuse to let myself do this. Since my oldest is only 6 I’m still pretty anxious about having to talk about or defend homeschool to lots of people and my kids being at the gym daycare vs not in school would be prime time for these types of convos. Second, I’m afraid even if I did go, my 6 and 5 year old would be bored to death as they’d be surrounded by babies/toddlers. I’m curious if you could elaborate on how this works for you. As an introvert (I guess?) just thinking about having to explain we homeschool over and over again to gym-goers is draining so I avoid it and work out at the highly inconvenient time of 9pm.

  5. thank you for a straight-up look at how you do a day! i feel like as a homeschooler i need to be teaching my kids something many hours of the day. as an unschooler, i know that’s not necessary, & as an introvert, it’s impossible.
    SO, i am MUCH encouraged by your real-life breaks. thank you for being honest!!!
    jill at tinyandsmall’s latest post: friday’s picture(s), saturday (or, procrastinators welcome.)

  6. Thanks for sharing! Personally, I’m an extrovert, with an introvert husband and son and two extrovert daughters, but I really took a lot away from this post. Even extroverts need some down time!

  7. I am an introvert and my day sounds so very similar to yours. I need to make sure I stay completely focused on them during their time though. this was very helpful.

  8. Catherine Vos says:

    Great post. I am an extrovert who recharges from being around… adults. Since I started homeschooling, I actually wondered if maybe I was an introvert! I love my children and I really enjoy their company. I need time away from them to refocus. As an extrovert, one of my weaknesses is that I find it hard to focus and stay committed to the task ahead. My 3 little people aged between 3-6 provide many opportunities for me to get distracted! I need time without them talking to me so that I can get my head on straight and plan out what needs to be done. Otherwise I forget to do basic things like put on washing and important things that MUST be done that day. This post has given me some ideas for planning this in. Thanks heaps!

  9. Thank you so much for this post! I’m glad I’m not alone! None of my homeschooling friends have quiet alone time during the day and I was starting to feel guilty about my insistence in having one. All I know is when I don’t get it, we all feel it. :). Thanks also for the practical advice about having little snippets of quiet time throughout the day, as well as being “all there” when not in an alone time. I will start today to build those into my day as well. Thanks so much!

  10. Oh, my goodness, this sounds exactly like our family (except we only have 7 at home instead of 9). Have you ever had the problem that one of your children is extroverted? My youngest craves going out and being with others, which is so different from the rest of us. I am trying to figure out how to make it work.
    Phyllis at All Things Beautiful’s latest post: My Side of the Mountain, part 8: Nature Journaling

  11. I’ve always known I am an introvert, but I am just now realizing how that effects how my day runs as a home school mama to six! I was feeling guilty about taking those “breaks” because I thought it meant I was lazy or unmotivated. This post, combined with some other things I have been reading and thinking about , have helped me realize that it is not laziness…but a need to “decompress” and “recharge” after working hard at meeting all the demands of being around people all day.
    Thanks for an encouraging post!

  12. I’ve just recently come to the realization that I am an introvert. For some reason, I didn’t want to label myself as that. I had a hard time coming to that conclusion because I am definitely not shy, I like to get together with my friends and book club, I enjoy intellectual conversations with people, I can draw others into conversations and make them feel welcome, etc. All of those behaviors I thought were characteristic of extroverts, but here’s the thing…it drains me. I need solitude and quiet to re-energize. Just last week I went to dinner ALONE and read. The days I am able to wake up on my own, gently and have 30 minutes to read or think or get ready quietly, go much smoother than those days that begin in noise and chaos. The days we have quiet time are also much better. I like to send my little guys to their room to read while I read (or rest) for 30 minutes or so. Thanks for the great post! It has really brought some clarity for me. I love what you said…being an introvert does not mean you are shy or socially awkward! :)

  13. I have to say, I don’t remember relating more accurately to a blog post in a long time. Recently, I experienced the emotional burn out that can happen when and introvert tries to deny their introverted personality. My husband is a teacher and a music minister, so he’s in a very extroverted and “high profile” position in our little town. Everyone knows him, and by default, me. I grew up in a large city and I’m finding more and more that I miss that anonymity. It fed my introverted personality just perfectly. For the past week, I experienced exhaustion, the constant feeling of being overwhelmed (we only have ONE kid, not seven). My son is four and I homeschool him using an eclectic Montessori/Charlotte Mason blend. This past week however, we didn’t have “school” hardly at all. Instead, I was so starved for me time that I spent nearly everyday last week in my pj’s hugging a cup of coffee on the couch hating myself more and more each day because I still wasn’t doing ANYTHING. I felt terribly guilty and lazy. I skipped church, cut out an evening with my girlfriends, and practically wouldn’t even go out of the house for milk. Then it hit me, I was cycling into myself because of neglecting my introverted personality. I’m SO grateful that you addressed this from the perspective of someone who is surrounded by people all the time. I can very much relate to this, and I started my morning with the tips you posted. I already feel better.
    I would also like to add that in the past couple of months, through a lot of trial and error, my son and I have fallen into a homeschool routine every morning at 10 that lasts about 45-60 minutes. Again, I felt guilty about this routine because I told myself “school should happen earlier in the morning,” or “school should be longer!” But reading your post outlining just how long you spend on these activities makes me feel really okay. Thank you for your honesty!

    • Kat, your thoughts are my own! This is such a great post, and your experience is similar to mine. Hang in there and give yourself some grace, and embrace your personality. Work with it, not against it–you are uniquely you and God made you perfect. Hugs!

  14. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I am an introvert. A lot of things finally made sense!! No wonder I would get snappy and frustrated and ready to pull my hair out during our homeschooling days! Combine that with being ADD and I find the challenges are really stacked high sometimes.
    I don’t really have many coping mechanisms because I didn’t realize I needed any. The things I do do are that I decompress by writing, reading, , contemplating in quiet solitude and being outdoors in nature. Our current problem with our newly-purchased house (built in 1900) is that none of the bedrooms have doors! This has taken a huge toll on me, but it is something we’re remedying soon. Curtains just don’t cut it when a mom needs her alone time.
    Also, my husband has given me 2 nights off a week which helps a LOT. Wednesday nights I go to a dance class and get a great work out. Thursday night I go off to the library to write in SILENCE or go to my ladies’ book group once a month.
    I think I do need to communicate with my family more – to let them know that I need some quiet time before I explode with frustration.
    Thanks so much for this post. It has given me some great ideas to try!
    Sarah’s latest post: Dyeing Mishap

    • I was definitely an introvert, shy as I could be. It was a difficult thing and I agree my stress level and coping skills were wanting. When I had three children under four as a young mother it wasn’t long before I felt like I had made a terrible decision to have children. Finally, out of desperation, I knelt and prayed for help. It came in the form of an amazing little mother’s helper program called, The Happy Face Token System

  15. Lora Lynn~
    Thank you! Your post really provides a lot of insight for me regarding my need for some “Kalli-time”. To my detriment, I find myself staying up waaaaay later than is healthy in order to get that time in. I am very outgoing and friendly and I think most people would think that I’m an extrovert because I am not shy, but I really do need so much down time to re-group. I like to be very prepared for my people-time and when I’m done with that, I need some quiet to reflect and process. I haven’t beat myself up about feeling “lazy” but I have been critical of myself and felt “selfish” for needing so much time to myself. And, what’s made me feel worse about it is that I just have 1 child. He LOVES being around other children and people. He is always up for a play date. Me…not so much.

    My biggest take-away from what you shared is that when I’m “on” with him, I want to be all in. No phone, no texts, no computer (we already do not have television, just movies on occasion). And, I am thankful for a new vocabulary regarding my need for Mommy Timeouts. I’m giving myself permission to build in breaks.

    (Ha! I just realized, too, I’m not even homeschooling yet… Talk about introvert!)

  16. We have 4 introverts and 1 extrovert in our house. Some times our poor extrovert just wants to be with people and everyone else needs separation; thank God he can call and Skype with friends in those moments. I find my alone time in the morning and evening. I get up before everyone dink around on the computer, drink coffee, spend time with God. Some times I get little pockets here and there throughout my day, some times not. I always know I get to end my day in quiet and that helps. My goal is for my girls and I to be in our bedrooms reading or drawing an hour before lights out. I love that time and it really helps get me through long afternoons knowing my day ends here.
    Becca’s latest post: My Homeschool Mother’s Journal – February 23

  17. I am VERY INFP…and there’s nothing I can do about it ;)
    I homeschool our 4 plus I teach college English part-time- and none of my students would suspect I am a strong introvert- because I am acting when I am in front of a class. It is emotionally exhausting, but my students wouldn’t benefit from their professor just sitting there with her nose in a book…
    I’ll be putting these tips into practice..the first thing I need to do is to go to bed earlier so I can wake up and be by myself in the morning!
    priest’s wife (@byzcathwife)’s latest post: Keep Calm- You’re a Good Mom, but you’re homeschooling for all the wrong reasons

    • I love how you say you’re “acting.” When I was younger, I always dreamed of being an actress but deep down, I knew I didn’t have the nerve to put myself out there in auditions and stuff. Now, though, I realize that I have the acting bug so that I can act more outgoing than I really am and be “on” when I need to be. It also means my kids are treated to some pretty dramatic readings of their favorite books. I do some fancy voices, if I do say so myself. ;-) But you’re right, we’re introverts who act extroverted when we need to. Love it!

      • This is exactly me! Able to act my way through lots of dramatic readings and even social events. But always looking forward to the silence of the night and my books…And I homeschool three kids who want to be with me a lot.

    • Yes, I definitely act too in social situations – it is definitely exhausting, but it gets me through them. It is nice though in some ways, it helps me to teach or do whatever I am called upon to do without stressing too much – I just need quiet time afterwards!
      Amber’s latest post: A Lenten Daybook

  18. Thank you for sharing this!
    I’m introverted too and I always feel guilty about needing time away. But you have a good point – better mama if we get a little time here and there to just recharge. I’m going to work on developing a signal with my family as well.
    Crystal’s latest post: Blog Planner from Mama Jenn

  19. I was so encouraged by this post. I have often felt like I wasn’t cut out to homeschool because I was so drained by interacting with my kids all day (and working part-time where I am interacting with other people constantly as well). Thanks for sharing your experiences, I really needed to hear this!
    Alycia’s latest post: How It’s Done

  20. Ha! I just downed some chocolate after a too-crazy morning! I am still struggling to strike the right balance, and I’m just home with one 3.5-year-old. I really struggle because she does. not. stop. talking. all day long, which is very overwhelming for me. I wish I could request five minutes of silence but she is literally not capable of it. In reading this I realize I need to do a better job of actually leaving the room when I have a chance, like when Daddy pops in for lunch.

  21. I used to get my energy from being around people, but I don’t anymore. Can one change from an extrovert to an introvert? I relish my alone time and it really does recharge me! I used to think that I felt this way because I couldn’t handle what was going on around me, but I am thinking of it a bit differently after reading your post! Being a homeschooling mom who helps to run 2 businesses out of my home and a hobby farm, I felt selfish taking a little me time…even if to read or write a blog. I realize though, now, that I need it for me and that it is ok. So, Thank you! :) Oh…also glad to know that I am not the only one with a super secret chocolate stash to help get through the day. ;)
    michelle’s latest post: The Perfect Sprouted Wheat Pancakes…

  22. This is great. I am also an introvert. I have 3 kids 4 and under and am pregnant with number 4. I plan to homeschool and my husband also works from home. We are home together pretty much all of the time and most days it drives me crazy even though I have 1 hour of rest time in the middle of the day. So glad to hear your ideas for how to get through the day!

  23. can I ever so relate to this post!
    Mama’s latest post: Small breakthroughs

  24. When I was younger I identified more with introverts, but as I get older I identify more with the introverted crowd. I do many of the same things as you (build breaks into my day) and it is helpful. My husband is much more introverted than me though, but we understand each other, give each other grace, and help each other out as much as we can.
    Nikki’s latest post: History and Hot Chocolate

  25. I am decidedly an introvert, but I have a very hard time seeing it as anything other than a personality flaw. I feel like I should ignore my need for a little recharge time and a little space and just keep going and going and going… Trying to grit my teeth and not let myself get frustrated, overstimulated, and overwhelmed. As you can probably imagine, this isn’t a particularly successful strategy. But it is so hard to give myself permission to step back – I feel like if I am not going full bore all day, I am doing a bad job. I do wake early to pray and exercise, and I tend to stay up after everyone else (too late, too often) to have some decompressing time after everyone is asleep. The lack of sleep isn’t good, but these alone times at both ends of the day are probably what keeps me going! Maybe if I took more little breaks during the day I would find it easier to go to bed a little earlier…

    Thanks for the food for thought! (and I am purposely giving the kids a longer after lunch break than usual so I can have a little more time before jumping back into the fray!)

  26. I had never really thought about labeling myself an introvert, but your post rings so true. I find myself retreating for a few moments, and definitely by 1pm, I am in need of more than a few moments of silence. I love that you tell your children you are feeling overwhelmed; maybe my kids can learn to respect that.

  27. I love this! I’m an introvert too, and wrote some of what helps me cope a few months ago here:
    http://runciblelife.blogspot.com/2012/06/how-to-be-happy-introvert-mom.html
    I especially love the idea of signals to help others realize when you’re at your limit. Sometimes I have to tell my kids, “give me a minute, I need a quiet minute” because everyone talking at once can overwhelm me – so I need to come up with a signal. Thanks for sharing! :)
    Catherine’s latest post: World’s Okayest Mom

  28. Wow! I am super impressed. I wish I knew how to recharge so efficiently so I could give my children my undivided attention. You are quite inspiring

  29. Yes! I often tell people that one of the biggest challenges many (most?) homeschool moms face is not the choosing of curriculum or the juggling of schedules, but the lack of personal time and space. Do you feel like you were always introverted, even before kids? I was pretty much right between extrovert and introvert on the tests I took in college, but I feel like having kids has pushed me more toward my introvert side — or at least brought to the surface my need for quiet and space (even if only in my mind, where my imagination sometimes takes two-minute trips to a hammock on a beach in Hawaii!).
    Hannah’s latest post: The Week in Pictures

  30. I think there is some truth to the introvert/ extrovert personality but I think we are Just MOMS who stay at home all day with kids that we are homeschooling and we are humans: we need a break! When I worked outside the home before children, it never dawned on me if I was an introvert/ extrovert. I worked all day answering phone calls, solving problems, writing and answering emails, speaking 3 different languages and talking to people all over the world, and an addendum of more tasks but I never screamed or locked myself in the bathroom. After work was done, I went and taught English and Spanish classes. I never had a melt down. I did that for years and never had a crying spell because of work.
    No, I think motherhood is just a tough job! I think it’s the hardest job in this planet. There are so many facets involved in being a Mom and it’s just impossible to be them all, all the time, in joy and peace!!! :) I wouldn’t trade my SAHM position for any other in the world…but it is hard… and a couple of times during the day, the quietness of my bathroom is wonderful… the quietness of a sleeping house at 2am with just me and the computer is heaven!! Chocolate is my drug of choice and Jesus is my Rescuer during those times!
    tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations’s latest post: Healthy Breakfast Options

  31. Thank you for this post!
    alex’s latest post: sweater season

  32. You have just put your finger on why this year has been so exhausting for me. Our fourth child was born and our oldest started needing me to teach first grade. Between nursing sessions and training the two kids in the middle, that’s my whole day! Thanks for the tips on how to get a breather in the midst of this joyful busy-ness!

  33. What about kids’ personalities? What about an extroverted kid who loves so much to be with many friends? What do yo do in this case?

    My only 8-year-old daughter do not want to be homeschooled, because she love to be with her school friends, she don’t have more friends out of school… What do yo think about that?? Please need advice!

  34. This is such a great post! Thanks for the ideas for ways to incorporate mommy quiet time in the day. We have a 2 hour rest period in the afternoon that is my saving grace, and I am very strict about it. Today, though? Today – all three children napped – even my six year old. Blissful quiet for over 2 hours. I didn’t want to move and break up the napping mojo.
    Kelly’s latest post: What I’m Into {Late February}

  35. Your day sounds so similar to mine! Especially the chocolate stash! With 4 kids 6 and under, I am glad I can finally admit that I need a break when my head starts to spin. My new therapy is crocheting. I don’t know how I stayed sane without it. I usually have a set time during the day when I get to crochet uninterrupted. It helps to know that this time will soon come so I am not trying to crochet a little here and there while I am with my kids or even have my project on my mind. When you home school you need to be their for your kids 100%.
    Melissa Kruse’s latest post: Ice Fishing Trip with the kiddos

  36. Thank you for this. The day as you’ve outlined it sounds like something I might actually be able to do. Usually I just think I must be a lazy or bad mother, and not up to homeschooling with all these noisy children. Your post makes me think that this is just who I am and perhaps there are good ways for me to work with that instead of always being in conflict with myself.
    Emily’s latest post: This is one competent 7 year old!

  37. Finding that balance of being present and having breaks is such a struggle for me–but I so see the difference in the quality of my parenting when I am not fully present for myself at regular intervals.
    Heather Caliri’s latest post: An Everyday Adventure: Los ocho enanitos

  38. Thank you! I too need that time away….alone….even just for 15 minutes if that’s all it can be. And I too have been knocking myself over the head with the criticism that I am lazy. You see, I am a “solo parent” 75% of the time, I now homeschool only 1 child, and have another who is my cling on yet in kindergarten part time. But it is all me all the time…well, 75% of the time …so those blessed breaks make me a new woman! I plug the boys in and take a break….or make sure they are happily engaged in a huge lego building extravaganza…and hide in my room….where they can find me at any time. I have also been known to nap with my 5yr old beside me playing Angry Birds on my phone. I know all this technology isn’t ideal, but sometimes it’s a life saver. Seriously.
    And that’s how we roll! :)

  39. cheyenne says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am an introvert too, and I often put myself down for not wanting to be around my kids and other people. I do take breaks, but they’re random and not planned. Then I get upset with myself for zoning out when I should be focused on my kids. This post really helped me to realize that I’m normal, and that I can still have my time outs. The idea of planning them is a light bulb moment for me! Thank you!

  40. Thank you dear introvert – I always felt so guilty taking a break from my kids during the day because my head was going to explode. I loved what you said about being all in when present, I often was so overwhelmed with the noise that I would not be all in, I’d listen and nod but not engage. I think my kids will like it more if I am actually present and take some breaks to get back the sanity….

  41. Christine Hancock says:

    Wow, here I sit, reading this, eating a piece of chocolate, while my 4 and 2 year olds quietly play in the other room. I could have written this myself! I never realized that being an introvert (as I am) related to my family. Everything makes sense now!! This may be the most helpful blog post I’ve ever read :)

  42. It’s been so nice to find this post today! I am an introvert, up to the point where it borders social phobia, and now that I have a kid (I can’t imagine the level of stress 7 would cause! Worth it, I’m sure, but so much I doubt I could survive it. I am in awe) I find myself near the breaking point every day, sometimes past it with tearful breakdowns and bouts of depression. Sadly, my Partner is as extroverted as I am introverted, so he doesn’t understand my need of being alone, and his only suggestion is to put the baby in a daycare. I just need small breaks, though! Even just one hour a single day of the week would help me lots. Partner sometimes takes the baby for a walk, leaving me home, and after just five minutes it is like a heavy fog has lifted and I can see clear again. I just wish he’d do it more more often…
    Anyway, what I am trying to say: thank you for posting this and making me realize I am not alone and I am not a bad mom for wanting to spend a little time (but just a little!) away from my baby.
    OM’s latest post: My weight gain jouney: Why? A backstory.

  43. This was so helpful to me! Like you, I often feel guilty for not being productive during my son’s nap time or even for wanting my 15-20 bath or shower time to be uninterrupted(not that it happens very often) but there are days when my body is screaming for 5 minutes of peace, quiet, and blissful alone time. It never occurred to me that this might be because I’m an introvert. My son is 3 and I’m currently home preschooling him and trying to decide if we will continue on this path(leaning heavily toward yes!). I like your advice for teaching your kids that sometimes mommy needs a 5 minute time out. I might need to start doing that as nap time disappears. Thank so much for your wonderful insight, advice, etc!

  44. This is just what I needed today. For days, weeks, maybe months, I have been feeling confused and guilty about my desire to get away from my children. I was in tears to my friend about it today and she pointed me to this post. Like cool water in a dry and weary land!! I have hope to be all there for my children I love so much! What a great reminder that being an introvert really does make a difference and to give myself some breaks! Thank you!!!

  45. whoops! I’m sorry for the double post! I had trouble with copy and paste

    Lora, great post. It took me so long to even realize that I was an introvert. I enjoy a coffee by myself in the morning before anyone is up. Certain days, I’ll grab a little bit more time right after lunch. Thanks!
    Bethany @ Homeschool’s latest post: Best Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

  46. Wow this is exactly me! I even use the same language (in my own head) as to how I handle the day. I am trying to embrace it. A new addition to our family has made me realize this now more than ever. Thank you for sharing!

  47. Thank you for your post!!! I have a 3 year old extroverted joyful girl and a 1 year old cranky little boy. I’m an introvert and am drained by my kids regularly. But we plan to homeschool. Most homeschooling mom’s I know are extroverts or very schedule oriented. Hearing your personal schedule helps me a TON. I thrive having examples. I think I could do it! Thank you for helping me find someone to identify with! ♥

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