15 new year’s resolutions for the introverted homeschool mom

15 New Year's Resolutions for the Introverted Homeschool Mom
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Only years after becoming a mother did I fully understand myself as an introvert.

My comprehension came painfully, mostly by trial and error:

  • I would say yes to that group playdate, only to find myself completely drained for hours afterwards.
  • I loved people, but certain overwhelming, crowded situations didn’t seem fun at all–especially with excitable kids in tow.
  • I needed, oh how I needed, to be home when nap time arrived each morning for my babies–none of this dragging them around so I could accomplish more.

These days not only do I know more about what being an introvert truly means, I celebrate it and the gifts it offers my family.

There’s a different brand of new year’s intentions for those of us introverted mamas, especially introverted homeschool moms–who by the very nature of the calling we’ve chosen have decided to surround ourselves with demanding, (usually loud) people all day every day.

If that isn’t courageous, I don’t know what is.

Here they are, the introverted homeschool mom’s new year resolutions. Will you join me in taking them?

1. This year I will adhere to that famous quote by Socrates: “Know thyself!”

I will take a personality test and explore the results a bit. I will read more about what it means to be an introvert.

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Photo by Susan Corpuz

2. I will focus more on my strengths than my weaknesses–because my introversion benefits my family in so many ways. I am thoughtful, intentional, deliberate, and a good listener.

3. This year I will examine each opportunity that comes my way and consider this question:

“Will this opportunity honor the person God created me to be? Will it replenish or deplete my inner resources?”

4. After examining the opportunity, I will know what to do and say yes or no accordingly.

5. When I say no, it will be without guilt. When I say yes, it will be with enthusiasm–because I’ll know I’m acting in my sweet spot.

6. Sometime this year I will say yes to something scary and out of my comfort zone, because if famous introverts like Lincoln, Gandhi, and Rosa Parks teach us anything, it’s that boldness and courage are not the realm of extroverts alone.

7. This year I will plan my homeschool days in ways that nourish the core of who I am.

Math time will not be more important than Mommy time–each will have their proper place, and I will not sacrifice the essence of who I am on a self-made altar of perfectionism.

8. This year I’ll remember that it is not selfish to need a break from my children, and I’ll pat them on the head on their way outside while I sit down for 15 minutes with a cup of tea and my thoughts.

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Photo by Sam Howzit

9. I will retreat to the bathroom or basement (or anywhere else with a lock on the door) when things get loud and out of control.

I pledge to replenish my secret stash of dark chocolate in said location.

10. In 2014 I’ll do my best to remember that productivity is not the be all and end all to my days.

Getting Things Done may make for a good book title, but it doesn’t necessarily make for a good life.

11. I will seek to understand the personality of the little ones under my care, as they blossom and bloom in front of me.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 6.01.00 PM

If I have extroverts, I will celebrate and nurture their exuberance. If I have introverts, I will teach them to value and honor their nature and I’ll enjoy the unique bond we share together.

12. This year I’ll make the effort to go out with close friends, even when I’m exhausted at the end of a long day of mothering…

…because I need to finish an uninterrupted conversation occasionally, and preferably one in which someone doesn’t ask me to wipe their bottom.

13. After a couple of hours with these wonderful friends, I will come home and happily get into my pajamas…and exhale.

And the times I choose to stay home it will be without guilt and with a book in hand.

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Photo by Jaime Morrow

14. When I’ve had little sleep and/or little patience, I will declare it a “movie morning” – and put on something educational for the kids to watch.

We’ll call it school for the day, because it’s better for them to lose a day of phonics practice than for Mommy to completely lose it around them.

15. On the days when nothing works, when I completely screw up, feel totally drained by our schedule, and emotionally exhausted from the constant noise, I will forgive myself.

I will not hold myself responsible for all my kids’ issues. I will allow imperfection in my home, my homeschool, and myself.

I’ll go to bed early, get up, and try again tomorrow.

Because what my kids most need from their introverted mama this year is for me to be here…

… and that I resolve, with love, to do.

“We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard’s education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of power, but to use well the kind you’ve been granted.”
~ Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She serves as editor of Simple Homeschool, and blogs about mindful parenting at Steady Mom. Jamie is also the author of two books: Steady Days and Mindset for Moms.

Comments

  1. As a newly discovered introverted mom of eleven (I always thought I was an extrovert because I love people, until I took a personality test), thank you so much for this- especiallu #8, 9, 14, &, 15. I’m saving this post!

    • Shelly I also always thought of myself as an extrovert and did not take a test, but noticed lately how much I enjoy being alone more than in a group. (and I only have 6 but, my brother has 10)

  2. For ages, I considered my personality to be a defect.
    Just in the past few years have I come to realize that perhaps the Lord made me this way!?!
    It’s so freeing – and I’m just now beginning to feel content with how I’m wired.
    SO good. And such great links.
    I needed this. A million thank yous.
    - Kate :)
    Kate’s latest post: The New Year….and some Animals

  3. I have been reading your posts and guest post for the last several weeks having stumbled across you’re blog looking for advice on homeschooling. I’ve learned so much, it is greatly appreciated and I look forward to your posts. Today’s post was so perfectly designed for me to read today. Our first day of homeschool. Thanks for this post to start my day with!

  4. One of the most important things you said is that it’s okay to need a break from your kids sometimes. Some people make you feel like a horrible mom for saying it.
    Shelly’s latest post: When God Answers

  5. Thank you so much for posting this Jamie, it is very timely! I hadn’t thought much about being introvert vs extrovert, until a few weeks ago someone brought it up and I realised that yes, I am an introvert, and my daughter is too, and that is why homeschooling works for us and why she’s an absolute mess and totally stressed when she goes to school… I’ll keep this post handy throughout the year as a lovely reminder on how to make the most out of this wonderful homeschooling adventure of ours :)
    Sara’s latest post: So what’s been happening?

  6. I just felt called to tell you how much your blog means to me. I read it every time! You are such an inspiration in my life. I thank you for living out load.
    Today’s post was extra special to me. I will print and post on my office wall.
    Thanks, Jamie!!
    Sending love,
    Jai

  7. These are great, Jamie!
    I have always looked at introverts/extroverts as where you get your energy from. As an introvert, I get my energy from being alone. If I can see it this way, I don’t feel as though I am taking time away from my children, but re-charging myself, so I can “get back in the ring”. You can’t run on an empty tank.
    I love Myers Briggs, but also find the Enneagram profoundly illuminating.
    Yes, “Know thyself” – a great quote to begin with.
    Have a great Monday!
    sheila’s latest post: Ask Alison: Geology (part 1)

  8. Thanks for including the link to your past article about introvert moms homeschooling extrovert kids. I already achieve most of the 15 resolutions included here, but sat thinking “what about my kids?” I enjoyed reading about how sibling playdates are fuel for extroverts. I’d worried a lot that I didn’t run my extroverts around enough and wondered if sibling contact was enough fuel for their personalities (there are currently 7 kids here at home). It’s good to have a confirming opinion that it is. I do try to get my crew out and about, but if I’m out too much, I really lose my mind. East, west, home is best is so very true for me.
    Anne’s latest post: Nature Walk #1–Squirrels

  9. I think in my pre-mommy life I was definitely an extrovert, but all of that energy goes to my children and husband now, and there isn’t a whole lot left over for anyone else! My friends and family don’t understand why I am not constantly out and about, and why we enjoy so much time at our home, and it is because I don’t have any energy left to rush around to accomplish “stuff” just to say that we are doing it. I have one extrovert (I think!) and one introvert, so it is interesting trying to balance their needs with my own. Thanks for this list!
    Heather’s latest post: 2014 garden planning – part 1

  10. Oh my word, YES! I am going to print this and post it for a reminder to myself!!! Thank you so much for this, I needed it today!
    Amy Schaffner’s latest post: Letting Go

  11. I love these resolutions! I need to work on #14… I will often just keep pushing myself until I have absolutely no more energy to give. We are not yet devoting much time to schooling, but it still doesn’t do anyone any favors. Great post!

  12. I’m telling you, being an introvert is where it’s at! And we’re in such great company, too.
    xo
    PS — That J is looking so much like Steve!
    Caroline Starr Rose’s latest post: Fast Five (Plus Four): Middle-Grade Novels About Foster Families

  13. Can you hear my heart singing?? Oh how I love this! Those top 3 introvert clues stopped me in my tracks. Oh I have been there so many times! Thanks for this beautiful post; it’s a keeper! Also, I put that book, Quiet, on hold at the library. Going to go get it today! :) Thanks, always.
    Kari Patterson’s latest post: I am the decisive element

  14. #14 – This! I am learning to let go of the guilt that I normally have when I ‘just can’t do school’.

  15. I had my “ah ha” moment a few years ago when I finally realized why I was so drained at the end of many days. I’m an introvert and I spend most of my days with 3 young children who talk to me all the time. Carving out some peaceful down time (that doesn’t always involve chores) is critical for me to maintain a reasonable level of sanity. I sometimes forget this key fact and, therefore, need good reminders like today’s post. It’s also helpful to know that there are more out there (at least somewhat) like me. :-)

  16. I’m a major introvert and it has been the hardest part of homeschooling for me. (I also have a husband who works at home.) It has gotten easier as my daughter has gotten older (she’s seven now). But the first four or five years when she was so needy all day… It was difficult.
    I do what I have to do to get my introvert time because an unhealthy mom cannot be a good mom. I can’t give what I don’t have and the only way I can get what I need is with extended periods of time alone.
    I also think this is probably one of the reasons we ended up with an only child. God knew that even though I was willing to have a number of children, I wasn’t cut out for it. :-)
    Sallie’s latest post: How I Teach Language Arts – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

  17. I love this post. I’m an introvert home schooling mum of two and I struggle with my children’s extrovert needs and yes, I have and still do put myself in social situations that totally drain me so my children can get their needs fulfilled. Guilt does bite me often but I will read the related blogs to this post for support and insight. Thank you

  18. WOW! EVERY SINGLE word of this fits me! I carry SOOOOOOOO much guilt because of feeling ALL of the feeling you talked about!!!!!! This will my go to list when guilt and worry set in!!!! Thank you soooooo much for this!!!

  19. Oh yes! To all of this. But especially movie mornings, which I may have initially read as “movie Mondays.” Not sure how that could have happened ;)

  20. Thank you for this! I am an introverted Mama who feels called to homeschool my kids next year and I am absolutely terrified. This article helped!

  21. Love this, I’m an introverted mama who plans to homeschool! I particularly like 5 & 6, no guilt for saying no and having courage to try new things. Great reminders!
    Jessica’s latest post: {GOALS} Twenty Fourteen

  22. This brought tears to my eyes. I have always Known I am introverted but have spent the last year discovering I am moreso than I thought.I spent a lot of time learning about personality types last year and the Ievel of peace in my home and family has Skyrocketed as I am better able to understand our nature (all of my family is introverted!). I highly recommend reading The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle. So much great information to help undestand and accept the way God designed our children.

    Also, I’m going to print these out and ask my husband to read them (he is introverted but not as much as I am) and put them in my homemaking binder to read regularly. And I just discovered the bliss of premium white chocolate baking Squares. Yum!
    Tessa’s latest post: O is for Overcome Imperfect Parenting

  23. Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. I would add “refuse to feel guilty” about all of the above, especially hiding away from my awesome kids when I can’t take one more “I need” without morphing into Monster Mom. And those extroverted kiddos — one of my biggest challenges in the early years of homeschooling was balancing the needs of my extroverts to plaster themselves to my body and talk to me constantly in order to recharge their own batteries, with my need to get away and sit in quiet for 30 minutes and recharge my own. Which is why even my 14yo has a 7:30 bedtime to this day! (He’s an early riser and fellow introvert, so he gets his alone time in the morning, which works out great for everyone.) Thanks for this article — it helps to know that others out there are fighting the same battles!

    • A definite yes to the no guilt, Janine – so important!

    • one of my biggest challenges in the early years of homeschooling was balancing the needs of my extroverts to plaster themselves to my body and talk to me constantly in order to recharge their own batteries, with my need to get away and sit in quiet for 30 minutes and recharge my own.

      This is SO my life right now! Thanks for articulating it so well. It’s nice to know I’m not the only to feel this way :)

  24. I just wrote a post on being an introvert and a homeschool moms! It is more common than people realize, and it really needs to be addressed because homeschooling is a busy lifestyle. Thanks for your thoughts!
    Lisa’s latest post: Introvert moms and homeschooling

  25. I took the personality type test. It was more flattering than I thought I deserved. I also like the movie day when one is tired. There’s always some educational video, but it’s good to have a dual reason for using them. A very good blog and thank you for sharing it.
    Diana Boles’s latest post: Jan 12, Socratic Thinking Applied to Snowden

  26. I love this. I’ve recently discovered that I’m an introvert (you’ll love the book Quiet) even thought do really enjoy being around people. I like the notion of focusing on your strengths. I tend to see my introversion as a weakness (I’m not the life of the party, loud sustained noise from my kids is draining for me, etc) but there are so many wonderful facets of my introverted personality too. Thanks for sharing the list!
    Jessica’s latest post: Meal Plan: January 13-17th

  27. Thank you for writing this and for sending it out into the world.

  28. I am an extrovert who married an introvert. How common worldwide a phenomenon!!!!
    In the beginnings of our marriage i spent many a night crying out to the Lord to understand my husbands attitude….now I ask the Lord to help me be more like him in attitude. Iin other words, I have examined my extrovertedness and his introvertedness intimately for 13years and understand and now desire to develop a balanced approach to my life. I default to extrovertedness often, especially when I’m tired or overwhelmed. However I am learning to stroke my valuable introverted thoughts and responses. Our homeschooling ‘ success’ depends much on my diligence in this area of self awareness. Come to think of it: my marriage and relationships with all people God has placed in my life is definately dependent on such. Great article to help my journey..Thanks Jamie

  29. Wonderful article, Jamie. I love your articles on this subject because I’m an introvert. Early on I realized I could not and would not feel guilty about letting my kids watch television part of the day because I have no other way to get some downtime. Fortunately, now they are a a little older and play by themselves a lot too!
    shelli : mamaofletters’s latest post: 1st Grade Homeschool Reading

  30. Truly amazing post!! I too am an introvert mom. This really hit home for me!
    “Will this opportunity honor the person God created me to be? Will it replenish or deplete my inner resources?”

  31. Oh, this is a great post! Thank you for writing it down and saving me the trouble.
    I’m reading “Quiet” right now myself, and totally loving it. Finally, a book that celebrates my personality rather than making me feel like I got the inferior parts of how to interact with people.
    I’m printing out your “Will this opportunity…?” quote and putting it on my wall. What a great way to judge the benefits of something.

    Thank you, thank you. Truly splendid post.

  32. I started reading quiet on your recommendation, and I’m loving it, thank you! I’ve really appreciated replacing in my head the word ‘people’ with ‘stimulation’. It’s heped me see why I love certain social situations and not others Why I love some far less since having children (hello, constant interruption and making sure they don’t break things!) and also helped me see that my extroverted 5 yr old doesn’t necessarily need more people when we begin homeschooling this year (the one thing that’s terrified me!) but more stimulation. We’ve been having more at-home dance parties, more music on while he’s colouring in, more teaching new skills (making a quilt together). It’s been great for both of us!

  33. I just put Quiet on hold at the library (though I’m pretty far back in the line…) I struggle so much with 3 little kids around me. My 18 month old isn’t really able to communicate with words yet so he uses SCREAMS!!!! That with the 3-year-old whining (“please say that again in a pleasant voice” is something I say a lot!) makes me want to lock myself in my bedroom. Noise is really a trigger for me.

    Trying to balance my need for quiet, though, with my 6 year old extrovert’s need for stimulation is probably the hardest thing about parenting for me. Her needs are very real, too, and they seem to be exactly the opposite of mine.

  34. Thank you so much, Jamie. Not only does your family benefit from the strengths of your introverted nature – so do we! Thanks again for a wonderfully inspiring post. I’m printing these resolutions to hang up and review often.
    Cara Thompson’s latest post: Why you should follow me

  35. I am an extrovert that appreciates much of your point of view, so I am also going to keep this brief: Very healthy… very balanced. Thx :-)

  36. Hey Jamie, Just wanted to say thanks for the way you in which you consistently extend grace to yourself and your readers when it comes to TV. Your perspective is unconventional among the blogs I read and very refreshing. Screen time is the thing I feel the most guilt about in my parenting, but somehow the guilt seems to make me feel more defeated and therefore less likely to want to engage with my kids, hence more TV! So it’s really helpful to hear your reasonable choices, instead of just saying, “TV is terrible for your kid” and leaving it at that.
    Meghan’s latest post: Happy Chicken Lives

    • So happy to hear that, Meghan. I’ve found that us moms carry enough guilty voices in our heads without anyone adding to them! So I try to be a voice for freedom and moderation, which I know is what I always need to hear.

  37. Getting Things Done may make for a good book title, but it doesn’t necessarily make for a good life.

    OH my goodness! Love it!

    I’m an introverted extrovert or the other way around. Definitely more E but with strong I tendencies. And so it’s funny how much of what you say resonates with me. Honestly, who finds being with a bunch of rangy kids (think playdates) energizing (other than the kids?). I’m an extrovert and playdates don’t enthuse me either (past that stage though). I did them to hang out with other moms.

    I’ve been wondering about this whole introvert/extrovert thing in myself because I LOVE and need quiet alone time every day. I am a thinker, a writer, and reader. I make the kids take their most noisest selves outside, etc… I don’t think the lines are so clear cut.

    Either all of what you said is so good. Here’s to being exactly who we are, and loving our children for who they are. (I really think this is where it’s at.)

  38. I love this. I LOVE this! Especially #14. I am finally starting to accept (and embrace!) my own introversion without feeling like I have to apologize for it. I’m happier that way, and I think other people respond well to it when I am being honest – authentic – not trying to pretend that I love “fun” settings where I really don’t. I get the feeling that there are more of us than we realize! About #11 – the book “The Child Whisperer” by Carol Tuttle has been a total game-changer in our home for understanding our children’s personalities, needs, and how to interact with them in a way that actually reaches them. It might seem a little…hmm…new agey? at first, but stick with it. It’s awesome.

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