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!”
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.
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.
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.
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