Until I read Quiet, I thought introversion was a negative trait. After all, I'm an introvert who has learned that extroverted cheerfulness is one of the best ways to make new friends. I admire people with extroverted personalities (like my husband) because they can quickly express thoughts that take me longer to formulate into words. But Quiet changed my negative view of introversion into one of acceptance and delight. Author Susan Cain's commentary helped me realize that being introverted is a gift even though it is not often recognized as such by the culture around us.
The jump from marriage to motherhood can be quite a shock, and I believe that introverted mothers might find it even more jarring. By definition, being a mother means very rarely being alone. So how can an introverted mama recharge when moments of solitude no longer arrive with regularity?
Here are five tips for introverted mamas in need of refreshment:
1. Schedule two hours alone on the calendar each month. Get a sitter (husband, mother, friend) and use the time for a simple activity that you find refreshing.
2. Try a new routine. Maybe you can consistently get up before anyone else. Perhaps you can find someone you trust to take your children on a walk once a week. Changes in routine are hard to start, but an exhausting life is harder to live.
3. Plan & implement daily quiet time. Not sure where to start? Try reserving library books and books on CD that your child can listen to (perhaps with earbuds). I spend a half hour reading with my older child before taking a half hour to write or read alone. We both enjoy this hour of peace while the little one sleeps.
4. Choose small group activities over large events. Large group events are great for morale and meeting new friends, but be intentional about getting together with a cherished friend or two instead of always joining the crowd.
5. Journal. An outlet for pent-up thoughts, a journal also records our growth. Consider trying to summarize each day in just a few sentences each night or weekend--you may write more often if you simplify this action.
Are you an introvert? If you crave moments of solitude to refresh your heart, how and when do you get them?