motherhood

Can Introverted Moms Love Motherhood?

I knew I needed this post when I googled the words, “Is it possible for introverted moms to love motherhood?”

An hour earlier I had stood at the stove, flipping quesadillas and telling children to—for the loveplease get out of my personal space.

“Guys, I can’t make dinner with you right under my feet,” I say, tripping over a little body while I reach for the cheese. “Go! Go play by the couch!”

A minute later, I notice that the reprieve only lasted about ten seconds. I’d had ten precious seconds to take a breath before my agitation jumped back up to the level it had been at when the kids were bouncing at my heels.

This time, the culprit was The Noise.

“Inside voices!” I remind them. “If you want to yell, you can go outside! This is a home.”

Naturally, my reminder falls on deaf ears, because three young children only play at one volume, which is why half an hour later, after brushing three sets of miniature teeth and shooing three heads to their beds, I find myself at the computer typing in a question I would never in a million years have thought to ask—before becoming a mom.

The Question Too Many Introverted Moms Are Asking Themselves

Can introverted moms love motherhood? Can we enjoy it? On a consistent basis? Or are we fated to trudge our way through it, loving our children fiercely while trying just as fiercely not to resent them for stealing away the quiet we’ve relied on all our lives.

I think We Can

I’m here to tell you this:

You’ve spent enough time thinking of your need for quiet as a weakness.

You’ve reeled at how other mothers seem to roll with the yelling, the jumping, the arguing, the clutter, and the nonstop chatter that come with raising children.

You’ve taken refuge in your closet, in the backyard, in your bathroom, in the pantry.

You’ve found yourself insisting that the kids take their antics outside of your immediate space. It’s just too much.

On good days, you manage it all by alternating between low engagement and high. On worse days, you send the kids to bed an hour early—because you just can’t handle it anymore—and you figure you’ll deal with their early wake-up because at least it means you won’t completely lose it tonight.

Motherhood is intense for introverts and highly sensitive people.

And in case you could benefit from definitions of those, let’s go with these:

If you find yourself retreating when you need to recharge, you may be an introvert.

If you’re easily overwhelmed by noise, smells, busyness, and your own thoughts, you may be a highly sensitive person.

With some shifts in your thinking and some tools to help you manage it all, I really believe it can be better, calmer—happier—than what you’re experiencing right now.

A Helpful Resource

If this struggle is as real for you as it is for me, I’d love for you to check out my ecourse, Talked Out, Touched Out: Learn to Thrive as an Introverted Mom.

The 8 lessons will take you through topics like—

  • Accept yourself and know the benefits
  • Help your loved ones understand
  • Structure your days to accommodate your needs
  • Play to your strengths as an introverted parent

And more. 🙂

Our next session won’t open until early spring, so until then, feel free to grab a PDF of 12 tips for introverted parents—from introverted parents. Just sign up here, and be sure to check the box that says “Printable: 12 Tips for Introverted Parents.” You’ll also be first to know when the course opens again.

(And if you’re already a subscriber, feel free to shoot me an email at erica@ericalayne.co, and I’ll send you a copy.)

Here’s to grounded, centered, HAPPY introverted moms! You’ve got this. 

32 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen
    April 17, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I could have used this info 40 years ago. It was so hard and I had no idea why.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 17, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      Oh so HARD, Karen! That inspires me to keep trying to get this message out there. We are not alone!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    April 17, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I feel bad for saying I need my space but this makes so much sense!

  • Reply
    Amy Webb
    April 18, 2017 at 8:24 am

    So needed! I had no idea 7 years ago when I became a mom how it would conflict in some ways with my introverted nature. I’m learning all the time how to cope.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 18, 2017 at 10:44 am

      I’m right there with you, Amy! I definitely won’t be writing from a place of having it all figured out, but I hope we can learn from each other as we go!

  • Reply
    Josh Malcolm
    April 18, 2017 at 9:53 am

    What about the introverted dad? I am a widower and find myself completely exhausted by it all. i knew the problems I was having was because I was introverted. My other half isn’t there to buffer or keep me settled.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 18, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Absolutely, Josh! I tend to address women in my writing because they make up the vast majority of my readers, but all of this course will apply to parents in general, so we would love to have you! (PS. I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife.)

  • Reply
    Renee
    April 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Bummed that this was just an advertisement for something and not an actual answer to the question. How is that supposed to help anyone who can’t afford or can’t find time for the ecourse?

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 18, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Hi Renee! I never want people to leave my site feeling bummed! I have to say, I did try to answer the question in the title, and I think a good number of women are finding understanding here—a sense of “it’s not just me.” So I hope the post is valuable in and of itself, even without taking the ecourse. (If I had titled the post “HOW to Love Your Life As an Introverted Mom”… that would have been a different story.) And I can’t help but mention that for all the free content that many of us are putting into the world, I think it seems reasonable every now and then to hope to be paid for it. I’m so appreciative of how supportive my readers are. Wishing you all the best!

    • Reply
      Christy
      August 17, 2017 at 6:24 am

      I agreed, Renee. I understand that bloggers need and should find ways to make money, BUT when their content is in the vein of helping vulnerable people they need to navigate this territory carefully. I think all posts that end with “pay money to learn more” should have that disclaimer at the beginning. Otherwise it creates a feeling of being duped and makes people not trust the author. I really want to keep following this author because I identify with this content, but it’s posts like this (without a disclaimer) that make me really question it. Again, I’m all for bloggers making money, but when it comes to disseminating mental health advice it needs to be done more tactfully.

  • Reply
    littleblackdomicile
    April 19, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Greetings! We are new to your site and anxious to see more and catch up. Our design philosophy is very similar. We posted Monday about “me time” in our homes.-Laurel Bledsoe

  • Reply
    Daphne
    April 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

    It’s perfectly fair to be paid for your effort. Sometimes, people don’t realize how much work goes into creating content, be it a blog post or an online course. Kudos to you for seeing a need and filling it!

    (To Renee, an option you might find helpful is the book Quiet. It’s fantastic for introverts and fairly inexpensive… especially if you buy it used. Also, the format is easy to read a bit, then put it down, and come back to it when you have time. I’m not trying to detract from what you’re offering, Erica… just sharing something that has been helpful in my personal journey. So I hope that my suggestion isn’t offensive.)

    I laughed (ruefully) when you mentioned trying to cook dinner… How many times have I waged that same battle? And as my kids have grown (I have 5 children, ranging in age from 6-16, some introverts and some extraverts) the challenge has intensified, because they want to cook with me. I talk to moms who love making dinner with their families and think, “I’m failing my kids… I don’t even like to cook together.”

    But I fall into both categories mentioned (sensitivity and introversion), and the craziness increases with everyone in the kitchen. So I’ve learned to adapt and let only a kid or two help at any given time; I’ve also learned that I can enjoy cooking together under certain circumstances (like when the rest of the day hasn’t been insane and my cup is a bit more full), and I try to take advantage of those times.

    We homeschool, and though it is the right choice for our family, having five kids around so much means constant interaction. And yes, I totally didn’t realize how difficult that would be for me! It’s so very important to mother in the way that works for YOU and not everyone else.

    Thank you for putting this issue out there, Erica! We are not as alone as we think.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 20, 2017 at 10:22 am

      You are so sweet, Daphne! And I don’t mind you recommending Quiet at all! I’ll second that! I loved your example of cooking with the kids. It’s second nature for us to immediately jump to feeling like a failure because it’s not our thing, but then when you think about it a bit harder, it’s easy enough to find ways to still make it happen but within parameters that feel soooo much better suited to your personality. I get that, 100%. Thanks so much again for reading and for your support!!

  • Reply
    Laura
    April 20, 2017 at 12:31 am

    I am literally in my car right now because my husband just got home and my 4 and 2 year olds never leave me alone!! Today was a particularly hard day, and I stumbled across this article while desperately seeking peace away from the “mommy mommy mommy!!” Thanks for writing!

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 20, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Oh my goodness, what serendipitous timing! I for SURE know that feeling! I hope you got a little time to regroup. Good for you for recognizing that you needed it in the first place!

  • Reply
    Jessie
    April 24, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I love that you’re addressing this! As a proud introvert (and mental health professional), I feel like I’m constantly explaining/championing what it means to be an introvert. It seems that it isn’t well understood or valued in our culture, and I’m so happy when people recognize that it isn’t a weakness at all! As a new mom, I’m definitely trying to learn how to balance my need for quiet alone time with the demands of an increasingly active little boy. All I can say is thank goodness for nap times! 🙂

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 25, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Yes! Nap times are an introvert’s salvation. 🙂 Or “quiet time,” once they outgrow them. 🙂 Thank you, Jessie—I’m so glad that you get the need for this, and I love that you’re spreading awareness of introversion in your sphere of influence. It is much needed!

  • Reply
    Kate
    April 25, 2017 at 6:48 am

    I “inherited” my child a year ago when I moved in with my partner and his daughter, and as much as I adore her and love her like she’s my own, I was SO unprepared for the assault on the senses as an introvert. My partner is wonderful but he’s an extrovert and doesn’t understand the need for quiet and space to recharge. It’s a daily struggle. LOL

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 25, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      Wow, I can only imagine what a lifechange it would be to step into parenting. I think you’re amazing for doing what you’re doing—and for being self-aware at the same time. You are not alone here—it’s a daily struggle for many of us!

  • Reply
    Melanie
    May 10, 2017 at 8:25 am

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! I’m in tears! When I realized a few years ago that my “problem” was that I was an introvert, all of my questions of why I always wanted to run away from my beautiful family were answered. But I still struggle sooooo much with taking care of myself and mothering my 3 very loud, very active, very perfect children. I LOVE that I’ve found your site!!!!! I’ve felt alone and in despair for so long….no one who isn’t like us really understands! Just this post alone gives me hope!

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      May 10, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Melanie—I can’t tell you how much it means to me to read this comment and learn how this post connected with who you are. I’m with you 100%. I love my three cute, active, loud children SO much, but a lot of times I just want to run away! (For a while, at least…) 😉 I hope what I have coming makes even a small difference in your life and your happiness as a mom. Keep in touch, girl!

  • Reply
    Corrissa
    May 10, 2017 at 11:59 am

    This is me to a T. Thank you for writing this. I always felt like I was alone. That I loved my children but it was just so hard to deal with all of the noise and go-go-go. It is nice knowing that others understand. I love spending time with family, but I have limits. Sometimes, I felt like I was the only one. I had to walk away sometimes and just sit in my room – alone – in peace. My husband used to ask me what was wrong, but now he kind of knows that I just sometimes need to get away. It is a learning experience for even myself, as I find out more and more of who I am and how I handle things.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      May 10, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      YES! I know just what you mean about needing that peace in your bedroom. I’m with you 100%! Thanks so much for being here, and I hope you’ll stick around and see what I’ve got coming! 😉 All the best, Corrissa!

  • Reply
    Catarina Oliveira
    May 13, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    A couple of hours ago I snapped a “give me some space” to my adorable two year old baby girl. It just came out of my mouth and I felt so bad about it. I took a breather and gave her the atention she was asking of me. This was not the first time -the snap, the breather and the atention, along with the guilt. It never occurred to me that the source of most of my struggle with motherhood was being an introvert. Maybe I won’t feel so guilty from now on. So, thank you. Thank you very much.

  • Reply
    5 Ways to Strengthen Your Identity Outside of Motherhood - Amy M. Brinton
    July 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    […] an introverted mom, I was thrilled to have left my very people-oriented job to be home. I loved planning my own days, […]

  • Reply
    Jackie
    August 5, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I love that you wrote this. I just thought I was a terrible mom! I use to tell everyone at work I love Mondays. It was my time to go into my quiet office after spending an entire weekend with screaming and crying kids. I’ve felt so terrible about it until now. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      August 7, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      I’m touched that this post affected you this way! Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope you’ll stay tuned! 😉

  • Reply
    Linda Sand
    August 9, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Quiet time after they outgrow naps was critical for me. Many times I said, “You don’t have to sleep you just need to stay quietly in your room.”

    The I discovered that volunteering would at least let me leave the kids home with their Dad for a few hours. Sometimes I’d stay out after my event so I wouldn’t be there for bedtime.

    A therapist talked me into turning an extra bedroom into my retreat where I could go close the door. But I never figured out how to get my daughter to not knock on that door. She wouldn’t stop until I screamed at her. Apparently screaming attention was better than no attention. I wish I could have put on headphones with music to drown her out but I couldn’t tolerate that either.

  • Reply
    Jess
    September 16, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Wow! I think i was meant to come upon this. This is so me. And here I was thinking I’ve just got issues. But, this helps explain it. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      September 17, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      I’m SO happy to hear that, Jess! Well if you have issues, I have issues too! We’re in it together. 😉 (But of course, in my opinion we’re totally normal and awesome—just introverted!) Sending hugs!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    September 19, 2017 at 11:05 am

    This post is amazing! As a fellow, introverted mother, I have gone though this same question. I have learned and continue to learn that some days are better than others, depending on how much recharging I have done. I love your site and what you share! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      September 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Jackie! I’m with you—some days are better than others; we just have to keep at it! Btw, I love the name of your blog and your “fill your cup, fill your home” motto!

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