Introverted Mom – Jamie C. Martin

Being an introverted mom is hard work.  I didn’t really ever think of myself as an introvert until several years after having children.  Of course, growing up I knew that I enjoyed quiet time.  My favorite hobby for as long as I can remember is to read.  But, I was social, I went out with friends, I had fun at events.  I didn’t equate my daily afternoon quiet time after school as re-charging time after all of my busy evening and weekend activities.  After a couple of years of parenting little ones, I realized that I was more than tired from general child rearing.  That is when I started to deep dive into personality.  Why was I reacting the way I was?  Why wasn’t I able to do as much, and as successfully, as some of the people around me?

Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!

The answer came to me after I invested some time into understanding the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  I was an introvert, and I needed more quiet time in order to recharge.  Unfortunately, when I was in the years of bringing up two littles, there wasn’t a lot of information available for introverts.  How was I supposed to be an introverted mom successfully?

Seeking the Path of an Introverted Mom

The answer?  I spent a lot of time researching cognitive functions.  Trying to really understand how my body worked and listening to it when things started to slide in the wrong direction.  I started to recognize my needs, and then I began to take them seriously.

There was a lot of guilt at first.  Was it wrong to have my kids continue a quiet time after their napping days were over?  Should I not turn that tv show on when everyone is running around screaming and I can’t think straight any longer?  It was a constant battle for me, trying to figure out if I was doing the right thing.  The problem was that the right thing for everyone else was not the right thing for me.  Once I started to recognize that, I was able to move into thinking about strategies to make sure that my family was taken care of, but also making sure that I was taken care of.

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This obviously is challenging as an introverted mom, but doubly challenging as an introverted homeschool mom.  I was so happy when I found Jamie Martin’s blog – SteadyMom when I was in my early days of considering homeschooling for then my only child (yes, she wasn’t yet even 2).  I have loved all of Jamie’s books and was excited to learn of her new book Introverted Mom.  The tag line – Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy was just what I needed to see.

Introverted Mom

Introverted Mom – a Review

What I love about this book is that it lets you feel acceptance.  The permission is there, you just have to accept it.  I think that is a hard task for most introverted moms.  We feel guilty when we need a quiet time – aren’t we supposed to always be available for everyone?  The answer, of course, is no.  But, it is hard to figure that out in today’s society of busy and activity at every moment of every day.  We know that we want the best for our kids, and we take parenting seriously, but it often happens at the expense of our own well-being.

As homeschoolers, we want to make sure that our kids have all the same opportunities as their public and private schooled counterparts.  Because of that, we can easily try to overcompensate.  Or perhaps it is because you are experiencing the fear of missing out – not only for you but also for your kids.  So you put them in activities regardless of whether or not you can manage that time easily.  You replace the margin in your days with all the activities, and then you hit a point of overwhelm so detrimental to you and your family, that you crash.  Or was that just me?

I love that Jamie shows us how important we are as introverts – that the world needs us just as much as extroverts.  We just may need to tweak our schedules in order for us to be successful.  This doesn’t mean we are less productive, it just means that the way we go about things is different than societal norms, and that is OK.

Self-Care vs. Self-Improvement

One of the best parts of the book for me was when Jamie talked about self-care not being the same as self-improvement.  Often in our downtime, or quiet, instead of practicing true self-care (in which you are recharging, and doing the things needed to replenish the spent energy), we think “Oh, it is quiet!  I better do all these things that I have on my to-do list because it is quiet!”  Unfortunately, that is not necessarily recharging.  Your mind is still going, still trying to fix problems, change systems and processes for your home, not recharging.

So you are getting permission to go for that walk, or watch a show on Netflix, or just sitting and reading a book for pleasure – not to solve the current homeschool/parenting issue of the day.

It is hard to do of course.  When all three of my kids started going to youth group, I was left with an hour and a half of complete alone time in my home.  Do you know what I did?  I tried to clean as many spaces as humanly possible in that span of time.  Did I feel relaxed and recharged when my kids and husband got home?  Nope, I was about ready for bed because instead of using the time for self-care, I was trying to catch up with all the other stuff I thought I should be doing.

Jamie gives an amazing list of self-care ideas in her book based on the amount of time you have – and often that is all we need.  The ability to pick something off of a list and do it.  When you are faced with that time alone, that quiet, there can be so many things you want to accomplish that you do nothing at all.  Now you can have a list readily available for your convenience!

Dealing with the Hard Things

Parenting is a balancing act, parenting as an introverted mom is the same.  We all will have challenges to face, trying times, and even parenting extroverted kids.  But, how we deal with these situations is what is important.  We need to take care of our families just like we need to take care of ourselves.  Jamie talks a lot about how do deal with the hard stuff of life.  Also, about marriage and parenting both introverted and extroverted kids.

It is challenging.  We don’t need to pretend that it isn’t.

But, acceptance is the absolute key.  When you accept who you are, then you can move forward with the best way to be with your family.  That is the key, your family.  Like I said at the beginning, no two families are the same.  You need to choose the best path for you and your family.

The Bottom Line

Jamie gives us so much support and encouragement through her new book Introverted Mom.  It will give you strategies to try, and ideas to make your life a little bit easier.  But, she also gives you permission to implement those times of quiet and for making those choices they may seem different to people outside of your individual family.  Sometimes that is all you need, permission.  Permission to accept yourself as who you are.  Permission to forge ahead with the path that works best for your family.

You can find out more about Jamie and her new book HERE

This book was such an encouragement to me as an introverted mom.  Because of that, I want to extend to my introverted mom readers a little giveaway!  I am giving away a copy of this book to one of my readers.  All you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter below.  This is only open to U.S. residents.  I will e-mail you directly when I choose a winner!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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