Being an Introverted Parent of Preschoolers Sucks. Seriously.

by Jason on June 5, 2014

For about a year or so, I’ve been a part-time stay-at-home parent. Each Tuesday and Thursday, I’m home alone with our recently-turned five year old.

And it seriously sucks.

He’s our most talkative, outgoing kid. Over the course of the ten or so hours I’m alone with him, he won’t go more than ten minutes without interacting with me in some way. He narrates every action, verbalizes every thought. Our other children did the same, but they’re rather introverted themselves. Eventually they would hole up somewhere around the house for their own solitude. Not our youngest, though.

And it seriously sucks.

As a moderate introvert, I love interacting with people… for awhile. Eventually I need silence. I need solitude. I need to shut the outside world out. If I don’t get that down time, I begin to lose my mind. I become anxious, agitated, and easily annoyed. I can’t concentrate (which is not cool for a writer.) I start questioning my decision to stay at home. I start fantasizing about escaping somehow.

And it seriously sucks.

Our society likes to champion the idea that parents should always be “on.” We should love every waking moment with our kids. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me to “cherish their youth”, I could afford to place him in preschool full-time.

Our older two are at the age where they can entertain themselves without parental interaction. Hell, the oldest is starting the ‘tween “I don’t want to be around my parents anymore” phase… and we love it.

Extrovert parents that feed off those interactions with their children pretty much run the parenting scene, which places undo expectations on us introvert parents. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I know there are other introvert parents out there that feel the same way. Perhaps its time we speak up. With summer vacation just around the corner, we need to hear that it’s okay to crave that solitude away from our kids.

Any other introverted parents out there? Leave a comment!

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