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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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew June 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Oh yeah. I need quiet. My wife works most weekends and it is just me with the kids. I love them, but I hide from them sometimes. If they don’t all nap at the same time I can turn into a disaster quickly.

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StaceyLynn June 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm

I’m not introverted but I do need my quiet time. I’ve never been afraid to say “go be somewhere else”. I know people who just exist for their kids, living and dying with ever success or failure, spending every moment talking to or about their children. I don’t think those people are sane. Or interesting.

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Kittyk June 6, 2014 at 12:12 am

Yep… Oh God, yes!

Just after our son was diagnosed with Autism I had to attend some parenting classes. One class was based on communication. The tutor asked us what we would like help with in regards to communication. Most parents wanted their children to talk or vocalise how they were feeling. It came to me and I responded, “how the hell do you shut him up!” Twelve hours a day, every day and he wouldn’t leave your side. Oh, and the questions…. “What would you do if a giant, furry, flying hamburger landed on your head right now?” I don’t know,,, I don’t care.

I find alcohol, anti-depressants and a lot of coffee worked. And yes, I have turned around and told him to shut up for 5 mins. Doesn’t work, but that 30 seconds of quiet is bliss

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Pam Yonkers June 6, 2014 at 5:49 am

Hey, I’m dang excited for Cody to come and visit you guys for 2 weeks! What?!? Two weeks to myself, what shall I do? What shall I do!!!!

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JenE July 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm

My husband and I are considering Fulltime RV living with our extremely extroverted and energetic 2 & 3 year olds and I’m not sure if we are out of our minds! They both are constantly talking, moving and opinionated. Literally they are non stop, the 3yr old never stops talking & my 2yr old never stops moving. I hope RV living would eliminate some of the stress on me as a stay at home mom however, I’m not sure limiting space is the best idea. I don’t get any space from their constant everything/anything as it is. I’m obviously at odds and trying to get a clear idea of the pros and cons of RVing Fulltime. Thank you for your blog!

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