Do you do your best thinking in the shower? I do. Do you struggle for energy as a parent with all the responsibilities and social activities? I sure do. What can I say, I am an introvert. Parenting as an introvert has it’s challenges. This is even more challenging if you are a single parent. Between work, social activities, school activities, church and church activities, and so on, it can seem like your battery is constantly running on empty with no time slot open to recharge.
However, if we do not recharge, we burn out quickly and become ineffective, frustrated, probably depressed, anxious, and more. If you are a single parent looking to date, that requires another level of energy altogether. The kids want all your time and attention. They want to play, but you desperately need some alone time to regroup. This can be confusing for the kids, particularly if they are extraverts because they often do not understand why you would want to be alone. This can leave them feeling like you do not enjoy time with them as much as you do. We have to talk to them about our nature so they can see it is not about them and together we can work out some balance.
If there is someone else in my house visiting with the kids and I run up to take a shower, they may think I fell down the drain. It often seems the shower is my only getaway. When it is just the kids and I in the house, of course they will barge in and tell me everything I missed during this hydrotherapy, gotta love them, but boy, alone time is to me what peanut butter is to jelly.
Also, smart phones can add to the problem because they are another “social” obligation. Time on our phone is NOT alone time, but it seems in the only moments we can step away from those around us, we feel obligated to check our phones and respond to those who are waiting for us there. Our phones offer great efficiency, but we need boundaries around them as introverts.
There is nothing wrong with being an introvert; so many AMAZING people are, but if you are a parent or particularly a single parent, consider the ways you can help sustain and recharge yourself in your everyday life. The kids will be better for it. As a single parent, it can seem all but impossible to find free time, but we have to make our wellness a priority. If you are an introvert, alone time is an essential part of your wellness.
It may be a bath or shower, a massage, hiring a babysitter so you can go take a nap or read a book, or the fifteen-minute work break where you go take a walk (alone). Whatever you can fit in your schedule, make it a priority. Self-care is the name of the game. We not only model this for our children, but we come back refreshed as better parents when we have power in our battery.
With peace and quiet…and kids,