Life can be chaotic with small children, but introverts have a unique set of traits that can make them amazing parents.
Every day, I have my morning ritual of sipping coffee and reading. Beside me, my toddler munches Cheerios while watching her best friend in the whole wide world, Elmo. It’s quiet, dare I say, peaceful — words we don’t usually associate with parenting small children.
Social media makes parenthood seem like a chaotic nightmare for introverts. On one end of the spectrum, there’s influencer moms with boundless energy, shifting their kids from one enriching experience to the next (all while snapping dozens of pictures along the way). On the other end, there’s Reddit groups for parents who feel like their babies have taken over their entire identity. Neither sounds like a good fit for an introvert.
I won’t lie, there’s some truth to that. Babies aren’t exactly quiet and considerate roommates, and many kids are overscheduled. But there are also perks to being an introverted parent, even if you have little kids. Many moments, both big and small, make being an introverted parent awesome. These are some of my favorites.
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5 Perks of Being an Introverted Parent
1. Children, like introverts, thrive on routines.
Parenting experts stress putting babies (and children) on routines. Routines make life easier — plus, the baby likes them, so win-win. Even Supernanny says so (I may have binge-watched the old series while feeding my newborn).
Yet extroverted society tends to scoff at routines. People bound by routines are seen as “boring.” But I’m with the babies on this one: Routines rock. As a highly sensitive person, in addition to being an introvert, routines help me through my busy (and let’s face it, hectic) day.
Of course, there are times when spontaneity is needed — spontaneity, like alcohol, is good in moderation. But, overall, I like my routines.
While they might get boring for some parents, routines are a perk for introverted ones. They keep me (and the baby) happy and sane.
2. Kids are the perfect excuse to skip last-minute plans.
On Friday, my coworker sent a text to the group chat. We survived another week! Who wants to meet for happy hour?
Oh, how I used to dread those texts. I liked my coworkers, but being asked last-minute, on a Friday of all days, threw me. Like many introverts, I want more notice before making plans.
In the past, I’d feel pressured to accept a last-minute invite, all while dreaming of being home in my pajama pants. This time, I texted, Sorry, can’t. I have to pick up the baby.
Oh, the baby. My sweet, adorable, perfect little excuse to get out of social events.
And it’s a legitimate excuse, so I don’t feel guilty for saying no. Now, whenever I make plans, they’re always the way I, as an introvert, prefer — arranged well in advance.
3. Your social life isn’t that different as a parent.
After a week of socializing at work, I crave some downtime on the weekend. Individual introverts vary, but I’m so exhausted if I socialize on Saturday that I’ll want to do absolutely nothing on Sunday. The harder my week is, the more likely I’ll want to clear my calendar on the weekend.
So for me, my social life isn’t that different as a parent. Okay, it’s a little different — now whenever I want to go out, I always have to deal with the hassle of finding childcare. That can be tough for introverts and extroverts alike. But, unlike my more extroverted peers, I don’t have the urge to go out as much as they do.
After all, introverts prefer small gatherings and deep conversations over parties and small talk. I can schedule brunch with a friend while my husband has the baby. I can invite a couple of friends over to hang out. My husband, who is also an introvert, likes to play video games with his friends. It isn’t too hard to plan game night after the baby’s in bed. Overall, we have a much easier time meeting our social needs as parents.
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4. You can still enjoy date nights (especially since many introverts enjoy low-key ones, like staying in).
The first year with a baby is a huge adjustment — even the strongest couples will struggle at times. As a new mom, I heard that it’s important to make time for you and your partner as a couple. Make date nights a priority, they said.
Yeah, that’s easier said than done.
Though it can be slightly easier for introverts. My husband and I enjoy date nights at home. Oh, sure, we also like going to the movies or out to eat, but we don’t always need to go out. Some of my favorite dates involve ordering takeout as we binge-watch a series or play a game together. No babysitter required.
5. You can continue your hobbies, like reading, writing, or playing video games.
Like many introverts, I’m a bit of a bookworm. My quieter hobbies — reading, writing, listening to podcasts — help me recharge at the end of the day. When my daughter was first born, I worried I’d never have time for my hobbies again (I don’t miss those early newborn days).
Luckily, that wasn’t the case. After coming home from a long day at work, I love to lounge on my baby’s playmat, book in hand, as she plays beside me. We fall into a cycle of playing together, then doing our own thing side-by-side.
It’s not perfect (toddlers have no concept of indoor voices), but it helps me unwind the way I need to as an introvert. Not every introvert’s hobby can be adapted to fit, but with trial and error, it can be possible to make certain ones work — even when the kids are little. As an added bonus, my daughter is starting to take an interest in books (even if she needs reminders not to rip the pages).
5. You can be a role model for various introvert traits, like being empathic and creative.
Introverts have many positive traits. Empathy. Intuitiveness. Compassion. Creativity. These are all traits I hope my children will have, regardless of personality type.
Children learn more from what they see than what we tell them. “Do what I say, not what I do” doesn’t work — I learned that the hard way as the teenage babysitter of impressionable seven-year-olds. As parents, we model behavior for our children to copy, whether we want them to or not.
Obviously, introverts don’t model perfect behavior 24/7. I’ve modeled plenty of behaviors I hope my kids will conveniently ignore (one day I’ll tidy up the living room, I swear). But if I want my children to grow up to be sensitive to the world and its inhabitants, the best way to do that is by letting my positive introverted traits shine.
My fellow introverted parents, what would you add to this list? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
You might like:
- Making a Case for ‘Quiet’ Parenting as an Introvert
- 5 Hacks to Help Introverted Parents Get Through the Day
- How Not to Overschedule Your Introverted Child
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