Over the years, I’ve seen many articles in the cyber world that focus on the struggles of being an introverted mom. And while I find those articles fascinating, I also find them boggling. Because as an extrovert, I recharge by being with people and drained of energy when by myself for too long. I find being a stay-at-home mom can, at times, be challenging to find practical ways to get my social tank filled while still having time to raise my family.
“But you are with people all of the time. So how can you not feel recharged?” I’ve heard that question before. While I DO love being surrounded by my littles, there are times when toddler chatter doesn’t cut it. I need an adult conversation that isn’t centered around correcting potty talk. Or listening to a toddler explain to me why shoelaces have to be tied a certain way.
So I’ve had to find practical ways to refill my social tank. Ways that will help me gain emotional energy while still managing to keep up with a busy family. Here are my five favorite tips:
1. Look for Small Tank Refills
There are many days when meeting up to chat with friends over lunch just isn’t in the cards as a mom. Or going on a 10-mile group run just doesn’t seem doable. Especially while pushing 55 pounds of weight in a double stroller. But I have learned there are other practical ways to fill up my tank. You can text a friend and have them over for a cup of coffee. The kids can play and you can squeeze in some meaningful conversation. Or you can ask your best friend if she would want to meet up for a walk. You both push strollers, exercise, and chat. For an extrovert, these may not be the typical things that we consider social time. However, they work well when you need a little recharge for the day. And they’re practical with kids!
2. Choose Kid Activities that Give You Time to Connect with Other Parents
I’ve had littles at home now for nine years. During that time, I’ve learned that some activities are better at allowing parents to connect and chat at the sidelines than others. A private swim lesson where you sit and watch your child swim may not be as rewarding as a gymnastics class where all the parents sit at the sidelines and chat. (Although for an introvert, it may be the very best option!) If you know that you are feeling a little isolated, take time to find an activity that not only gets your child out of the house for some fun but one that also gets you out too!
3. Join an Organized Group
Whether a MOPS group, a mommy meet-up group, or a bible study at your church with childcare, all of these activities are great for extroverted mommies looking for some quality connection. The reason these work well is that your children can be with you (sometimes even with childcare) while you are connecting with other parents and getting your social tank filled. This also provides great opportunities for moms to find leadership roles if they are really looking to connect with others outside the home.
4. Be Proactive in Scheduling a Night Away
Often extroverts don’t take time to plan a night out until they’re already feeling isolated and all the babysitters are booked. But as an extrovert, a fun date night with your hubby or a fun night with friends can fill your tank for weeks to come. So if you feel you need a recharge, take the time to schedule a fun date or night away. That way, you have something to look forward to. And you aren’t letting yourself get to a place where you feel totally depleted because energized moms have more to offer their energetic children.
5. Remember This is A Season
And last but not least, remember that having littles at home is just a fleeting season. So if you find yourself struggling with FOMO (fear of missing out), remember there will be MANY years ahead when it’s easier to get out and connect with others. And by that point, your children will no longer care if you are out and away. So for today, try to savor the unique phase of life you’re in and appreciate all of the chatter your littles offer to you. You’re their favorite person to be with. And you want them to know you feel the same too!