Tip 1: Capitalize on naturally occurring introvert retreats
One of the best ways as a new parent to find time is to capitalize on opportunities for ‘introvert retreats’ within the already busy world of caretaking. When my little guy needs to take a break from the dinner table at a restaurant, I’m quick to volunteer to take on walking him around quieter corners. It’s an easy and socially graceful way: of creating ‘inner space’-aka introvert time; getting a break from social conversation; enjoying the imaginative play, singing, or dancing with your little one; or reflecting in your own thoughts while you rock them to sleep.
What’s even better is that it’s a time in where nobody will look at you funny or think you are selfish for taking on more space for yourself–you are doing a wonderful thing not only for your child, but also for your partner. Not to mention the entire restaurant appreciating you regulating your child before his own introvert tantrum bursts out. Children, after all, start out much more tuned in to their introverted needs and aren’t at all interested at all in social niceties.
Another wonderful introvert retreat that can easily be incorporated, and serves a valuable break for your child and your partner is to volunteer to take the little one on a stroll outside or for a ride in the car. If your child is anything like mine, they’ll love the fresh air and the motion, and will instantly fall asleep. The quiet, peaceful space of being together with your child and with your own inner child is a welcome way to recharge your batteries as an introvert.
The stroll or that car ride can become its own meditation of sorts. I say that my boy and I are ‘tarrying’ together when we do this, and I enjoy it both for just having our own special time together looking out the window and singing, as well as for that lovely wandering, of getting lost on new routes both internally and externally!
Tip 2: Incorporate your own quiet, creative time
It’s not always easy or feasible to carve out time within the hectic pace of family life, but introvert time is a necessity and a true investment. If need be, wake up that extra hour or half an hour early, and spend some time reading, writing, or whatever other creativity activity gets you reconnected to your introverted core. Sometimes, it’s even more feasible to get this kind of block of time in after your child has fallen asleep or during naptime, but make sure to invest in it-the rewards and benefits will far outweigh your efforts!
Tip 3: Become a tag-team unit
There is a certain amount of ‘being on’ and constantly stimulated that can be socially draining for any parent, let alone an introvert. Children need a healthy degree and variety of this kind of engagement, but it can be downright taxing for parents. Work with your partner to establish a tag team approach so that you can get a short break before you get what I call ‘introvert hanger’, the inevitable crabbiness and edginess that comes with being overly drained. Take this seriously and try to learn how to read your partner’s cues for their need to ‘tag out.’
Tip 4: Don’t forget to factor in the fatigue of adult socializing!
As a new parent, it can be easy to miss adult conversation and the joys of socializing with friends. This is definitely recharging, but keep in mind, that as an introvert, it will also be draining in its own way, and that you might need to factor this into your ’emotional budget’ when you look at your whole day. Of course, don’t forego getting out there, just make sure the amount of time is right or that you’ve got a more intimate setting that feels recharging. If you need more time for yourself, rely on any of the other tips to get your ‘introvert time’ back in balance!