‘I’ve had their adorable sticky hands grabbing at me for 12 hours. I just want to sit in a dark room so I can think.’: Introvert mom urges there’s ‘nothing wrong’ with how you recharge

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“I’m a true introvert through and through (INFJ here!), and while there have been plenty of hard things for me (socializing, making friends, opening up to people), what I never expected was how difficult my motherhood journey would be. I truly thrive in silence or when I’m alone. My mind quiets, and it’s how I recharge my own battery.

But if you’re a parent, you know this is a rare occurrence. As a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom, I’m surrounded by chaos constantly. And it’s draining me. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more than the happy squeals of my kids as they run around and play. But at the end of the day, when I’ve had their adorable sticky hands grabbing at me for 12 hours, I’m so exhausted. Sometimes I feel like shouting, ‘Please stop touching me!’

And it’s not because I don’t love them. It’s because I haven’t had a moment of time to myself to think. There’s no ‘me’ time to process my emotions and recharge. There’s no silence during the day so I can breathe without being startled. I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself, let alone have enough time to just chill. Stress ends up piling on top of me, and I hit my breaking point when my kids are at their fussiest.

small child slides a paper heart with drawings on it under the door to show their mother
Courtesy of Jess Carpenter

There are many parenting moments that are filled with mom guilt because I let myself hit a breaking point. I’ve been disappointed in how I’ve reacted to my kids’ endless requests after a long day.

What’s especially hard about my personality type is that I’m good at faking it. I can go out and talk to other people, but deep down, I’m incredibly shy and going to hang out with others depletes my mental and emotional energy. But then you have my kids. My two little ones are extroverts through and through. My three-year-old will go up to anyone and everyone, talking about random things from unicorns to how beautiful the person they’re talking to is. She is constantly saying, ‘Mom! Look, I found a new friend. Come say hi.’ This happens whenever we go out and there are other people around.

And because I’m a mom, I suck it up, talk to the people my daughter is talking to, and sometimes, I even make a new friend. But afterward, again, I’m drained. I think it’s hard being an introvert mom because the world is so adamant in advertising extroverts. Moms are supposed to go to mommy-and-me events, make new mom friends, have a ‘village,’ and then go out for a girls’ night whenever we need some time away from the kids.

mother takes a selfie with her two kids, son and daughter, the three of them are smiling
Courtesy of Jess Carpenter

But that’s literally an introvert’s worst nightmare. And not fitting in that mold can make us introvert moms feel overwhelmed, if not inferior. I can’t tell you the amount of times I feel like I zone out for a minute and have some sort of out-of-body experience because, between the screams and the toys smashing into the wall, it feels like my eardrums might burst. There are days when I’m so emotionally tired I end up allowing myself a five-minute cry.

Sometimes, I wish I were like the extrovert moms who seem to thrive in their chaos instead of cower from it. But, I know they get tired of the noise too. That it’s overwhelming for them as well. Their ‘me’ time probably looks like going to see friends or getting a pedicure, whereas for me, I just simply want silence. If you don’t want to have mom friends you go out dancing with, that’s cool. If your friends are purely social media ones (like me), that’s great too.

Being an introvert while raising extroverts is incredibly challenging as well. But I have a feeling I’m not alone. I’m sure there are many other moms struggling just like me, because their beautiful children, who they love so much, are also draining them on an hourly basis.

mother takes a selfie with her son and daughter, all three of them are making a kissy face
Courtesy of Jess Carpenter

And that’s completely okay. There is nothing wrong with you if you’re an introvert. It’s okay if being around your little ones drains you just as much as it makes you happy. But, us introvert moms need to take care of ourselves. Whether it be meditate for a few minutes each day, scheduling out alone time weekly, or reading a book, make time for yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and parenting as an introvert? It empties our cups incredibly fast.

Maybe your ‘you’ time is like mine, where you just want to sit in a dark room, read a book, binge watch a show, or scroll through social media. Maybe talking to other people is exhausting and not something you like. That’s fine too.

Introvert moms exist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If at the end of the day, screaming toddlers makes you feel like you’re losing your mind, I understand you. I am you. And yes, it’s really, really hard.

I don’t have any life-changing advice or camaraderie to leave you with except that your experience is valid, it’s completely okay, and you should do what you have to do to thrive — even if that means getting a sitter and locking yourself in your room for a few hours so you can think (just imagine it as an adult time out!).”

mother stands with her son and daughter in front of her while having her arms wrapped around them
Courtesy of Jess Carpenter

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jess Carpenter. You can follow her journey on Instagram, TikTok, and on her website. You can visit Jess’ author page here and buy her new book here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Jess here:

‘Love your partner’s family like you want your partner to love yours.’: Wife shares importance of healthy in-law relationships

‘After 5 months of taking care of a baby, stacking credit hours, and barely seeing each other, we insisted on not walking for graduation.’: Wife talks sacrificing for marriage and family

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