I’m an introverted mom.
There, I said it.
Maybe you can identify?
For us introverts (and probably even a lot of extroverts) sometimes those long days of summer where all the kids are home can seem more like an eternity.
The kids chatter in our ears all day, demanding popsicles, books, activities, attention, popsicles, stories, food, drinks, bandaids, popsicles, and peacemaking.
Did I mention the popsicles?
All that noise truly wears on a introverted mom, and it can feel like all we want to do is:
a) hide in the bathroom or
b) sign the kids up for summer school.
But let’s face it: our kids want our attention in the summer, and that’s a good thing! Instead of just booting them outside every chance we get, let me tell you how I set up my home for a successful summer.
On a related note, check out this highly recommended new release just for introverted moms:
How I survive summer as an introverted mom
One of the most life-giving things that I have done as an introverted mom is to find activities to do together that bring us both life.
Introverts tend to gravitate towards certain hobbies then go very deeply into them, and one of the best ways to connect with our kids is to share my hobbies with them!
But in order for these joint activities to bring me life, they have to feel natural. If it takes me 4 days to scrape materials together for an activity, I’m more likely to dread it than enjoy the time with my children.
RELATED ARTICLE: How To Be An Introvert Parent…Without Killing Your Kids!
The key to enjoying joint activities is in the preparation.
If I set up my home in a way that makes the activities flow naturally in my life, I am more likely to truly enjoy spending that time with my children.
What follows are a few examples of ways you could set up your home at the beginning of the summer to make connection between you and your kids feel much more natural!
Setting up your home for a successful introverted mom summer!
1. The crafting home
Do you love crafting, painting, and colouring?
I have a china cabinet in my home that holds zero china. Instead, it is filled with all manner of craft supplies. My boys know they are always allowed to make a craft, and I often find myself sitting down with them because I enjoy beading or painting as well.
People often ask if I’m a homeschool mom when they see my “craft cabinet”, but really it’s more for my sanity than anything else! Even if I’m not directly working with the boys, they are crafting in the kitchen, which is where I’m likely to be as well. Parallel play (or work) may not be as intense as face-to-face, but it is still connection, and this makes us all happy.
2. The building home
My husband had a genius idea a while back – he set up our basement with a small tool box, some nails, and some soft wood.
My boys (age 5 and 8) have spent many happy hours building things, and my husband has even built a few simple projects with them, because it’s easy to join in when the supplies are already there and it’s something you enjoy!
For the record, he’s also an introvert, but because he enjoys building things with them, it’s not hard to work together with them on a project. It’s a win-win: Dad gets to enjoy time with his kids in a way that doesn’t drive him crazy, and the kids get to hang out with dad!
3. The gaming home
Do you love board games? Try hauling the games out of the basement cupboard and put them somewhere accessible for the summer.
Then when your kids ask to play, sit down a play a game! This is a great way for introverted moms to connect with our kids because it gives us something to do, as well as a distinct end point.
Here are some of our favorite family games!
4. The STEM home
I have an unused science degree and sometimes my inner science nerd comes out and stays awhile! STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and there are some really fun STEM activities you can set up for your kids to do alone!
I like to keep the supplies for basic science experiments in my home.
Kits like the magnet and electronic ones from Scholastic are nice, but basic supplies like baking soda, vinegar, and food colouring can go a long way toward some basic chemistry fun! You could even just throw a magnifying glass on the table in the morning and see what your kids get up to!
5. The baking home
Do you love to bake with your kids?
Try stocking up your kitchen with all baking essentials at the start of the summer, so when you’re ready for some focused time with your kids, you don’t have to run out to the store for baking soda! (Although you might still have to buy some if you used it all up on a volcano…)
6. The gardening home
If you spend a lot of time outside gardening in the summer, why not invite your children into it?
They may not stay for long, but pulling weeds and picking berries together can be a great time to connect with each other. I find that boys open up more when their hands are busy, and this way I can get my work done while getting in some quality introverted mom/kid time as well.
>>RELATED ARTICLE: How to teach kids the skill of seeing God through nature
8. The reading home
Don’t underestimate the power of a complex story in a child’s life, and how easy it is to just sit down and read to them!
Choose some books you enjoyed as an child, and spend time reading them aloud. And if your kids are a bit squirrelly like mine remember that they don’t have to sit still to be listening! My boys like to play Lego or make crafts while I read.
If you struggle to with reading books aloud, try listening to an audiobook together. I love reading books out loud but there’s something magical about listening to audiobooks together!
Here are a few of our recent favorites (my kids are currently 5, 7, and 10).
OR Check out this amazing Audible deal through Amazon!
More Introverted Mom Summer Tips
I asked some of my Facebook friends to give me their best tips for surviving summer as an introverted mom. Here’s what they told me!
Kristin (Check out her fabulous blog!)
Here are 3 sanity saving things I’ve learned to incorporate over the years:
- Quiet / nap time for the kids is a MUST no matter their aged so I can get alone and quiet too.
- Ask for HELP / clearly express my NEED so I can get out of the house at least a few hours a week by myself
- Now that my kids are older I’m able to wake up before them and greet my day quietly and alone instead of them bombarding me in bed right from the start!
Amber from My Jars of Clay:
What helps me is waking up before the kids do so I can have some quiet time and spending time in the word. It makes a difference! I also make sure the kids have reading time typically in the afternoon to give myself a moment to decompress….in silence 😊
Ana: homeschooling mom of 5, writer at Grace & Glory Moms
I think it’s about being intentional about when and how you spend your “energy.” Make plans to spend your energy when you usually have the “extra” energy to spend. And then be intentional about having your own time to do your own thing (writing, reading, etc) without the kids.
I have been training my littles to have their own quiet time so I can get a good 20 minutes to myself most days so I can recharge for the rest of the day. I’ve let go of the guilt of using screen time as a reward for them because it gives us good snuggle time with them or just some time to cook dinner uninterrupted. Being able to use my mental energy on just one task at a time when I really need it and communicating my needs to them has helped me tremendously and helped them learn to become aware of their own needs and communicate them.
Lois McKiernan from Where Truth Lives
Make sure you spend time daily with the Lord, drinking in the truth of His word and asking Him to give you the strength and self-sacrifice that it often takes for introverts to cope with extended time in the company of others.
Sheri, mom of 3:
Tell the kids you just have some work to do in the ——- room and as soon as you are done you will all clean the entire house. Those kids will be so quiet, won’t make a sound, and will leave you undisturbed. 😉
Linnea Bergstrom from Dwell and Made
I try to schedule screen time for my kids when I’m at my lowest in the day. I can hang with them all morning, but come afternoon I need to recharge and be alone. I have also learned to not over-schedule the kids because then I’m drained, but also to have enough camps and such to give me a few solid days alone. That balance took me a while to find.
To reset and recharge when I feel depleted, I go for a walk, or at least get outside, to clear my head, talk with God, listen to music. When my kids were too young to leave alone, coffee or Diet Coke on my deck was my respite. Fresh air is my secret.
Emily Price McVey (check her out on Instagram!)
–wake up at least an hour earlier than they do to read, pray, write
-make them play outside (😂😂) while I sit on the porch quietly and read at some point during the day (watching and listening to them while they play, of course!)
-Listen to a podcast or audiobook that fills me up while I make dinner
-at nighttime they watch a movie with my husband and I retreat to the bedroom to read and write some more…or maybe just fall asleep early 😂
I have learned the hard way that taking care of myself, especially my mental and spiritual needs, helps me be a better mama and wife. So all the reading time is a huge priority for me now❤️
Carrie Roer – mom of 3 and wife of a teacher, writer at Carrie Roer.
I hope to continue to get up at least a half hour before the others. I’m starting a new Bible study the Monday after school gets out, so that should help my motivation. Mama needs quiet with her coffee.
I’m also working on letting go of my mom-guilt that says I should use the toddler’s afternoon nap time for accomplishing things. When I can take even a portion of that time to close myself in my bedroom with a book, while the big kids play (or yes, have some screentime), I’m in a much better brain-space to tackle the evening.
Because I do have my introverted-HSP-husband at home as well, I’m hoping we can routinely schedule a few hours for each of us to be alone while the other takes the kids to the library or park or somewhere.
Moms who don’t have that option should try kid-swapping with a friend. Yes sometimes moms need the playdate together too, but most moms will also gladly take your kids for a few hours if you’ll reciprocate another day!
Sara Westfall, mom of 4 boys and writer
1) My husband and I sit down at the beginning of summer and put actual evenings/days/hours on the calendar for me to get away to write, work, breathe, etc.
2) After we get our youngest two boys in bed, I take a bubble bath and read almost every night. It’s becoming part of my religion—a nightly baptism where I go in as worn-out, on-the-verge she beast and then emerge almost human.
Sara Liberty Hardee from Christ Centered Mama
I’m an introverted mom, and I’ve found that when I’m worn out or stressed, I tend to avoid the very things that my soul needs. Almost like a backwards self-preservation technique. I need time with God yet I can push Him away. I need to invite friends over. I used to think these things were optional. They aren’t. God says I need Him and I need community. He knows what my soul needs through this season with my littles.
What ideas do you have for setting up quality time with your kids in a way that brings life to you as well? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Other Articles on Introversion
- 5 Ways To Enjoy Church As An Introvert
- How To Be An Introvert Parent…Without Killing Your Kids!
- Parenting an Introverted Child
- What You’re Really Missing When You’re Feeling Lonely
This post originally appeared on The MOB Society blog.