To me, being an introvert means I process life inwardly. I do a lot of internal processing and endless amounts of thinking about everything, which can be mentally exhausting to no end. Thus, I usually tend to be more held back and protective over my time and energy when it comes to other people. Otherwise, I usually wind up overwhelmed at some point and become irritable Sally. She’s no fun, trust me.
If you want a bit more in-depth insight into being an introvert, I love Introvert, Dear’s article: What Is an Introvert? Definition & Guide to Introversion.
Now, enter life and parenthood, and being an introvert is a serious balancing act. So much to process. Someone is almost always talking to you, needing a bit of redirection, and behavior management here and there, you have squabbles to coach through and dissolve, lots and lots of snuggles to give (love those), and so forth so on. If you’re a parent, you know this list is not exhaustive in any way.
You have parenting exhaustion and then you have introvert and sensory overload exhaustion tagging along. It’s heavy, it brings you to tears, and sometimes to someone you’re just not proud to be. This is particularly true if you are a highly sensitive person.
More information on being a Highly Sensitive Parent from Simple Homeschool:
Self-Care for the Highly Sensitive Parent.
We know how we get when we’re “hangry”, right? As an introvert, we become hangry for a stimulus recharge, with or without kids. Even more so when there are kids. It wasn’t until I had children, precisely my second, that I realized how hangry for mental recharge I was.
And the early bird was born.
I have found quite a bit of positive in becoming an early bird. Mind you, I am not necessarily a chipper morning person, but I am up early. Here are my top three reasons for being an early bird as an introvert.
Why Being an Introverted Parent turned me into an Early Bird.
1.) I can energize for the day.
Starting the day at a slower pace, I can make time to read, to stare out the window at the birds while I sip coffee, and just relax. This allows me to fuel my brain and my soul with whatever I’m needing for the day. Then, it’s not near as much of a struggle to keep irritable Sally at bay. I’m more calm and collected and overall more patient (not that I don’t still fall short throughout the day), and when I start to notice my patience going out the window (because we all know there’s plenty of opportunity for that), I can get ahead of it and remind myself what I’m working at this life for. Deep breaths. We can do this.
2.) Limited stimulation – light, sound, etc.
In all honesty, if I can be, I like to be up before the sun. My sleeping patterns are a bit wonky right now though, and this hasn’t been able to be the case for some time. But, when I can be, it definitely has its perks. Too much noise and light right off the bat usually makes my head hurt. So, the darker and quieter, the better.
If the house is still dark when I wake up, I like to sit by candlelight flameless, and just stare off for a while, whilst occasionally jotting down passing thoughts. The low light of the candle emits less light than a regular house lamp and combined with the hushed sounds of early morning, it’s like a cushy pillow for my brain to stretch out on.
3.) Planning purposes and brain dumping.
I am not that great at being organized. I have high hopes and daydreams of being organized and totally not scatterbrained, but that’s as close as I’m at at this point in my life. How about you?
This makes accomplishing tasks a bit challenging at times, especially when you have other people feeding off of your brain cells at the same time. Other people to remember things for. That’s how you end up with twenty-seven packets of taco seasoning in your cabinet. Yes, you have taco seasoning at home. Do not buy any more. Or mayonnaise.
Now, when I’m up early I can jot down a quick list of serious to-dos. You know, the to-dos you better get done today. The ones that will help you not feel like you did nothing at all today. Then, there’s the few things that keep slipping your mind until paper and pencil are nowhere in sight, that later nag you when you try to go to sleep. Perfect time to write those down.
Lastly, any kind of emotions I might be sorting through. I can write those down, sort through them and sincerely deal with them, deal with me.
Being an early bird isn’t what I ever thought I would be, but even the best can be made out of the less than ideal. Giving myself a good amount of time to mentally get a hold on the day, has helped me grow as a person and a parent. It’s helped me to lay down with a whole lot less regrets at the end of the day, and more motivation for the ones ahead of me.
What are your thoughts on being an early bird?