How Do You Re-Energize?

A wise parent, whose name is now lost to history, once said “Each one of my children takes 100% of my time.” Parents of young children can certainly relate to this sentiment. Our children require a significant part of our day, our energy, and our focus. In addition, we have to create space in our lives for work, community, partners and maybe even, sometimes, ourselves.

Parents should hear more often that self-care is one of the most important parts of parenting. Finding a way to prioritize yourself is not selfish, it is a strategy for keeping a calm mind, patient attitude, and pleasant atmosphere amid the whirling swirling demands of life with small children.

It is apparent, however, that there isn’t a lot of time to put yourself on the top of the priority list. For this reason, it is important to know how you energize best. Extroverts and Introverts are vastly different in their needs to energize. Knowing your style, and using your spare time according to this style, will help you to re-energize efficiently during those rare moments of respite.

If you are an extrovert:

You get energy from people. You need and love feedback, conversation and companionship. You are most energized when you are engaged with others. As you care for your young children, the strain of being without adult companionship can be very draining for you.  You will be refreshed by:

  • spending time with friends
  • talking on the phone with friends
  • finding activities to do with groups outside the house
  • maybe even find a friend or partner to do chores with!

If you are an introvert:

You get energy from having private time. You need quiet, and the chance to have space that is uniquely your own. As you care for your children, the strain of constant demands, your child’s need for interaction, and non-stop chatter can be very draining for you. You will be refreshed by:

  • removing yourself from others
  • doing activities alone such as going for a walk or reading a book
  • having an opportunity to think about and reflect on your day
  • getting a chance to get your work or chores done uninterrupted

Both introverts and extroverts can function well in a busy household with children. As parents, we stretch ourselves to meet the needs of others all the time – and we do this successfully. However, be aware that your parenting can be exhausting. When you need a chance to re-energize, find the way that fits best for you. Your family will appreciate the fact that you gave yourself what you needed!

 

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