Updated: Dec 5, 2022
The holiday season is all about togetherness. It is a very social holiday that lasts several weeks with all types of events and parties, big and small. On top of that, there are a lot of responsibilities during the holidays, particularly for moms. This can be stressful for many, but especially for introverts. If you are an introvert, you may feel overwhelmed by the social schedule on top of your extra duties. (Moms are the magic of the season.) You may even feel guilty for feeling that way. After all, you want your kids to experience everything. And, you do want to spend time with loved ones. If you are an extrovert, you may be flying high attending each and every event you are invited to and you might be throwing your own shindigs as well. But remember that others around you may be introverts. It doesn't mean they don't like people. It doesn't mean they don't have holiday spirit. It doesn't mean there is anything "wrong" with them. I LOVE Christmas and my family participates in a lot of activities outside the house, but not EVERY activity, every day in the month of December. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, it has no bearing on you being a good parent of friend. If you find yourself struggling with introversion during the holidays, I have some tips for you!
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Carl Jung was the first to really categorize introverts and extroverts into two groups. But, it's important to note, as Rachel Ellis on WebMD explains, "Being an introvert isn't an all-or-nothing stamp on your personality." As with other things, someone may be more or less introverted in different situations. So, being an introvert doesn't mean you prefer to be alone all the time or never feel comfortable in a crowd. I know I am definitely not a homebody, like some people may think. According to Jung, it simply is about how people get energy. One of my sons is an obvious extrovert. He seeks people out wherever he goes. He gets a thrill or jolt of energy from interacting with others. Introverts, like me, on the other hand, may feel drained from these interactions and may have to be alone to think and recharge. (But, again, not always, and not in everyone situation. Sometimes a chat with a good friend can give me a boost of energy.)
With all this in mind, here are my top 3 tips:
Recognize. Take notice of what type of events make you feel the most joy, and which ones are priorities. What family events are you not willing to miss. What types of events are most comfortable for you? Ones with just close family members? Dates with your husband? Events that take place outside? Events with strangers where you can just be a face in the crowd and observe? Try to space out the events that are priorities, but also drain you. Also, take note of what its most important to the kids. For example, do they really want to go to a certain event, or do they just like the hot chocolate there? You might be able to create an even better hot chocolate bar at home.
Share. Your emotional feelings are as important as everyone elses' feelings in your family. If you are feeling a certain way about attending an event, let your family know. You may be able to compromise with the extroverts. For example, the other parent takes the kids to an event while you wrap gifts. Or, everyone agrees to spend only an allotted time at an event. Your kids may even tell you, they would really enjoy one on one time with other relatives without you. Another benefit here is opening the line of communication with your kids; your kids may be more comfortable talking about their feelings about the schedule as well. Some could feel overloaded too!
Reserve. Carve out time to relax or think in quiet after a long event if you know you need it. That may be taking a long bath or reading before bed. For example, you want to see your kids sing in the Christmas pageant. But after all the hustle and bustle of getting them ready, experiencing all the sounds and socializing at the event, then hurrying them for baths and bed, you may need personal space to think before the next day starts back up.
I hope these tips help, and I hope I helped erase a little mom guilt. The holidays are magical with introverts or extrovert moms who are doing their best! If you have any tips, please share in the comments.