As an introvert myself, I've often wondered if it's harder for an introvert to be a parent compared to an extrovert.
Kids require a lot of attention to keep them interested, learning, and happy. As parents it's our job to provide stimuli and direction. We also need to respond to our kids' incredible energy with care and joy.
For introverts "being on" 100% of the time can be draining and challenging. This is because:
- We tend to be more sensitive to events around us. A little energy goes a long way, so we sometimes have difficultly processing a lot of energy.
- We need more opportunities to "recharge" from high energy activities. Often this means having some time alone in a quiet place. Of course kids aren't quiet or predictable, so there are few consistent times to recharge.
- We're in our own heads a lot. When we do get a quiet moment, we tend to think deeply, including about our kids.
- We like to have time to plan and organize. The spontaneous nature of kids isn't a good match to that preference.
This isn't to say that extroverts have it easier. They face the same parenting challenges we do.
If anything it's a compliment -- extroverts deal with kids better than introverts. They thrive in high energy situations. They don't need as much time to recharge. They are thoughtful but don't overanalyze. They're able to adjust better on-the-fly.
Being introverted is great advantage in many ways, but I think extroverts have the upper hand when it comes to parenting.