Hope for introverted moms

Written by Shannon Evans
Published on March 18, 2022

Whenever someone asks how old my boys are, my answer (five and two) often elicits wide eyes and a sympathetic smile. It’s a busy time. We’ve got tantrums and wrestling and fights and constant questions. 

We’ve got picky eating and toy disasters and potty training and half a bathtub’s worth of water on the floor at bath time. We’ve got a lot of noise, and a lot of climbing. 

And we’ve got me—a stay-at-home mom who’s a textbook introvert. 

A unique challenge

I’ve often thought about what a job description for a mother of young kids might look like. Maybe something like this—“Help wanted: care-taker for small humans. Requirements: talking for 12 hours straight; Physical duties include holding, carrying, wrangling, being climbed on; Adept at making snap decisions; Tolerant of high noise and mess levels; Must be willing to never be alone; Hours: all day, often nights, Monday through Friday—oh, and weekends too.” 

Sign me up, said no introvert ever. Motherhood is hard in general, but introverts face a unique challenge. The noise, chaos and sensory-overload little people bring chip away at our energy, leaving us touched-out and depleted by the end of the day. 

We can’t leave tiny kids alone while we take quiet time to recharge. We dread when the toddler stops napping—there goes our last oasis of calm. 

For those of us who homeschool, the cost is even greater—we sacrifice space from our children to invest in their education. 

Wonderfully made

It’s easy to look at the requirements of motherhood, then look at the temperament God gave us and think, “Um, wait. What?” 

The truth is that God hasn’t made a mistake. Whenever we’re tempted to [humbly and respectfully] ask God what on earth he was thinking when he created our personalities and then gave us this job, we can remember that he formed our inward parts, that we’re fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:1314). 

And he creates with purpose—our lives are not some wacky cooking experiment where he’s chucking random things in the pot to see if it will taste good. 

He knows us. He sees when one child asks us three questions in one breath while another one shrieks like a pterodactyl. He sees how our throat aches from talking all day, and how then, at bedtime, our child wants us to read one more book

And he also sees our need for quiet and solitude to reclaim our energy. He sees it, because he gave it. All of it. It’s a wild thought. He gave us a personality which easily tires from noise and mess and people, and he gave us toddlers and teens. 

He gave us a temperament which thrives on one-on-one conversations, quiet reflection, and internal processing, and he gave us a job involving distractions, constant talking, and making quick decisions. 

So what’s he doing? If I knew, I’d write about that instead. But I do know that he has fashioned our hearts (Psalm 33:15) and created us in his image (Genesis 1:27). 

The potter and the clay

These introverted attributes we often wish away aren’t a mistake—they can be used for good. 

And I’d guess that whatever he’s doing, it’s less about giving us an easy life and more about making us look like Jesus. 

The truth is that we bring unique gifts to this job. 

I’m guilty of the head-tilt, the raised eyebrow. Really, God? You created me to thrive in quiet, and then you give me a pterodactyl? But if the master potter ever felt the need to answer the clay when it demands, “What are you making?” (Isaiah 45:9), he might gently remind us of the gifts we introverted moms enjoy and can use to bless our children. 

For example, we’re often great listeners. And what child doesn’t want to be listened to? We tend to think before speaking, a useful attribute in heated moments. If being a mother means less sleep, we know how to prioritize rest—we’ve had to do it our whole lives to keep functioning. 

Our observant and detail-oriented ways help us be organized—good thing, too, because running a family takes a truckload of administration. 

Empathy often comes easy to us, a crucial quality for nurturing and raising kids. And maybe we’re not speaking at the front of church or standing center stage at a women’s conference, but our quiet, purposeful leadership in the everyday moments is shaping our children—and others—in eternal ways. 

Resemble the Son

One lie is that it will get easier. With any hardship in parenting, other parents try to encourage each other with this phrase: It will get easier. 

It pains me to write this, but—it might not. It might just change. We can become more in tune with our introverted needs—protect our evenings, get a babysitter, manage others’ expectations. 

But even as our kids grow more independent, they’ll need us in other ways. They’ll have more activities and events (cue, more time with people). They may scream less, but their need for our instruction and wisdom will only increase, as will our conversations with them. 

Their bedtime will move later, so, goodbye, quiet evenings. And they might not ask us a million questions an hour anymore, but their questions will become harder to answer. 

It’s OK if it doesn’t get easier. I’ll say it again because I can’t hear it enough: God cares less about our ease and more about us resembling his Son.

No matter how we’re energized, the very nature of motherhood means energy will be spent. We will interact and talk and nurture and give of ourselves, again and again. But we are not alone. We have access to a grace-filled God, an approachable Father who invites us to come drink of his mercy and grace when we need it (Hebrews 4:16). 

If being an introverted mom means we need to come to him more often, then we are all the more blessed. 

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Shannon Evans

Shannon Evans is a freelance writer and editor living in sunny Florida with her British husband and two sons. Her work has been published in Her View From Home and War Cry magazine. When not writing, she likes to read, bake, ride her bike, and drink endless amounts of tea. You can find her book reviews and other musings at www.shannonevans.net.

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