Becoming a Mother is one of the most incredible times in any women’s life. After 9 long months of carrying your little human (and thinking, wondering, worrying, and googling) you finally get to hold your little bundle of joy in your arms and bring it home. It’s a beautiful time, but for your Introverted Mom friend or family member, the ‘normal’ rules for welcoming this new member of the family may be a little different than what you expect. Here’s 8 things your Introverted New Mom needs from you…
- Let us settle in first – Introverts NEED space. After delivery a HUMAN and being at a hospital (birthing center, or even your bathtub), you are a little out of sorts, not to mention you have a new person in your household that you’re trying to get to know. Be that amazingly supportive friend/family member who allows them at least a day (or two or hey even three) to get settled in before asking to stop by.
- Never drop by without permission – Speaking of stopping by, please please please do not come over without asking first. We understand you’re excited, but dropping by unannounced will only stress this new Mama out more, and goodness knows she has enough on her mind right now.
- Know how to help – This one is so important, but hard to explain (I will do my best). Since Introverts are constantly in our heads, we are hyper aware of our own shortcomings and can be fighting a losing battle within ourselves during this transitional time. If their house isn’t perfect and they haven’t had a chance to shower, chances are — They’ve already thought about it, stressed about it, and may be texting to cancel your visit any minute. So, if you get the ok to come over and you notice the house looks like a bomb exploded or your Introvert hasn’t slept or had a proper shower, casually offer (After you’ve had time to visit a bit. Don’t jump to asking too quickly) to do the dishes or watch the baby while she goes to nap or take a shower. If cleaning or babysitting isn’t your forte, you could always help by bringing over some ready-made sandwiches or easy to heat up and serve dinners.
- Keep the visits short, keep your germs to yourself – This is just a general rule for anyone who comes to visit new parents, but it’s even more important for Introverted parents because – We. Are. Watching. You. That tiny ball of love we’ve begrudgingly handed over to you to hold for a few minutes is the only thing on our minds 24/7. So please use common sense and don’t kiss the baby. If you or someone in your household was recently sick, delay your visit till everyone is well. Our brains do not turn off, so please don’t give us another thing to think about. Also, if you can reassure your Introvert that your visit will be shortish (say an hour or hour and a half TOPS) that will help to ease their minds too. Oh, and wash your hands!
- Don’t take it personal – After I had my son I got an overwhelming amount of text messages and phone calls and it stressed me out trying to get back to everyone in a decent amount of time. I know there is nothing more exciting than hearing the news that someone you love just had their baby, but just know that for your Introvert friend/family member it’s an overload on them. With all the ‘newness’ going on, it can be hard to stay on top of these things which are generally anxiety provoking enough for Introverts in itself. Besides, she’s probably too busy googling everything under the sun (and silently freaking out) to be able to respond anyway. She will get back to you, I promise. And I can also promise that your sweet words of love and excitement mean the absolute world to her.
- Tell us we are going a good job – Buuuut don’t over do it or we may wonder if you’re being sincere. We are tricky ones, that is for sure. We promise we can’t help it though. Us Introverts are always wondering if there is more to what people are saying than just their actual words, so please don’t be overzealous, we don’t need that. Just keep it simple and genuine. Your words can be our anchor and can give us the confidence we are truly needing but are too scared to ask for.
- LISTEN – This one is probably the most important of them all. As loved ones, we want to give advice, especially to a new parent, but please just give your Introvert the space and the time to talk first. I know for me (and for many introverts) it can sometimes take time to formulate my real thoughts/emotions into words and I can easily get discouraged if I feel misunderstood and can stop myself from continuing, so please be patient with this new Mom. This is such a fragile time and it’s easy for us to shut down and get lost in our insecurities. Your introvert needs to know she has a safe place to talk, vent, and/or cry without any fear of judgement or critique in the weeks and months following childbirth. More importantly, please continue to check up on your Introvert if you are seeing any signs that she is struggling. Postpartum Depression is very real and getting the support she needs from you and others will help her through it.
- Remind them to enjoy this fleeting time – It is so easy to get lost in the daze of diapers, feeding schedules, and sleep deprivation that these blissful days with their new precious baby can go by in a blink of an eye. Remind your Introvert to, ‘stop and smell the roses’, as they say. Help them to focus less on all the things they think they could be getting wrong about parenthood, and help them focus more on inhaling the intoxicating smell of a newborn as often as they can. They can’t help but be future focused, it’s just a part of who they are, but they could use a loved one like you to gently pull them back into the present.
Becoming a Mother and entering the world of parenthood is one of so many emotions. You will forever be in your Introverted Mama’s heart if you can try to understand and love her complicated reasonings and rational.