I’ve written in the past about my introversion and how it plays into my role as a mom. Before Charleston was born, I worried that as an introvert, I wouldn’t have the energy or patience to spend entire days with my child, that my need for inordinate amounts of alone time would interfere with my ability to parent (or at least, to parent well). Thankfully, few of my pre-child concerns have proven to be problems. Time with Charleston doesn’t deplete my energy and emotional stores in the same way as time with other adults tends to do, and Luke has been very supportive in helping me get regular time to myself. I’ve even found that life as a stay-at-home-mom has made me more amenable to social activities, especially those that allow for Charleston—extrovert that he is—to get additional social time as well.
Despite these successes, I do sometimes wonder whether my introversion holds me back from being the best mom I could be. My role as a mom—and soon-to-be mom of THREE—is a loud one, and I occasionally feel inadequate to the task. Which is why my ears perked up when I first heard about this book written by an introverted mom, for her fellow introverted mamas. I was eager for reassurance that we introverts are no less qualified for parenthood than our extroverted counterparts, and that my introversion is not a handicap but simply part of my unique motherhood journey.
Introverted Mom begins with a relatable section titled You Might Be An Introverted Mother If… with descriptions like, “if you get up early or stay up late, just to soak in the silence, you might be an introverted mother,” and “if you know you must build in recovery time after every playdate, you might be an introverted mother,” and, my favorite, “if you occasionally need to tell someone, ‘Go to your room!’ and that someone is you, you might be an introverted mother.” To nobody’s surprise, I answered an emphatic YES! to all twenty of the descriptors!
Following this “Welcome to the Introverted Club” introductory chapter, Jamie dedicates page time to the experience of being both a mom and an introvert, including some common introverted stressors and an explanation of how and why anger is the natural response to the hard parts of motherhood, especially as an introvert (this is something I definitely resonated with).
In subsequent chapters, Jamie helps introverted moms let go of the frustration and guilt we might experience as a result of balancing motherhood with our emotional needs. She addresses specific challenges introverts might face—such as navigating hardship with the support of others rather than trying to go it alone, and raising extroverted children (or being married to extroverts!). She also suggests practical ideas for self care, connecting with God, and leading lives marked by quiet, intentionality, and joy.
Introverted Mom is written in a warm, conversational style and filled with vulnerable stories from Jamie’s own life. Each chapter ends with an insightful poem (many of which brought me to tears) followed by reflections from other introverted moms.
In typical introvert fashion, Jamie’s life has been deeply influenced by literature, and throughout the book she shares quotes and takeaways from four beloved authors, all thought to be introverts: Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, and Louisa May Alcott. I enjoyed sitting under the mentorship of these literary greats and seeing how their introversion played a role in their success as writers.
While I had many takeaways from this book, the ones that will stick with me the longest relate to comparison and letting go of feelings that, because of my personality, I can never measure up to more outgoing, energetic moms. Jamie’s words and her own story remind me to focus on what I can do and let go of the guilt over my inability to do what was never mine to do in the first place.
If you are an introverted mother—and it’s likely, as recent studies estimate that one-third to one-half of individuals are introverts—this book will be a comfortable, calming companion as you walk the solitary road of introverted motherhood.
My Rating: 4 Stars.