Guilt-free Parenting for Introverts

Apr 27, 2016

Nalumana Life Coaching |

You can’t wait to get away from your kids.  Your partner too, for that matter.  You can’t wait to have no physical contact with other humans whatsoever.  You long for silence.


You just wish your family would leave you alone.

And you feel guilty as hell about it.

But what if feeling this way were completely normal?

What if needing physical and emotional distance from your family in order to re-energize was actually considered the socially accepted, healthy thing to do?  What if if were even considered necessary?


Thanks to the book “Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” by Susan Cain, we’re all a little more aware of the nature of introverts.  They’re not antisocial; they gain their energy from being alone.  They’re not aloof; they tend to think through their ideas before saying anything out loud.  They’re not standoffish; they become overwhelmed by too much physical contact.

Put this way, parenting is just about the hardest job an introvert can have.  Long hours of constant chatter, continuous human contact, little time to themselves.

Without the opportunity to be alone and recharge, introverted parents can quickly find themselves on a freight train toward burnout.  But our need for separation, solitude, and quiet remains mired in guilt.

What we as a society forget, and what introverts need to get better at vocalizing, is that having time to ourselves is not indulgent.  It’s not about taking a bath or painting our toenails:  it’s survival.



Required for our mental health.

Not wanting to be with your children – even feeling drained by their constant physical and emotional presence – does not make you a bad mother.

Not wanting to be intimate with your partner after a day of having children in your personal space does not make you a bad partner.

It makes you an introverted person who is attuned to her needs.

I challenge you to take it one step further and own it, mama.  Make sure everyone in your household knows how important your solitary re-charge time is, and make it happen.  Because it’s absolutely not self-indulgent:  it’s self-preservation.


Your turn:


Are you an introverted parent?  Have you felt guilty about needing time to yourself?

How do you recharge your batteries after a day with the kids?

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!