Introverts Get Real About The Extra (Unwanted) Attention Having A Baby Brings

The extra visits. Strangers chatting to you in the supermarket. Welcome to the stuff of introverts' nightmares.
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When a new baby is born; friends, family, colleagues, and even your second cousin twice removed will come out of the woodwork, wanting to visit at all hours.

It’s an introvert’s worst nightmare.

“I love my baby but I totally hate the social interaction it brought,” wrote one introverted parent on Reddit.

“I know everyone wants to see our beautiful baby, but man I totally hate people visiting over, even if it is scheduled.”

To make matters worse, they added that whenever they do have visitors, it ends up messing up their baby’s feeding and sleeping scheduling, resulting in a very fussy night ahead.

“Oh well, I guess I just have to become an extrovert,” they joked.

Others were quick to chime in about how the struggle is real for introvert parents.

“My only regret I have when my LO [little one] was a newborn is that I felt I ‘should’ have visitors,” wrote one parent in response to the post.

“I’m an introvert ... I’m the first of my friends to have kids, so our visits are me ‘talking at myself’ about parenting things that they can’t relate to, or me listening to my old life that I’m just disconnected from.”

To make matters more difficult, their baby will become overtired after visits and “screams for hours after”. Fun. “I do not enjoy just waiting for the ticking time bomb to go off,” they added.

“I talked to my therapist and realised I only scheduled visits with friends out of ‘obligation/guilt’ because ‘they haven’t seen him yet’. After that appointment, I cancelled all scheduled visits.”

Another said: “I was just telling my husband what an adjustment it is for us introverts to have a baby. All the visitors that we’ve never had before!”

They explained how before having a baby, they had people over around five times in two years. But since having a little one, it had become multiple times a week. “It’s definitely a struggle!” they added.

“My baby has just turned three months and I can’t wait until the ‘novelty’ wears off and people stop requesting to visit so much,” another parent said.

And it’s not just visits that can be draining for introverted parents.

When you take your baby out in their pushchair, chances are you’ll get random strangers stopping to chat to you about your bundle of joy. Even if you’re in a rush to get somewhere.

While for lots of people this is just part and parcel of being a new parent – with some mums even enjoying the chance for interaction after spending the first five hours of the day chatting to an unresponsive tiny human – for introverts, the extra attention that having a baby brings is, well, unwanted.

“I get this. Also when I’m out just doing errands and everyone wants to stop and look at my baby and tell me how pretty she is,” added another parent.

“It’s very friendly but I just wanna buy my groceries, please don’t talk to me!”

Being an introvert can mean parenting is extra exhausting, as Shaleah Williams, creator of The Introverted Black Mom Podcast, told SELF: “There is mental exhaustion that people don’t see. Whether you’re working at home or outside the home, there’s a risk of peopling too much.”

If you’re an introverted parent, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and maintain a bit of balance:

  • Identify what drains you and know your limits. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to visitors if you’ve already got a packed schedule that week.
  • Schedule quiet time where you can be alone and recharge your batteries a bit. And while you’re at it, banish any guilt that comes from spending time alone.
  • Feel free to sit back during visits and listen, rather than feeling the need to steer conversation.

And if all else fails, move to the middle of nowhere.