Have you ever hidden a stash of chocolate on a high shelf in the bathroom? If so, you might be an introverted mom! But how can we tell if we’re introverted or extroverted? Today my friend Jamie Martin is offering insight into the heart of an introverted mom as well as tips for how we can shepherd and love our extroverted and introverted family members. Tune in and be encouraged!
- Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy
- Preview Night at Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center in Vancouver, Washington
- Teach Them Diligently in Mobile
- Abundant Life Church in Lee’s, Summit
- MomStrong International
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Jamie C. Martin is an introverted mom of three, who loves books, tea, and people (not always in that order), and avoids answering the phone when possible. She created the site Steady Mom in 2009 and co-founded SimpleHomeschool.net in 2010, where she’s served as editor-in-chief for nearly a decade. Jamie is also the author of Give Your Child the World, Mindset for Moms, and Steady Days, as well as her new release, Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy. Her work has been featured by LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow, the Washington Post, Parents, and The Read Aloud Revival with Sarah Mackenzie.
Hey everybody, how are you guys doing today? This is Heidi St. John. thanks for tuning in to the Heidi St. John podcast. Today is Friday.
Can you guys even believe it? Today is Friday May 3rd? It is Meet My Friend Friday, episode number 761. Today I am thrilled because Jamie Martin is on my podcast for the first time. You guys are going to love her, and she has a brand new book out. Today we’re going to be talking a little bit about introverts versus extroverts—because Jamie has written a brand new book that just came out called The Introverted Mom. You guys are going to love this one. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So thanks for listening today everybody. A couple of things going on. First of all, thanks to everyone who came out for Apple Pie Day yesterday at the Oregon State Capitol. We have been privileged to lend our voices to a variety of things in the last year and a half. And one of them obviously that we are very concerned and passionate about is parental rights and making sure that parents get off the bench and onto the battlefield. So for everyone who came out to the Oregon State Capitol, in Salem yesterday, for Apple Pie Day—thanks for coming out, thanks for meeting your legislators. It’s a great opportunity for us to really get involved in the process.
Tonight I will be at the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center in Vancouver, Washington for Preview Night. So, if you’re anywhere in the area and you would like to see what in the world is going on, and kind of what we’re gonna be doing next year, next fall—come on out! We’re doing every kind of class you can possibly imagine—we have a beekeeping program now, we’ve got a full dance program, and a music program.
Really, what we’re trying to do is encourage parents who want to homeschool—that they don’t have to do it alone. And so I hope that you’ll come out.
Next weekend I will be at Teach Them Diligently in Mobile. I will be there on Thursday and Friday, and then Sunday—I’m going to be bringing the message out Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. So big weekend coming up! I hope you guys will come out—if you’ve got questions, please feel free to email me. If you’ve got questions for my assistant, just shoot them off to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All right, I’m excited today because we’re gonna be talking about something that has always fascinated me and I’m really thrilled to have Jamie Martin on the podcast. This is her first time on my podcast. She is a mother of three and she calls herself an introvert—which is kind of what we’re going to be talking about today. And she has created a brand new book. She’s written a brand new book that I think you guys are gonna really love and the release of that is actually coming up! So the good news for you guys listening to this is, if you purchase her book before the 7th of May—there are always freebies when you order a book before it’s actually officially released. So I have been privileged to hold this book in my in my hands. It’s called Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy. I love it.
Jamie Martin, welcome to the podcast.
[Jamie] Thank you so much for having me Heidi. I’ve been really looking forward to this.
[Heidi] I’m looking forward to it too. So you have been… you’re a mom. How old are your kids? Your mom of three.
[Jamie] My kids right now, as of this recording, are 15, 14, and 14. And no, I do not have twins, so that’s always fun to talk about because my oldest and youngest are not twins.
[Heidi] Oh wow! Well—you have to finish it now.
[Jamie] Yes. My oldest and youngest are adopted internationally, my daughter— who is my 15 year old currently, is from India. And then our youngest son, Elijah, we adopted from Liberia, West Africa. And then our middle son, is our biological son, Jonathan. So he and Elijah have about six months in between their ages. So for half of the year they’re at the same age, and then the other half Jonathan pulls ahead which of course he is always quick to mention that he’s still the older brother.
[Heidi] My brother and I are 11 months apart—we are biological—so I think my mom was maybe… she said that my brother was like two and half months old when she got pregnant with me. Not the best year of her life. She has told me. But Erin and I, my brother and I, are 11 months apart. And when we were growing up, you know, for that one month out of the year—I was his age. And so I would say to him—Oh I’m your age now, we’re both 15, we’re both sixteen —well now that we’re both, you know, pretty much in our 50’s—we don’t do that anymore. I don’t know what happened but somewhere along the line the tables turn and you’re like—OK it’s actually not that awesome to be your age anymore. If I stay behind you as long as i can. So it’ll be fun for you to watch that sort of develop with your kids as they get older.
I want to jump right into your book, because I think this is gonna be a topic that fascinates a lot of people. Because we fall into—typically people say you’re either introverted or you’re extroverted. And I I want to know how you figured out that you were an introvert.
[Jamie] Great question. I found out I was an introvert as a freshman in high school where, as part of a class, we had to take a personality test and sitting in the back of my civics class—I remember looking at the results and not everything made a lot of sense to me. But I did notice that the “I” in this stack of four letters—that those who might be familiar with Myers Briggs might recognize. The “I” stood for introversion, and that wasn’t a big surprise because I knew that I had always preferred—I loved reading books, I loved having quiet, didn’t mind being by myself—and if I’d had a busy day with a lot of social engagements, then I would have enjoyed afterwards having some downtime. So I don’t think that it was a big shock to learn that officially, so to speak. But I do remember feeling a little bit embarrassed by it as if it was not the preferred tendency—that extroversion was preferred. And throughout my life, I saw my personality continue to grow and develop as I got married, as I had my first job, but I think it wasn’t until I really was a young mom—that I realized how much being an introvert affected my parenting style. Because suddenly the concept of—Oh I’ve had a really busy day I’m just going to take some time out for myself—hat was not necessarily even possible as a mom of young kids. And that’s when I began to see—oh my goodness, without that time there’s no way I can be the best mom that God wants me to be—because God actually chose introversion for me. He gifted me that. That’s part of the way that He created me to be. Ad that started me on a journey of just figuring out—okay, what does it mean to thrive as an introverted mom and to take into account the way that God made me as I parent my children.
[Heidi] So when you talk about introvert, I think this is this is interesting because I think there’s a lot there are a lot of different people who would define introversion or extroversion in different ways. For example, I think immediately—when I think of the personalities, I always think of Melissa—who has been my assistant here in my ministry for over six years—and she’s a classic extrovert. And she’ll say that she’s an extrovert. And for a long time I thought that I was an extrovert until I got around her. And I as like —oh no, that’s not actually me. And that’s one of the reasons I love her, because we complement each other so well. So when someone is going to ask you, because they will now that you’ve written this book about introverted moms—when you think about being an introvert, what for you, for Jamie Martin—what does that look like?
[Jamie] Well, I would define introversion and extroversion, as having to do with where and how you get your energy. And I think that’s the simplest way, especially to start from, the simplest definition to start from. So introverts tend to get their energy through time alone—and that doesn’t mean that they don’t like people or that they don’t like to be around people—which I think is one of the classic stereotypes and misconceptions. So it doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy people time, but it means that people time even with really close friends or your family, will eventually drain you and you have to unplug from that time with people—in order to recharge and get energy replenish so that you can go back to your family again.
On the other hand extroverts, tend to get energy from the people time. Either, it could be a crowded event—something that maybe we wouldn’t think introverts might enjoy. It might just be a busy day where they’ve had time to chat on the phone with a good mom friend, or other things—and those conversations and those activities will actually fuel them so that when they come home from a busy morning at church, let’s say, or at a party with friends—they will feel ready to go for more and so excited. Whereas an introvert who might enjoy that same experience will come home and think—okay, I need to just watch an episode of something or I need to go to bed early. And so. It just has to do with where our energy comes from.
[Heidi] Yeah and sort of recharging. I think that’s true, and I think —you and I have talked about this just for a few minutes—how you can look at somebody, like me for example, who speaks for a living and is around people all the time, and I think we assume that that type of personality must be extroverted. But really what we’re learning is it’s not how you are in your life—it’s how you recharge, really—and sort of what drains you and what recharge is you. And I love that you’re that you’re pointing that out, because a lot of moms listen to this, probably a lot of dads too, are going—ding ding ding, wait a second—I’m realizing something about myself.
So when you figured out that you’re an introvert, and you’re realizing — okay, my batteries recharge a little bit differently. How did your family life change? Did it change once you accepted that—hey this is how your personality is, this is how the Lord wired you— and you realize—oh, I’m an introvert and I’m good with it. How did that affect your family?
[Jamie] I think it just became a new level of freedom in my life, and by extension, my family’s life. Because before really having the full realization, and understanding, and self-awareness of what that meant—I tended to feel a lot of guilt and shame from the fact that these little people who I adored also could make me feel so drained, and exhausted, and fatigued—and I didn’t understand enough about my personality to really nail down why. So I just thought—I’m not good at this, I’m a bad mom.
And so, I feel like that’s the part that really shifted which is a big deal because suddenly I felt like—oh my gosh—no,God is saying that this is a gift He’s given me, this is the way that He’s wired me. And that means, I have insights to offer that those who are extroverts don’t, and vice versa of course. And so, being aware of that meant that I could look into a crowded day that we’re going to have. I can know—okay, so this activity and that activity is going to be difficult by the end of it, the end of the four hours that we’re out. So when we get home I’m going to need to have the kids listen to audiobooks in their room or I’m going to need this. And that changed everything from before feeling like— okay, yeah we’ve had a busy morning and but that’s my job because I’m a mom so I need to do more, and what do we need now. And so I began to just take myself into account into consideration when I looked at our home school day, our schedule—and that was really a game changer because factoring myself in, and not just my kids—meant that I could be the better mom to them as well. So it really is like a win win.
[Heidi] When you’re thinking about that, what’s helping you do is just manage your day a little bit better—and I think so often as moms the last thing we do is take care of ourselves. And I will remember being in Florida, many years ago with our kids—and I’ve told the story out on the road before—but you know, I did what all moms do: I slathered sunscreen on our kids, you know, and on my husband before we went to the beach. I forgot to put sunscreen on myself. I was so worried about the kids that I didn’t put sunscreen on myself. And I came home with second degree burns. I mean I was burned so badly—on the back of my legs, and by the time I realized I had forgotten about myself—at that point in the day, it was really too late.
And I think that that really does translate to mothers because, and really to parents in general, I think sometimes we forget—hey, you know, we have to take care of ourselves if we want to be a great mom or a great dad. At some point, you’ve got to recharge your batteries, right? The same thing is true of marriage if you spend all your time focused on your children, and you don’t focus on the marriage, and the marriage suffers—well then the net result of that is that the children suffer. by default. Have you seen that happen? Do you think that’s pretty much the way it is all around the spectrum of introverts and extroverts? It’s this learning to be sensitive to the needs of the parents so that the parents can pour into the children.
[Jamie] Yes, I’ve definitely seen that again and again. And I think though, as moms—whether it’s because we’re culturally conditioned a certain way—we feel like we’re supposed to do and be everything to our kids—that we shouldn’t have needs. And some part of us still has that niggle that it’s being selfish. And what I love, which I share in the book about a chapter about connecting with God as an introvert—is examining these introverted moments that we find in scripture. And Jesus blended His extroverted and introverted sides so beautifully—we see him in these really public roles, then we see Him retreating to have that quiet time with the Father. And I love that picture because of course Jesus wasn’t being selfish to do that. He was doing exactly what he was called to do, and that in turn equipped him to go out and do what God was calling him to do next.
[Heidi] Yeah it’s so important, and I know that especially when my husband are out on the road, and as I’ve gotten older, I think that the introvert extrovert thing changes through different seasons of life depending on the, you know—the pressures that we’re under, and then realizing—oh my goodness I’m going to have to shift what I’m doing because what I was doing last school year, what I was doing last year in general isn’t isn’t working anymore. And so when we look at introverts and extroverts—we handle things typically differently. And so, how do you think that introverts would handle that something difficult that comes at them as opposed to an extrovert?
[Jamie] Yes, I have a chapter that’s about handling loss and heartache as an introvert—because it is really different. And introverts tend to be internal processors, which means that we go more into our heads when things get difficult because we gravitate toward thoughts, and analyzing them ourselves—as opposed to gravitating gravitating toward verbal processing, or getting out in the open,chatting about it, taking in thoughts from other people. We can do that too, but our natural bent tends to be more doing that on the inside. And that can be a danger for introverts going through a really difficult lot life season.
As a parent, let’s say you know your husband loses his job, or you get a scary diagnosis, or just real life that we’re talking about. And I think being aware of your personality when you enter a season like that, or when you’re going through the midst of it, can really make a difference in navigating those healthily. Of course it’s not going to eliminate all struggle by any means—but just knowing that there are times where it’s good for introverts to process in their heads alone that can be helpful to a certain point. And beyond that point it can become something to their detriment—because really God created us to share openly, vulnerability, with safe people, right? — with those who are in our inner circle.
And I think just opening up about what’s really going on with us, on the inside, can help us to overcome because we were made to journey through life and community— weren’t we? And journey through life together, and lean on our lean on our friends. So that’s what I would encourage an introvert going through a difficult time to do. There’s a balance in that. And actually, there’s a mom that I interviewed. She said that she had this great rule — I thought it was a game changer. Where she talks about that if she’s having a difficult day with the kids, a difficult time a difficult moment, she will talk to one friend about that and get the support that she needs. But then to make sure that she doesn’t verge into more of a complaining, unhealthy territory, or space—she will then like pray about it if it’s still on her mind. So she won’t go talk to her mom about it, or all these different people—because sometimes just that turns into more like venting. Right?
So that’s not exactly what I’m talking about.
[Heidi] I think it invites drama, also. Just say no to drama.
[Jamie] Right. So that’s not what I’m talking about. But I’m talking about—having the courage to open up about what’s really going on in the inside, and I would encourage all. All of us need to do that, but introverts particularly.
[Heidi] So one more thing and we’ve got about two minutes left, so I want to take this a different direction really quickly. Every single one of us has a mixture of people in our families, right? Some of us are introverted. I actually think people can be a mixture of both introvert and extrovert. You talked a little bit about Jesus, you know, really learning to balance those parts of Him, and I think all of us need to learn to do that to a certain degree. But when you’re thinking about people who are in your family, who are either more introverted or more extroverted—how do you try to balance the needs of each of those types with also including your own? So talk for a minute to the mom and the dad, or maybe there’s a teenager listening to this who saying—oh my goodness, I just realized I’m actually an extrovert! That explains a lot about my mom.. or whatever—and how can we balance each type of needs, and maintain a harmony in our families?
[Jamie] Yes, well you’re absolutely right that we both — no person is like exclusively an introvert or exclusively an extrovert. We need both types, and we use them at different times—and that is healthy and good to do that. But we tend to lean maybe more towards a certain way than the other. And that’s that’s good as well. So in our family we have three extroverts. My husband, my daughter, and one of my sons. And then I’m an introvert, and my son Elijah who was born in Liberia is an introvert as well.
So for one thing, we talk a lot about it—because obviously this is a passion of mine—so that they understand who God created them to be and how he wired them. That their personality is a gift, not any kind of deficiency, and that it offers good things to our families. Then from my perspective as a mom, when I look at my extroverts I know—okay, they genuinely need time around people because that’s the way God made them. So I will look for what I call win-wins, to meet that need. So if I was going to try to take them to an activity where I also have to be there the whole time, for several hours— that’s going to be really draining for me. But, especially now as they’re getting older— I can take them somewhere that’s a drop off. It’s a great experience for them whether it’s youth group or something that’s going on at our church. And then I can wait for them at the Starbucks around the corner, and then I go back and pick them up. So that way we’re both meeting each of our needs in a healthy way.
At the same time, as an introvert raising an introvert, I just look to protect my son Elijah’s refueling time in ways that he might not naturally do—and I’ve done that since he was young. And then I also just look to help him role play when we’re going out because the social conversations and things that take him by surprise—he needs time to prepare for those. So if we’re going out to dinner, or we’re meeting someone or another family, I might talk about— okay, they might ask you about this, or they might ask you about homeschooling, and we kind of prepare ahead of time and that’s been really helpful for him as well.
[Heidi] That’s awesome. So if you’re thinking— I wonder if I’m an introvert or wonder if this is my child— I love Jamie, that you took time in here to address the parents you have an introverted child. I think this is especially challenging if the mom is an extrovert and her child is an introvert. This will really help you understand how you can really get to the heart of your child.
Really quick Jamie, how can people find out about you and what is the bonus? —because we’re still in the bonus period, preorder period, for your book right now. What does that look like for people who want to preorder your book?
[Jamie] Yes. Well if he go to JamieCMartin.com/Introvert—that’s the book landing page, so it has everything you can need to know about Introverted Mom. It also has a quiz so that, like you’re saying Heidi, if you’re not sure—am I an introvert or an extrovert?, I created a quiz that you can take there which is fun. And yes, people who order before Tuesday when the book launches get for preorder bonuses that I created called A Year of Introverted Mom Inspiration—and there’s actually a separate bonus for each season—spring,summer, fall, and winter. There is also a special Mother’s Day bonus, which are these beautiful prints designed with quotes that I called Introverted Mom Mantras. So one says like— drink tea read books be happy —and they’re so beautiful and you just print them out, and I have suggested frames that they’ll fit right in. I’ve got them on my wall and they’re stunning. So I’m super excited to just be able to offer those to people who have bought the book ahead of time.
[Heidi] Awesome. Well thank you so much for coming on the show today. It has been a joy to have you and I wish you the best with Introvert a Mom, I think it’s going to bless a lot of moms.
[Jamie] Thank you so much Heidi for all that you do to bless moms.
[Heidi] You’re very welcome. For more information on Jamie Martin and her new book please go to the show notes today. You guys will notice that we have started transcribing these podcasts, and so we link back to everything that we talk about so you can very easily find Jamie by just going to HeidiStJohn.com/Podcast. And it’s also a great place for you to get to Jamie’s landing page—so you can be sure to get in on those preorder bonuses.
I want to encourage you again if you’re in the Portland Vancouver area—I will be at the Homeschool Resource Center tonight talking about ways that you guys can get involved in community next year. Particularly as it relates to homeschooling—so coming out! And the next weekend, I will be in Mobile, Alabama.
Please come back next Friday, my friend Abby Johnson—you guys may be familiar with her name—she is the name behind the movie unplanned—and she will be on the podcast with me next Friday. You won’t want to miss that.
In the meantime we’re starting a brand new study over at MomStrongInternational.com — starts on Monday and we’re going to be talking about the power of the tongue.
This is a great time to join MomStrong International. You can check it out at MomStrongInternational.com — and meantime you guys, have a fantastic weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday.