Introverted Mom With Extroverted Child Wonders If She's A Terrible Parent For Being Overstimulated & Snapping At Her Kid

Needing time alone doesn't make anyone a bad parent.

mom on computer while kid jumps on couch Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

A mom asked for help with parenting techniques on the subreddit r/breakingmoms, which defines itself as a “Moms Only” space in the Reddit community that encourages moms to “just say what’s going on. No judgments, no nastiness.”

She described a feeling that many moms on the forum were completely familiar with — the feeling of being too tapped out to parent with patience.

The introverted mom with an extroverted kid wondered if she was a terrible parent for feeling overstimulated and snapping.

The mom of a seven-year-old daughter asked, “How do you deal with the nonstop talking and sensory input?” She shared, “I feel like a horrible parent, but I am overstimulated and have been snapping at my daughter and husband all weekend. I just want to be left alone for more than a few minutes.”


“I love my daughter. She is creative and curious and smart and funny. She also talks from the second she wakes up until the second she falls asleep,” the mom explained. “She will not play by herself, no matter the activity. Her frustration threshold for things not going her way is very, very low.”

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The mom described boundaries she and her husband planned to set to encourage their daughter to be on her own more, focusing on limiting screen time and having her sleep in her own bed, which their daughter has been struggling to do recently. 


She gave context for her daughter’s behavior, saying, “She has what I suspect is a lot of anxiety, as do I, so I am trying really hard to be understanding and not get annoyed, but I’m failing at that this week.”

introverted mom asks if she's a bad parent for yelling at her kid after being overstimulatedPhoto: Jonathon Borba / Pexels 

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She and her husband scheduled an appointment with a child psychologist, yet the mom doesn’t feel hopeful that it will help, given her past experience with a therapist “who laughed and basically said ‘parents don’t get time alone.’”

The mom’s concerns about feeling too overstimulated to care for her daughter calmly were echoed by almost every other mom on the forum.

Some moms offered emotional support by way of commiseration, while others gave the mom practical techniques to try and navigate having a talkative, outgoing child.

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One mom suggested instituting “a time of day where everyone in the house practices being alone together. This means everyone gets to be engaged in their own creative or consumption pursuit for at least an hour, and it must be done in a way that does not impede upon anyone else’s activity.”

Another mom shared, “I’m also at my best when I’m rested and have time to recharge. If that means an extra hour of screen time or dad takes kiddo out for a bit, so be it.” She emphasized her belief that “parents DO deserve alone time,” stating the simple fact, “We’re human.”

introverted mom asks if she's a bad parent for yelling at her kid after being overstimulatedPhoto: Monstera / Pexels


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The mom who made the original post commented, “I am struggling to function without lashing out this weekend. I am running on empty.” She explained that she’s been allowing extra screen time, yet her daughter still tries to engage her in conversation, leading to the mom feeling even more frazzled.

Motherhood in the United States is framed as an all-consuming role, one where women give up their identities and senses of self in order to raise children. Yet that view of parenting isn’t balanced or sustainable, and as this mom’s experience highlights, it leads to intense feelings of parental burnout. 

This mom might feel like she’s short-circuiting, yet testimony from other moms proves that she is far from alone in her experience. You can love your kids to the moon and beyond and still need to recharge.


Alone time helps parents be better parents. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.