Emotions run wild in motherhood; if only there was a class for that …
Simmer down … today, we are discussing emotions and how they affect us. Merriam – Websters Dictionary defines emotions as “a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.” As much of a discussion as we could have on what that means, we will go with the more direct definition: emotions are a state of feeling.
To aid our discussion on feelings, we have a guest. She is a mom of five years to two young children, and she will specifically discuss emotions during motherhood. Class please welcome, Vannah Shaw…
I wish discussing motherhood and emotions was just this easy. We could all sit down, take a class, form a logical conclusion, and move on. But it’s not that simple, especially for someone like me who needs a dictionary definition to categorize her emotions.
I think about when I first become a mother. It was overwhelming. I hadn’t been around children much, and I had no clue what I was doing. What I did learn, I learned from classes at the hospital where I delivered my children. The nurses discussed breastfeeding, delivery options, and skin-to-skin contact. While there was an introduction to post-partum depression, there was really no class on emotions.
Motherhood is full of happiness, sadness, loneliness, excitement, and fulfillment.
All these emotions happen over time, or sometimes all at once. While motherhood has become a little more routine, and so have my emotions, that does not mean that I have figured out everything there is to know about navigating this emotional journey.
Changes in life, changes in career, or simply changes because of the pandemic can leave us feeling emotionally empty. Moms can always find the strength to make something out of nothing for the sake of their children; however, it can be really difficult to pour out positive emotions when your tank is on empty.
I don’t have all the answers, let alone enough to give a talk on it, as I implied above. Still, one thing I am doing lately is allowing myself to feel. I’m allowing myself to address my emotions instead of stuffing them down and ignoring them. I find when I ignore my emotions, they come out in other ways. It makes no sense to be distant with my children because of something another adult or I have done or because of life in general.
I take a few minutes in the morning to acknowledge what is going on in my head, and I ride it out. Whatever it may be.
I’m also getting more sleep.
I used to put the kids to bed, get in a workout, and take my time. Now, when they go to sleep, I’m not far behind. I still workout because this allows me time to sort out my emotions, but I do it earlier on weekends now so that it does not affect my rest.
I’m trying to improve my diet. You know how it goes. Eat all you can before the first Monday of the New Year, when we have to start eating healthy again! Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we are into February. It’s time to get back to green smoothies and veggies. I can honestly say this is a mood-booster.
When I’m absolutely out of strength, I draw strength from other moms. I reach out to a mom friend. When they aren’t available, I love reading about the struggles and successes of other moms. I get just enough focus and determination to push through the hard times. There are some awesome moms here on this blog.
I’m always praying for wisdom.
So, in conclusion, class, we have learned that being emotional is ok. Our emotions are ever-changing and evolving. The important thing to remember is to take care of ourselves and that we don’t have to be perfect. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel, and work through it so that you can be emotionally present for the little ones.
Today’s homework is to take a self-assessment of how you have been feeling lately!