Let’s face it. Motherhood is like iced tea, long island style. Except, the drink only contains five liquors plus a mixer, whereas being a mom contains about a million feelings plus the mix of raising kids. The long island gets us drunk for a time, but we can sleep if off.
But the cocktail of motherhood stays with us forever.
Some days we’re happy and drunk, other days we’re beyond hungover—and everything in between. We don’t get to choose the inebriation or headache. Motherhood calls the shots.
So, since feelings will come and go in whatever direction our children and life decide to push, how do we navigate the emotional landscape? We can start by getting real about how we feel with others; vulnerability goes a forever way.
The rewards of being transparent and honest about how we’re feeling far outweigh the risk.
I say this because as moms, we’re all in this crackpot together. Mom feelings are universal in nature even though our circumstances and experiences are unique. Fear is fear, worry is worry, depressed is depressed, and confused is confused is confused—among many other things. Not to mention the upswings of our moods: feeling grateful, elated, proud, etc.
Why do we pretend we aren’t feeling these feelings when someone asks, “How are you?” Why is, “I’m fine,” our go-to response when fine is rarely the truth? I know for me, I’m feeling at least seven emotions about my three adult kids as I type these words.
I’m in the hangover stage from consuming a blend of fear, confusion, worry, distress, burn-out, insecurity, and sadness.
My head hurts, my heart aches, and trying to figure out how to manage all the emotion makes me nauseous.
Now I could continue to go it alone in working out the internal mishmash, or I could talk to a trusted friend, another mom who will surely understand how I’m feeling even if she has no advice or wisdom for my circumstances. Just being able to unload is a relief when we are overwhelmed—and it opens the door for mutual understanding and opportunity for healing.
The sharing creates safe space for the person listening to also open up. Kind of like an if you’re being brave, then I can be brave too set up.
The thing is moms across the globe are losing their marbles, heavy with sadness, elated with joy, and any number of a zillion other feelings right at this moment.
It’s not just that it takes a village to raise a child; it takes a village to care for the village. We need each other, mommas. We need to connect and start talking about all the laundry—dirty and clean—that piles up on our heart. It’s too much to wash and fold on our own. The more we try to manage solo, the deeper we will become buried beneath the mounds of emotion.
Mommas, we don’t need to say I’m fine when we’re not. We need to raise a glass or mug or Starbucks cup and say what we really feel: I feel alone, I feel sad, I feel desperate, I feel like quitting, I feel angry, I feel distressed, etc.
Chances are, the person who’s listening is going to say, “Me too.” And then compassion, empathy and healing begin.
Cheers to being real. Like real real.
I’m not trying to stir the pot or create negative feelings. But I do not understand why so many parenting articles use “mom” and not “parent”. I bust my butt for my kids every day, make sacrifices, and feel many of these same emotions.
Brad..thanks so much for speaking up! I am in know way slighting you and your efforts. In general, I write to moms on my blog and all over the web. That’s just my primary audience. I HIGHLY encourage you to share your feelings (because they are VALID and need to be heard) over at the new site called His View From Home. This is a place where dads write from their perspective. We all need to hear from you–dads and moms included.
Thanks for doing all the things for your kids. And, please, keep sharing your feelings. It’s important for all of us to be real and authentic!
and ignore my typo… lol *no Also, send me an email if you need help getting connected with His View
I know the reason I respond with “fine”…because I don’t want to burden someone else with my problems in case they are feeling the same way I am. Unless I know someone well and know they can handle the deluge of feelings that would accompany a “real” response with me, I don’t open the flood gates.