Dem motherhood feels
Wow, those feelings are quite something. Having my second child, they've impacted me more acutely and I've tuned in, thankful to have some help on that...
One thing I was amazed at with having very two little children was how a day could go so well and at 4pm turn to custard and that including an internal emotional collapse from myself. Sometimes it leaked outwards in all sorts of strung out parent ways and sometimes I was resilient and held it together with my mantra: "if you ain't got it, you can't help them find it" in terms of supporting the kiddos with very very emerging (looking like none) emotional regulation.
A couple of days, when my not so contented little baby and my boisterous toddler were needing a lot all at the same time I sat to recognise the feelings in my body. After acknowledging my thoughts of "this is too hard, how do people do it, FML, FML, FML, where is my %$#& village, I need pills....." etc.
I noticed a feeling above my gut but below my chest. Another day I had a feeling though my upper body that transcended down my arms. I sat and thought really hard at what they were. I tried to move beyond my 3 feeling word vocal (happy, sad, mad) and I came up with anguish and despair.
Wanting to be a perfect student, I googled them to see if they might be "correct" and they looked super heavy and I thought OMG I can't be feeling them, yuck go away I am not the grim reaper or anything (thinking it's "bad" or "dramatic" to feel them) ... And then I thought well, why not? They literally lasted about 3 seconds (because I acknowledged them and allowed myself to feel them) and then they passed. At the end of those days in the shower I then listed everything I had felt. May have been crying in the shower ... I came up with despair, joy, elation, frustration, anger, sadness, worry, concern, failure, doubt, hesitation and content. And I told my husband how I feel like a failure at the end of each day.
This has helped me so much and perhaps it was auspicious that a short time before having my second I was listening to Brene Brown who talks about our very limited feeling vocab and how we have so few words we use to connect with our feelings - called feelings, because firstly, we feel them in our body. She talks about extending to the 100 feeling words that there are for the myriad of feelings we experience each day. I feel so much better now connecting to (not all) but many of my feelings rather than at the end of the day feeling confused, miffed and like I am a big failure and this sucks.
Thanks Brene ~ You're really helping rn. I'm putting it together while I continue to fall apart. A favourite for me is "falling apart without going to pieces" - Yalom, and that is so fitting. In the modern lexicon I had very little verbal expression to give to these internal experiences, it went something like "I feel like a failure and I'm sad, so does that mean I'm depressed???" I wasn't sad often, and I didn't feel depressed. I knew it was all so much deeper, colourful and complex than that, and I was lucky enough to have a balance of positive and negative emotions (of course this is not always the case for people.) Who knew there could be so many emotions hitting outward all in one day. It's intense, but the intensity lets up. This much I know intuitively, even before I'm there.
So for now, I enjoy the ride.