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Do Not Take Critical Words to Heart, Mama

Do not take critical words to heart, mama

For all the words of wisdom new mothers receive, no one prepared me for the BIG emotions that come with motherhood.  

When my journey of motherhood began four years ago, it’s like the floodgates of emotions opened. I cried tears of joy at first steps and felt crushing guilt when I was having a ‘bad’ mom day. Packing up clothes that were suddenly too small was a reminder of how quickly they were growing up. The worst was realizing that, all too often, moms cannot always make things better for our little ones. 

I Never Thought I Would Feel So Intensely

I never thought I would feel so intensely for another human, but everything changed the instant I saw their cute, red, wrinkly little faces.  Love at first sight does exist! These tiny people have brought so many new and vibrant emotions into my life. I can’t imagine life without them. The sweet words of, “I love you, Mama,” fill my heart with such unspeakable joy. It’s an indescribable feeling! My other personal favorite is “you’re the best mama.” These simple words of affirmation, are a realization that I am doing something right. Baby snuggles, kisses, hugs for no reason, the sweet projects they make at school just make a mama’s cup runneth over. These are the good emotions of motherhood, the moments that make this crazy journey worthwhile.  

Not All BIG Emotions are as Glamorous or Fulfilling.

I wish someone would have warned me that there will be days, weeks, maybe even longer periods, that feel like you are climbing an emotional mountain with no downhill in site. These are the tough, yucky, messy aspects of parenting that you cannot believe are true until you experience them first hand. 

I have never felt so helpless as when my child is going through a rough patch which comes out of nowhere. Every time another bump in the road pops up, I spend countless hours trying to figure out what could be causing this change in behavior. I wrack my brain, lose sleep, and feel like I’ve failed. Moms are supposed to be the ultimate fixer and when I cannot, it is emotionally destroying. 

Critical words are what send my mom emotions into overdrive. There is nothing worse to me as a mother than when I pick my up my child and receive an unpleasant report. This makes me question my ability to parent. Hearing critical words about your child is very personal, difficult to process, and not easy to forgot or let go. Every fiber of my being feels attacked and it causes emotional distress. It can bring out the mama bear living deep inside. Most the time, I should see these “bad” days coming.  Often there is similar behavior occurring at home that we have been trying to navigate, but for some reason, it does not make the sting of critical words hurt any less. 

Overcoming Critical Words has Been One of My Biggest Hurdles as a Parent.

Try as I may, I am unable to brush those critical words away, and may never be able to completely. With sound advice from people wiser than me,  I have developed ways to help ease the sting of critical words.  These simple truths have helped me extraordinarily to not become emotionally distraught over words.  

  1. Kids will have rough days, just like adults. They have so many emotions that they don’t know how to deal with so they will act out of frustration.  
  2. Remind yourself of what you are doing well as a parent! Focus on the positive. 
  3. Don’t take these words to heart. Try your best to let them go. 
  4. Little kids will be kids and there’s no rhyme or reason to their actions. 
  5. Show them and yourself a little grace. 

Number two is especially important! You are doing this. You are rocking this parenting thing. Some days are just harder than others.

What do you tell yourself and your kids when words sting?

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