How Do You Deal With The Negative Emotions Of Motherhood?

Unlike you may be tempted to believe, being a positive mom doesn’t mean that you are never negative. Being a positive mom simply means you choose to deal with negativity and move on!

how to deal with negative emotions in motherhood and stay positive

One of the practices that bring us the most misery as moms is to pretend that we have it all together and that everything is “fine.” I don’t know about you, but there is always something or someone raining on my parade…

I’ve always considered myself to be “strong,” and independent, you know, not the whiny type… yet I often experience devastation, fear of the unknown, anger, bitterness, the worry about measuring up, the pain of loneliness and isolation, the insecurity of not being enough. I feel the rejection of not being treated fairly, judged harshly, or wrongly accused, guilt, discouragement, disappointment, and overwhelm.  I feel lost and alone just like you.

With that being said, in the media, and often on the blogosphere, we are sold on the “SuperMom” idea… you know, the unrealistic expectation that as moms (and especially a stay-at-home mom) should be the kind who “has the time and the endless energy and resources” to bake fresh bread daily, make her own laundry soap, have a spotless clean home, look impeccable while doing it all… and making a 7-figure income. Oh and did I mention she also has the desire to do all these things?

While I do strive to do my best at all I do and to balance being a mom, a mompreneur, a homeschool educator, and a housewife, I have learned to recognize that something has to give sometimes because I don’t possess super powers (unless you count the power to choose, of course lol).

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said these powerful words: “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses,” and I agree, because it is while working through all my negative emotions that I become the positive mom, the positive wife, the positive me I want to be.

I think it is time for us to be honest with ourselves and with others, especially those closest to us. After all, the way we treat ourselves truly sets the standard for others in our lives. We must put our well-being first if we truly want to be successful at nurturing others, and this starts with honoring our feelings and emotions.

Conceal, Don’t Feel… Don’t Let Them Know

Poor Queen Elsa of Arendelle! The whole “conceal, don’t feel… be the good girl you always have to be” didn’t really work for her.  Does it work for you? We tend to suppress a lot of negative feelings and experiences because of the pressure to live up to others’ ideas of the kind of mother we should be. God forbid they would find out we are not perfect!

My days of hiding are over. If I can post on Facebook when I’m feeling happy, excited, and blessed, then why not also post that I feel sadness and anxiety, or need prayers? If I post about how proud I am about a coaching session I just had because I love what I do, why not post when my sink is overflowing with dirty dishes? It’s so liberating!

I have learned to speak honestly to my husband and my children about my emotional state so they know what to expect from me – and what not to expect, too. I don’t want my daughters thinking that I’m an iced robot… I want them to know I’m real and they have seen me cry (more like bawl my eyes out), pray and plead, and yell “oh no!” in complete frustration and overwhelm.  When they know how I feel, they offer me more compassion, words of affirmation, more support around the home, and more hugs, which accelerates my healing process.

Being real, taking off the mask of perfection, and having the freedom to experience negative emotions is a huge source of peace and relief for me.

Just Deal… You’ll Heal!

The truth is that the antidote for negativity or negative emotions is actually to feel and show them. As you do that, they dissipate and you can move forward to the positive side. Negative emotions are useful tools that help us gain self-awareness and self-mastery.

Do you have a hard time dealing with negative emotions?

The next time you are feeling resentment, anger, guilt, sadness, overwhelm, jealousy, fear, or any other so-called negative emotions, don’t hide them, don’t be ashamed of them. These emotions are not sinful, but God-given.

Like Elsa, we are taught that being intense or “too emotional” means that we are some kind of a monster, but the truth is that our emotions are simply warnings that let us know something needs checking. Consider it the soul’s “check engine” light, if you will. I believe I’m not the only one who finds that little light to be very worrisome and annoying… especially when I don’t know exactly why or what it means.

It’s Okay Healthy To Feel Negative Emotions

It’s okay to feel overtired, sad, and resentful, at times…motherhood is exhausting, and there is a lot going on that causes struggle, heartbreak, and worry.  Tell yourself it’s okay to feel like that… it is the human reaction to the craziness of being a mom and have your family’s world resting upon your shoulders.

We all feel sad, frustrated, irritable, and on-edge, and it can lead to disappointment because we think that we should  manage it all and still be positive, ALL THE TIME.  Being a mom is hard work, and add the anxiety about the children, the marriage (or the singlehood), the finances… and the hormones!!! … and if when we are stressed, we must recognize that we have plenty of reasons to be!  These emotions are NOT negative, they are normal!

Several studies, including a Gallup poll of over 60,000 women in the US found that stay-at-home moms feel more negative emotions on a daily basis, as well as to have been diagnosed with clinical depression.  It also revealed that stay-at-home moms are “less likely to say they smiled or laughed a lot, learned something interesting, and experienced enjoyment and happiness yesterday.

Know that you are not alone. Everyone is fighting a battle – or a few. It’s not about “misery loves company” or anything like that… you and I are not the type to feel better because others suffer. We are all imperfect and we all face the same opposition in different degrees at different times in our lives. When I perceive someone as “so perfectly perfect,” I know it now to be a figment of my active imagination or a sign that they are choosing to pretend to cope, not allowing themselves to grieve. Sadly, if they are hiding instead of being honest, they will not get out of their nightmare.

With everything that you are juggling, you may feel that your emotional needs are not worth a mention in the book of life. Dealing, healing… ain’t nobody got time for that! Actually, the more you pretend to cope, the bigger the issue becomes and the more time you’ll have to invest in getting it resolved.  Give yourself permission to feel your feelings!

progress is success - Elayna Fernandez , The Positive Mom

Even when it sounds crazy, it was when I allowed myself to admit that I am NOT where I want to be, that I started to progress on my journey… and as the recovering perfectionist that I am, I decided that progress IS success, and started to pat myself on the back and say no to beating myself up.

Suppressing my feelings has a history of making me a chaotic, dramatic, and explosive woman… someone I don’t want to ever be. Thank goodness I can’t build giant evil snowmen on the spot! Whew!

Freedom comes when I give myself permission to be authentic, to honor my imperfection, and every feeling that comes up with it… but more importantly, to honor who I can become as I move past it. As corny as it may sound now… we must learn to surrender and let it go.

Dealing with the negative emotions of motherhood is a great way to keep sane and to reclaim the joy it is meant to give us as women.

How do YOU deal with the negative emotions of motherhood?

Elayna Fernandez - Author - 
Speaker - Success Guide to Moms and Mompreneurs
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM

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55 thoughts on “How Do You Deal With The Negative Emotions Of Motherhood?

  1. I definitely think it’s part of life, but I try to push those feelings aside when I can. If not, I take a break until I can pull myself back together.

  2. I always wonder this about friends who are parents. I love children, I choose not to be a parent, I like my cats…they are easy. Though I’ve spent a great deal of time helping to raise kids, nieces, nephews and cousins. I love the ‘recovering perfectionist’! That’s certainly something everyone can relate to!

  3. I work through negative feelings a few different ways. I often use my gratitude journal, and it helps me see all if the incredible things that are always happening around me. Another way is to meditate. If I feel myself getting stressed, I take a breath and give myself some time to reset.

  4. I come across negativity sometimes myself especially when it comes to caregiving but I have to overcome those feelings and not let my mom feel them. Sometimes it’s overwhelming but it has to be done.

  5. I’ve always been one to “conceal, don’t feel” because I was the one who always said “everything will be OK” when things got tough – never letting anyone know that I was worried, sad, mad, ect… until it finally got to be to much. Now I try to say what I’m feeling when I’m feeling it so I don’t blow up like a volcano 🙂

  6. I just shared a great quote – Everyday may not be good, but there’s always something good in every day. While life continues to be life, sending us so many things to juggle, what we can control is how we deal with them. Living in gratitude and learning to live in the moment do wonders in helping us realize what truly matters. Thanks for always sharing your positivity message and providing hope and inspiration for all. Hugs 😀

  7. I can definitely relate to a lot fo these negative emotions! I struggle with letting people know how I’m feeling…that’s a biggie for me. But, I work on it and I still consider myself a Super Mom (and so do my kids which is what I care about most anyway). 🙂

  8. I like that you say it’s okay for us to express our emotions. Sometimes my husband thinks I overreact when in reality I’m just expressing myself. Thank you for that validation. I do feel like when I can express myself I get over it faster and can move on, unlike my husband who keeps everything inside. I will have to share this with him.

  9. I use self care, mindfulness and distraction’s I get so many emotions put on me at once some days I get many days at one time thrown at me at ones that’s when I step back and only do one thing minute by minute, if I can make it through a minute I can continue to make it through the other minutes of the day

  10. Suppressing your feelings isn’t good for you or anyone around you! It’s easy to keep things bottled up, but I agree, that will just make you explode in the end.

  11. I am going through a phase where I am resentful of my kids because I don’t think they necessarily enough around the house, even though they see how hard I work (for them). But my love for them is stronger than any negative emotion, and I have to remember I was just that way when I was their ages

  12. I think everyone has issues with negative emotions, its not exclusive to just moms. Good thing is these tips and the self care pertain to all who deal with negative emotions in life. Whether they are a mom, step mom, aunt, grandma, wife…..

  13. My negative feelings tend to pop in one big explosion, and then I feel horror at the stricken faces of whoever I lost my temper at. I think you’ve got some excellent points here.

  14. After having my first child I stopped believing the whole Supermom theory. Feelings like guilt are always going to be there but over I hope to manage them along the way.

  15. I always have to remind myself that it is okay to feel the way I feel. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with my emotions at the moment because I have so much going on. Thank you so much for this reminder.

  16. I can’t really relate since I’m not a parent, but I always wondered this about my friends who are. I think most of them try to vent to their other friends who are also parents, and maybe kick back and have a few laughs.

  17. This is a great post and I loved reading it. I think you are right, there is nothing wrong with negative emotions after all life is rollercoaster and its ok to feel sad from time to time. However I personally feel that one should not dwell and wallow in negativity as it can pull you down, rather to try and see positivity in a negative situation to turn it around.

  18. I came to grips with the fact that being mom in reality included some negative emotions, frustrations, etc. I gave myself permission to feel those things and express them long ago, took a lot of pressure off!

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  21. Thank you!

    I read an amazing book called The Chimp Paradox and this has allowed me to ‘control’ some of the feelings we have on a daily basis.

    But it is refreshing and needed for me and other mums to know that it isn’t us being a bad person/mum/wife it is NORMAL.

    I have a very supportive family who are amazing at listening to me and helping me through negativity. I am a stay at home mum/mumentrpreneur and I have to admit I do’t feel that I smiled most of yesterday.

    Thank you, for just taking the time to let us know we aren’t alone.

    Thank you

  22. Negative thoughts make me physically sick. One thing I can’t stand about pregnancy is the raging mood swings. I agree, this is all natural. What I have found helps me find balance QUICKLY is nature. Even if I just step out in the yard (barefooted) and do deep breathing exercises. If that doesn’t help, a walk through a nature trail definitely does the trick! Thanks for the reminder, and I love the Frozen analogy you threw in. 🙂

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