The way Dictionary.com defines the word embarrassed (“to make uncomfortably self-conscious”) could easily sum up what motherhood does to a woman: make her feel uncomfortably self-conscious…
Because of this sense of embarrassment, we tend to filter what we tell others about our lives. (Or at least many moms do because I, for one, don’t have much of a filter.) We hold back telling the honest truth because we feel uncomfortable and fear judgement. But so much good comes from being straightforward.
Yet, no matter how comfortable you get talking about your kids pooping in the tub (again) or about that time you used your sons diaper to relief yourself (guilty), there are just some things that moms will universally have a difficult time talking to others about. Just as good can come from sharing the embarrassing silly moments, greater things can come from sharing the serious ones.
Here are four topics moms shouldn’t be embarrassed speaking up about:
Topic 1: Enjoying Time Away from the Kids
I’m starting here because I know that where are some moms out there who hate admitting how much they love getting a break from the babies. Somehow, these moms feel as though liking time away would label them a “bad mom.”
Just as employers expect their employees to need a vacation now and then, you should expect to need a break from your children. There is only a tiny percentage of moms who truly do not want (or need) breaks from their children. That’s great for them! However, how they feel about breaks shouldn’t dictate how you feel about them. Resist, at all costs, to feel embarrassed when you feel the need to take time for yourself.
Most moms I’ve spoken to enjoy their breaks from the kids – myself included. Start enjoying your breaks guilty free, mama, and take solace in knowing that you aren’t alone.
Topic 2: Wanting to Scream, Just ‘Cause
I know I yell at the kids more than I should (which is supposed to be never), but I’m way better about it today than I was, say, over the summer. The fact of the matter is screaming is a way to release negative energy. Sometimes, as moms, we slip up and yell while demanding things of our kids because we’ve built up too much negative energy. It happens to the best of us.
What about the times when I catch myself ready to blow? Recognizing that the source of my anger is not from them, I allow myself to scream – just not at them. This helps release some of that built up energy and allows me to somewhat reset.
You can drown out the noise my screaming into a pillow, but I will usually just stand there (or sit) and look up and let out as loud of an “AHHH” as I can. I follow up with a deep breath before I carry about whatever it was I was doing. If the kids are around when this happens, I apologize to them for it and I explain what it is that I’m frustrated about (if it’s PG rated).
Don’t feel embarrassed if you feel like screaming sometimes, too. This mommy career thing can get pretty frustrating at times. Frustration is a normal part of life.
Topic 3: How Sad You Really Feel
Once I admitted it to myself, I found myself embarrassed to talk to my parents about my decision to start taking Zoloft. (At that time, I lived across the street from them, so it was hard to keep anything a secret from them.) I felt like they wouldn’t understand and that they’d try and talk me out of it.
That was the reason I gave myself for not wanting to talk to them.
In hindsight, I think I really just didn’t want them to know how I truly felt: like a dummy for letting depression happen to me. I didn’t want them to see me at my weakest, as if that would undo the pride they had taken in me.
When I started experiencing negative side effects and I found myself needing their help the morning after taking my first dose, I knew I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore. I had to tell them what I’d taken. I was embarrassed, but I spoke up anyway – and cried, too.
Ultimately, having that experience was probably the best thing to have come from that situation. Not only did speaking with my parents help, it gave my husband and I a wake-up call: I could no longer handle the stress of raising our kids alone.
Along with depression, emotions of resentment, anger, loneliness, shame, and fear cannot be bottled up, ever. No matter how embarrassed you feel about disclosing how you honestly feel, you must share it. You could literally get sick from keeping it all in.
Next time someone asks you how you are doing and you are feeling a bit down, speak up for yourself. Don’t just say your “fine” when you know you aren’t. The help you receive from a candid conversation about your feelings could be exactly what you need to break the cycle.
Topic 4: Embarrassed by the Way You Look
We’ve not only become embarrassed about our post-baby bodies, but we’ve also become embarrassed about our overall appearance on a daily basis. Over the years, I’ve learned that all the embarrassment about our appearance just comes from our own insecurities. Once you understand where your embarrassment about your appearance comes from, it can be easier to deal with.
At first, I thought my appearance mattered, but now I realize it’s just silly. I’m a mother of 3. If I don’t were make-up, oh well. If I don’t put clothes on to take the kids to school, oh well. When I did work, there were some days where I didn’t even wear make-up!
Did anyone say anything to my face about it?
Moms just need to do what they feel they can do about their appearance and forget what others may think about it. You don’t owe anyone an explanation and you most certainly don’t need to waste energy feeling embarrassed about it. Save the make-up and fancy outfits for date nights.
Life has its moments, I tell you. Yet, none of us are immune to the embarrassing situations we find ourselves in, whether by our own doing or God’s.
Whatever situation you are currently in that is causing you embarrassment, try and overcome the feeling by understanding that you aren’t alone. Another mother somewhere is experiencing or has experienced the same as you. Things happen.
Practice being a little more open with others about what you are going through and you’ll be surprised at not only how much better you feel, but at how many people share similar struggles as you. You might even run into a few folks who may be in a position to help you with whatever hardship you are facing.
If you found this post to be helpful in overcoming your embarrassments, please share it with your mom friends. You never know who might be in desperate need of encouragement.