Loving and hating, anxiety and excitement, shame and pride, guilt and confidence, tranquility and rage.
These are some of the most conflicting human feelings that can become magnified and confusing during motherhood, especially for a young, first-time mother of a new baby. How can these emotions coexist so strongly in one person almost at the same time? Is this normal? How do mothers recognize the signs that the intensity of these negative feelings is so strong that she must seek support? How strong is too strong for the emotional ups and downs of mothering/parenting?
Much about these emotions are part of being human. And part of human development and maturity is learning how our emotions affect ourselves and others. As we navigate the intensity and depth of the emotional side of motherhood, it helps to know that other moms of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds experience the same range of emotions. If you have ever found yourself wondering if the depth or range of emotions you are experiencing toward yourself, your partner, or your child is normal then check out the public radio show, Here and Now, podcast Psychiatrist Explores the Dark Side of Motherhood.
Psychiatrist Dr. Barbara Almond calls it the hidden side of motherhood, and says mothers shouldn’t be afraid to be more open about it. In her new book,”The Monster Within: The Hidden Side Of Motherhood,” Almond explores mothers’ negative feelings about themselves and their children, and explains why those feelings need to be addressed and expressed.
If you have ever found yourself concerned about your “dark side of motherhood” it is a good idea to talk to other moms. Share experiences, stories, and tips. And never forget that mothering “the good, the bad, and the ugly” are all part of being human.