Own Your Feelings

Posted: May 10, 2011 at 9:00 am

You might notice that in my weekend recap I did not mention much about my Mother’s Day. Well, there was not much to mention. In fact, it was just another standard day. I woke up around 6:30 because both the kiddos woke up. Then, Peter & I got everyone ready and out the door for church.

I taught Sunday school. I went to service…well, sort of. I had to head out halfway during because Braedon refused to calm down. After church, a friend & I stopped off at Subway to grab a quick lunch before going to volunteer for a couple of hours at a Day Center that hosts families in transition. We played with some of the children, allowing the mothers to hopefully get some down time for themselves.

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I came home to an empty house since Peter went to visit his mom while I was volunteering. I ended up doing dishes and some cleaning to kill some time. Did I mention that I had not received a single “Happy Mother’s Day” wish yet from Peter (from himself or via little M)? You can imagine that by this point I felt slightly resentful.

I then got even more emotional and eventually angry with myself over that feeling. I ended up feeling ridiculous because I know my family loves me and appreciates me very much. I felt guilty hoping for some sort of special recognition because I know my husband gives of himself so much so often. I feel very blessed to have him by my side. He is amazing! I questioned why I was so upset and it troubled me that I couldn’t seem to shake that disappointment.

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Finally, I decided that it was okay to feel that way. Sure, “Mother’s Day” may be what some call a commercial holiday. But it matters to me. I give so much of myself as a mother and the thought of a “special day” to receive recognition for those efforts means something to me. It’s understandable I felt upset. And I should own those feelings.

It is okay to have a bit of expectation and anticipation for something.

It is okay to want a kudos, token of gratitude, or notable gesture – be it in the form of a bought gift or a homemade card.

It is okay to hurt if those hopes doesn’t come to reality.

It is okay to feel angry over certain things, even if they seem silly to others.

Peter and I have already talked all this out. I don’t write about this to put him down or get all “woe is me”. I do know my blessings. I can’t complain. I just wanted to share that sometimes we may face emotions that we don’t quite understand or aren’t sure we can justify. I want to say it is alright to feel them. Do not feel embarrassed for what affects you.

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If something bothers you, share it. Express it. Find a way to resolve it. Do NOT hold onto it because you fear its not a worthy emotion. Holding onto such emotions does nothing. You are allowed to feel what you feel. After all, opening yourself to encountering those hurts, angers, and disappointments is what allows you to move on.

Do you tend to hold in emotions or do you “wear your heart on your sleeve”?

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70 Comments to “Own Your Feelings”
  1. Kelly says:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting recognition for hard work and a job well done. I am glad you and Peter talked it out…that is so important. I typically wear my emotions right on my sleeve….it is no secret how I feel!

  2. I think I would have been pretty upset also, but you’re right you have to express what you are feeling so you don’t hold it in and so it can be dealt with.

    I actually am really good about getting my feelings out esp toward my husband where as he holds them in. When I notice he is cranky I say okay what’s really going on here!

  3. Errign says:

    It depends on the situation, but I have become even more of a emotion holding pen in recent months. I’m not sure if it is from fear of putting myself out there, or looking silly, or what, but it’s been sort of default coping mechanism lately. I know it’s not the healthiest behavior, but at least I do recognize that I am doing it. Eh, I don’t know… 🙂

    Happy Tuesday, Tina. I hope you have a great day 😀

  4. Aww Tina this post makes me so sad! You are such an amazing mother and its so obvious how much you give to your kids and to your husband, so I’m SURE you felt disappointed that you didn’t get even a Happy Mothers Day! I think its great you felt good about approaching Peter and talking to him about how you were feeling.

    Personally, I go back and forth between being able to talk things through, and holding them in and letting them build up. I’m trying to get better about addressing issues as they arise so the issues can be dealt with in an isolated manner and not a big explosion of emotions.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your Mother’s Day I am sure it will be made up to you! It depends on the situation of how I handle my emotions, sometimes I just shut down (which I know is not good) and other times I want to talk it all depends.

  6. Lee says:

    Recently, I sort of made a decision about something (having to do with my career path and job) and even though I haven’t made any changes, just admitting to myself that I feel this way made me feel so much better.

  7. I really hate confrontation, but over the last year (thanks, largely in part to my friend Mon who doesn’t have a filter), I’ve become much better about speaking up about how I’m feeling. Holding it in doesn’t do anyone any good. It’s ok you wanted a little recognition on a day that celebrates what you do. And I think you deserved it. Because you’re fantastic! 🙂

  8. Bobbi says:

    I totally understand where you’re coming from about your feelings! Something happened very similar to me this weekend. My stepdad actually contacted my sister and I to tell us how disappointed he was that we didn’t get a card in the mail to our mom. He didn’t realize that (a) the card was in the mail, (b) we had flowers being delivered later that day, and (c) that my sister was on her way over to spend the day with Mom! I agree with you that you shouldn’t hold your emotions inside – it isn’t healthy. BUT, telling people how you feel in a confrontational, mean way is not healthy or appropriate, either. I agree with everything Amy B said above – you definitely deserve recognition on Mother’s Day. And thanks for writing posts that always make me think! It is not very often that I find myself popping out of my Google Reader to leave comments, but I can’t NOT comment after reading your posts.

  9. Angela says:

    I think you had every right to be frustrated. Over the last little while, I’ve realized how important it is to express emotions and not keep them bottled up inside. In the past I haven’t been an overly emotionally-expressive person, but it’s amazing how sometimes it just feels so good to have a big cry!! I think you’re fantastic Tina, and even though I already said it, Happy (Belated) Mother’s Day! 🙂

  10. Man, I didn’t get acknowledgment, and had a similar breakdown/confrontation, but you have your two out breathing on their own! Hope today’s better!

  11. Great post. It bums me out when people invalidate their emotions. We feel things for a reason, and a benefit of being in a relationship is not feeling everything alone. Mother’s Day shouldn’t be considered a commercial holiday. Just because greeting card, flower, and jewelry companies try to make money off of it should not degrade its importance. We do so much every day and deserve one piddly day where people recognize that. 🙂

  12. Love your honesty, Tina. It’s absolutely not silly to feel how you felt and I think it’s SO incredibly important that you discussed your feelings. Now, he’ll know how much it means to you and I’m sure it won’t be an issue in the future. Confrontation stinks (especially in a marriage), but if you don’t open up, you will regret it more in the long run bc it will continue to bother you! You probably would have gotten mad at him for stupid things all week when really you were just upset about Mother’s Day. You are such an awesome mommy!!!! 🙂

  13. Tina I tend to bottle up my emotions and then they finally burst out of me — and they tend to come out at not the best times 🙁

  14. This is something I’ve really been trying to work on. When I have an expectation (a holiday is a good example) and don’t feel it was met, usually that follows with disappointment and then guilt for feeling disappointed. Then I just try to deny the emotion and not show it, but that ends up blowing up in my face. As you talk about, I’m trying to show myself that it’s okay to feel upset and disappointed in those situations, and I’m so much better off talking to loved ones about it than trying to hide it and feeling resentful. And you’re so right that expressing it in some way lets you let go of that emotion quicker, whereas if you keep it inside it’s going to stay there and develop (possibly into something really unpleasant!)

  15. We already talked about this and you know all my thoughts, but just wanted to say that it was a great post.

    You are a fantastic mother and you deserver all the recognition in the world!

    M3 you!

  16. I wear my emotions on a sign around my neck. I can’t help it. I try to be stronger than that, but I just don’t know how. I am not one for any commercial holidays though and I don’t like extravagant gifts. I like just enjoying the day. It wasn’t a perfect day, but it was a day without fighting (the boys) or injuries or anything bad, so I thought it was a good day.

  17. Generally speaking, I m the queen of expectations. People have a hard time trying to surprise me. Having such an imagination, makes my little brain going through all sorts of scenarios.

    BUT this kind of attitude towards God made me suffer even more. I was expecting Him to respond in a certain moment or to make things happen in a certain way. Actually, me and hubs got to trust each other even more after going through a bad moment, not after just a deeper talk like I would think.

    Know, I try not to think at how others will act and I take things more relaxed.

  18. Terri says:

    I love this post. Thank you very much for posting on this topic.
    I’ve always been told that I’m overly emotional. I react to everything. And thus, I have been working on that. Trying to hold it in or monitor it at least. But when I do ‘over-react’ my mom tells me that I should just let it go. It frustrates me because I have those feelings. And I want to have those feelings. They are valid for whatever the situation might be. One afternoon my mom and I had a discussion about something I reacted to. And she said “Maybe it’s OK to feel that way.” And I was like, yeah. HELLO! She’s trying better to understand me (the show-all-you-feel) and I’m trying to get used to her (only-show-what’s-necessary). In the same token it’s difficult for me not to feel that she doesn’t care when she doesn’t have the reaction to something that I feel she should have. Such a complicated relationship.
    Anywho, thank you for sharing!

    • Tina says:

      You definitely deserve to feel however you feel. Things matter to us for a reason. Thanks for understanding and I hope your mother continues to understand your feelings too. 🙂

  19. Kathleen says:

    This is such an important reminder not to bottle things up. I’m pretty sure that is why I have struggled with my weight throughout my life. I was taught to always put on a happy face, so I would eat my sadness, anger and disappointment. So much better to express those feelings in healthier ways. Thank you for your continued honesty Tina… I think you are amazing.

    • Tina says:

      Yes! I can relate to that. Before I got better about sharing my emotions and disappointments I would certainly eat my emotions.

  20. Beautiful and thoughtful reminder. Feelings are what they are, even if they aren’t “right” or don’t make sense (to others or to ourselves) and it’s important to honor them.

  21. Melodie says:

    Thanks for posting this! I feel the same way on Mother’s Day and my birthday. I always feel so bad for feeling so bad. For some reason, i always feel ashamed of my feelings or feel that they are “wrong”. Thank you for this wonderful reminder 🙂 And, Happy late Mother’s Day!!!

  22. Stacy says:

    Tina, I love that you are so honest. And also so giving. You did so much for other’s on Mother’s Day and that says so much about what a caring person you are. I also completely understand how you feel. Although I’m not yet a mom, I know what it feels like to not get any recognition, even something small like a thank you. I also know that it’s so hard to voice that because you fear you are being selfish. I struggle with things like this, but I’m constantly trying to grow and learn to voice my feelings instead of holding them in and only making things worse. Thank you for sharing and reminding me to own my feelings. 🙂

  23. I tend to bottle things up and not express my feelings. Before college however, I was the complete opposite. Everyone knew what I was thinking or how I was feeling. But now I am much more reserved. I think I was hurt too many times in high school that I am now afraid to show my emotions.

  24. Allie says:

    It is so good that you talked things out with your husband instead of keeping everything inside and blowing up at him.
    Owing your emotions is so important!

  25. That is a great quote I need to remember. “don’t be ashamed of what affects you.” So simple, yet so true.

    Happy belated mother’s day! There…someone had to say it. 🙂

  26. Gen says:

    I definitely tend to hold my emotions in, which basically results in me exploding on someone later! Great post! And happy mother’s day! 😀

  27. Oh there’s hardly ever any question as to what I feel! I’m an open book 🙂

  28. Dana says:

    I’ve had the same experience a couple of years ago and was so disappointed to receive little acknowledgment for all I do. However, I attributed the lack of recognition, etc. to my “low-maintenance woman” demeanor — hubs knows that I don’t care about gifts, flowers, etc. He now knows that I do need some form of appreciation once in awhile, however! This year was so different — he went the extra mile and I was a crying mess (in a good way!). I’m sure he now sees how appreciating the mother of his children makes for a great example to THEM and makes for a very happy wife! 🙂 Hang in there!

    • Tina says:

      I’m the same way and I think that had a key role. I’m not big on expecting lavish gifts and things because I know we have to be smart with money. But appreciation still matters. Thanks for understanding!

  29. Your post brings up an important point! A lot of times I notice I feel stressed, upset, or angry about something and then get upset at myself for feeling that when when I could be looking at positive aspects. As much as i try to do that, it shouldnt come at the expense of ignoring something that is bothering me. The best thing I’ve learned to do is journal my feelings so that I can find patterns, if something occurs once in a blue moon I might let it go but when I notice a pattern, I try to figure out what is happening and address it with the people involved if need be. We should never apologize for our feelings!

    • Tina says:

      And I definitely agree we have to share our feelings and that they matter. That’s why I made sure to explain what I was feeling to my husband rather than just holding it in. I love the journal idea!

  30. I usually wear my emotions on my sleeve. That usually never leads to a good situation though. I tend to hold onto my feelings a bit too long and have difficulty letting things go. It’s something I am really trying to work on. I’m still trying to figure out how to let the little things just slide off without holding a grudge. Haven’t quite figured that one out yet!

    • Tina says:

      I’m glad that usually once I get it off my chest I don’t have a hard time forgiving and moving on. It’s keeping it in when I will hold a grudge forever!

  31. Katie H says:

    Aw, I would have been upset too. You are definitely entitled to your feelings and I think it is good that you are putting it out there. You (and all mothers) absolutely deserve recognition for all of the hard work that you do!

  32. I tend to bottle up my feelings, but that usually ends up in an explosion! My husband and I have a much better relationship when our lines of communication are open. I have been trying!! Good for you & your husband to talk about your feelings and clear the air. The only person we hurt is ourselves if we keep it all in!

  33. Lauren says:

    Gosh I can relate to this. For my birthday this past year, I was feeling a little disappointed with my husband that he didn’t do anything more elaborate. Even though I told him not to, it was still my 25th and for his 25th, I threw him a huge surprise party. He did make it special with flowers and taking me out to dinner but I still felt bad for feeling so bummed about it. Then I realized that it was okay that I was feeling this why. What wouldn’t be okay is if I held it in and resented him for it without talking to him. Great post girl! I hope you realized how much you truly were loved on Mothers Day, even if it wasn’t as you imagined.

    • Tina says:

      Yep. Always better to express it. I know if I held it in it would have exploded into something WAY more.

  34. I would have been super upset. In fact, I may or may not have said something because I”m a “dog momma” – okay, I wanted to, but I didn’t. 🙂 I think the Husband knows me well enough that I would freak out if something like that happened. And we all know that I would very well speak my mind about my feelings! I’m glad that you talked about it and didn’t hold anything in!

  35. It’s good that you talked it out. I have, too many times, held my feelings inside and they only gotter more intense until I finally let it all out.

    Being a mom is a huge job. I understand your desire for some recognition on Mother’s Day.

  36. Bethany says:

    I’m really glad you posted this. It was really interesting for me to read your perspective on Mother’s Day since I tend to fall in the “it’s just a commercial holiday” camp (but then again I’m not a mother).

    I also think it’s really cool that you talked through your feelings with your husband. Sharing emotions is a funny thing, isn’t it? At first I was going to post saying that I’m much more of a bottle-it-up type of person than a heart-on-my-sleeve type of person, but the more I thought about it I realized that isn’t necessarily true. I’m fine at expressing my emotions to other people, but I’m not very good at expressing my emotions to the person who caused them. Like if I had been in your position, I easily could’ve told my best friend that I was feeling resentful and unappreciated, but it would’ve been much harder for me to tell that to my (theoretical, since I’m still in college and most certainly not married haha) husband that I was feeling resentful towards him. I don’t have trouble telling people when they’re making me feel positive, but when they’re bringing me down it’s a completely different story.

  37. Meg says:

    That is some GREAT advice. I have definitely felt like my feelings were too ridiculous to express and it usually ends up making a mountain out of a molehill. Plus, once you get it off your chest, it feels SO much better.

  38. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be recognized on Mother’s Day. If I were a mother, I would want the same thing.

    I am guilty of sometimes bottling up my emotions, then letting them explode all at once. It’s something I’ve been working on, but I am getting better at it at least 🙂

  39. I definitely wear my feelings on my sleeve and so does my hubby. It makes it a lot easier to communicate and know what each other is thinking/feeling/wanting.

    I too felt a little disappointed on mothers day, everyone on my fb was posting “breakfast in bed” pictures, and a “princess party” they had for them, etc. and for a moment I felt a twinge of jealousy as to why I wasn’t getting anything like that…but then I remembered like you that I get so much more from my hubby in recognition that I am a good mother and that my kids love me so much because my relationship with them…so that in all made me feel a lot better.

  40. I totally understand what you mean, and I agree that expressing our wants and desires to the people we love is important, as is expressing disappointment. Owning our feelings is such a powerful tool for being the best mommies, wives, and friends that we can be. In every relationship I’ve ever had, there is always a time when I am/they are disappointed, but it’s up to us to express our disappointment in a way that encourages others to do better next time. Because I know your family wants to give you exactly what you need; sometimes they just need to learn how 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day, sweetie! 🙂 xoxo

    I’m definitely a heart-on-the-sleeve gal with my husband and people closest to me, but I have a problem with bottling things up with those I’m not as close with…but then I’ve also learned that sometime it just isn’t worth my time to express myself with certain people.

    • Tina says:

      Yep. Disappointment and struggle is part of any relationship. It’s always important to keep the air clear. And I am the same way. I can easily open up to those I’m closest with but have a hard time with certain people.

  41. I can go both ways with my emotions. If I’m upset about something, people, like my mom or bf, can definitely tell or I just loudly complain about why I’m upset. However, if it’s a more private emotion, like sorrow or regret…or those things that come from my own insecurities, I tend to keep them in and not talk about them. I have found, however, not talking about something doesn’t make it go away!
    You are a wonderful mother and deserve an amazing Mother’s Day! 🙂

  42. Naomi says:

    I love that you talked about this! I felt the same way on my brithday, when my BF (at the time and since then EX bf) didn’t even call me–not once on my birthday. Sure, he sent me an email (to my WORK email) but he never picked up the phone and said happy birthday to me. It bothered me and I know he cared about me and knew it was my bday obviously, but a simple call would have made the world of difference over the work email. I was upset the whole day over it and owned that feeling–eventually telling him how I felt. Well hes an ex-bf now to say the least (not over that situation) but just one of many. You are an INCREDIBLE mother and such a great person…happy mothers day 🙂

  43. This is a great post, because I tend to hold my emotions in even if something is REALLY bothering me, and it generally only makes the situation worse. We all have different feelings, expectations and peeves. I never like to make people feel bad, and a lot of the time it ends up making ME feel bad instead. So…thanks for the reminder 😉

    And happy mother’s day to you!! It’s clear that your family does appreciate you, though I can absolutely see why you would have liked some sort of recognition. You’ll have a lot of wonderful mother’s days to come, though!

  44. i hold in all my emotions, to a fault. i’m trying to get better about expressing them, but i HATE confrontation. sharing our feelings is important!

  45. Julie says:

    I am a wear my heart on my sleeve kind of girl!! And it was Mother’s Day and sometimes being a mom is a thankless job, so I validate your disappointment, but am so glad you were able to talk it out with your hubby. I have been wanting to ask you how you really work out daily because I also have two kids and I am barely getting my workouts in with changing sleep patterns with the baby, trying to be home for naps, cleaning and keeping on top of the messes, and activities for my three year old. Is your gym time just a part of your daily routine and you have to say no to other things? I find it impressive you get to work out so much, but have to admit I read and get envious because you look amazing and seem so together. If you have any secrets on time management or what to let go of so you can get back in shape, please let me know! I am struggling with all of it!! Oh and btw HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! 😉

    • Tina says:

      My gym time is just part of our routine I guess. It really helps that they have the child care I can take them to and trust them with.

      Luckily, most of our activities come at other times of the day that don’t hinder my gym time. I do lots of errands after Peter gets home from work (by 4:30 every day – so his hours help a LOT). I also try to not stress little things like if the dishes don’t get done one day. I really try to have a routine where I know how much time I have for certain tasks and I just go in and get it done as best I can.

      I wish I had more advice! It’s a lot of trial and error though, that’s for sure.

  46. Tina, thanks for such a heartful and HONEST post. I 100% agree and I think it’s so hard sometimes to have unmet expectations. Especially when we DO work so hard with these kiddos! I’m glad you were able to get your feelings out and I hope your Mother’s Day ended on a better note. Hugs!

  47. Chad says:

    All I am going to say is: This is sage advice.

  48. The bit about expressing what is bothering you is priceless. Once I caught onto that concept, I was so much happier!! It’s the best to get it off your chest!

  49. vivoir says:

    I love this post. It really hits home to me, personally, at the moment. It is along the same lines of http://vivoir.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/today-is-a-new-opportunity/ where I had to reiterate to myself that we are responsible for our own happiness and outlook. We CAN control how we respond to other people and thus own our smiles

    Thank you 🙂 xxx

  50. From the kid perspective, I can promise you that the kids get more appreciative. 🙂

    I totally keep my feelings in… which I know probably is against every self-help book ever written. LOL!

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