The Highly Sensitive Mom Part 1


IMG_0694It was late afternoon. Homework was done and as a reward, our son was playing Minecraft, while the girls were watching Super Why. Tired from a day full of kids and noise, I sank into the couch with my phone. Scrolling mindlessly through Facebook, I came across this post by The Abundant Mama Project.

“As a highly sensitive mom, I can get pretty caught up in overwhelm. Noise. Information. Drama. Fears. Worries. And doing, of course. Because I’m motivated and driven. And I like to DO. I like to do, a lot. 

So if I end up feeling burned out, overwhelmed, bitter or sour, etc. I really cannot blame anyone but myself. It all falls back on that inner conflict I talked about recently between doing and wanting to do. By putting EASE at the forefront of my life, I am making a pact with myself. I don’t have to live like everyone else.What is ONE change you can make this week to promote ease in your life?”

DSC_0115It was as if she had just written that post to ME, about ME. Highly sensitive, easily overwhelmed, motivated, driven….. As a read those words, I sat up straight, practically ready to stand and cheer for this incredible woman. She had simply nailed it. She took what I so often feel and she not only made sense of it, but she reminded me that the way I am is okay and while I might fall into the overwhelmed pit sometimes, I can certainly pull myself back out.

Her post yanked me up from the couch. Turning on music and lighting a candle, I told the girls we’d be turning off the TV in 5 minutes and I gave Minecraft boy the same warning. I put my phone away and instead of rushing the girls off to play away from me, I invited them into the kitchen to help me finish dinner.  Their brother joined us and then they all headed outside to play, by choice. The  sunset started to light up the sky and seeing them out there inspired me to grab my big camera and go join them. Turning off the stove, I suggested we walk to the  beach and as the sun set,  I watched them climb on driftwood and discover treasures the winter storms had left behind.

Dinner was baked Spaghetti Squash- something they don’t normally love, but this time they declared it as their favorite- most likely because I’d invited them to help me cook.

IMG_0679So, why do I share this all here today?

Because I think words are so powerful and when we share our experiences, we take other people to a place of freedom, where they can say “Me too!”. Our stories can equip other women to move forward, instead of staying in a stale and stagnant place. That post pulled me up off the couch, motivated me to turn off the TV and gave me the push I needed to finish our day strong.  Recently I heard Elizabeth Gilbert say:

“Own your story or orphan it.” 

Isn’t that quote so good? What story are you ready to own and share with the world? How could your experiences help another person? There are a lot of different types of women in this world and unfortunately, we trick ourselves into thinking that no one else is like us. While I don’t fit the description of a Highly Sensitive Mom 100%, there are a lot of characteristics that I strongly relate to. 

Here’s the description of a  Highly Sensitive Mom from the Abundant Mama Project

Are you a highly sensitive mom? How do you know?

It’s pretty simple. Here are some of the common traits of a highly sensitive person:

  • Overwhelmed easily
  • Aware of subtle changes in environment
  • Sensitive to pain, noise, smells and touch
  • Desire to withdraw into solitude often
  • Overwhelmed by light and sounds
  • Extremely conscientious to the point of being insecure
  • Easily annoyed and frustrated
  • Avoid violence and confrontation, including on TV and news
  • Changes and transitions are very challenging and anxiety-inducing
  • Easily overwhelmed by too many options or choices

If any of these traits stand out for you and you’re realizing you are highly sensitive … congratulations!

You’ve been given a gift. A gift of being able to see, hear, taste, smell and feel at a heightened state.

And this also means you may feel more overwhelmed in your life as a mother than you wish.

Are you nodding your head, like I did when I read this? Does this describe you? The more we learn about ourselves as Moms, the better we can mother well. This post is going to be followed up with a Part 2: Tricks for Thriving as a Highly Sensitive Mom. Stay tuned! 

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides staying home with her kids, she loves serving on her church's MOPS team, hiking with her girlfriends, gardening, writing, reading and taking photos.

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