Trying Not to Let Hormones Best My Good Judgement

Do you ever have one of those moments where you feel like your emotions control you and not the other way around? Well, in this pregnancy I’m having those moments more often than in my first, and today’s particular hormonal meltdown led me to one important lesson.

The specifics aren’t important, the time, location, or parties involved. What is important is that I let the hormonal meltdown dictate my behavior. I acted in a way that I would never normally act,  and sent information about my feelings  via text message, a mistake I thought I had learned long ago was never a good idea. I was immediately embarrassed about this, and tried to retract my behavior to the injured party, but the things I wrote had already been recorded, already received, already interpreted, already reacted to. In normal communication behavior, I know it’s vital for me to step back and reflect on what it is that I truly want to say, how I truly feel, and take the time to let the hormone wave pass to determine if it’s a good idea to articulate that particular sentiment out loud. And if it is, I know in person conversation is always better than a text message.

When I started writing this post, I didn’t think it had a lot to do with motherhood, other than the fact that my meltdown was spurred by pregnancy hormones. But maybe it was also just one of many small experiences that serve to remind me of one of the key skills of parenthood. There are a lot of stressors that come up as a parent – overlapping worries about your child, the demands of balancing work and home life, the strain that feeling like you have much less time than you used to can put on your relationship with your partner, etc. But one of the key skills, I think at least for me, is learning to not let the emotions that arise along with those stressors dictate my behavior. Learning to model for my kids that we are each capable of making conscious decisions about how we behave, even in times of duress. Of course, I’m going to slip up. We all do. And if we’re lucky, we have people in our lives who will embrace us even in those moments where we let the hormonal wave wash us away, against our better judgement; I know I am. And I know I will try to be that person for my kids, the person who will help them stand up again when they’ve been knocked down by the waves, but also show them how to stand stronger the next time.

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