Not one singular person talked to me about the reality of overstimulation as a mom and it’s taken me years to name it.
Years wasted on thinking I was a bad mom.
Years wondering what was wrong with me.
Years asking myself why the sound of my own children’s voices send me over the edge or the touch of their skin triggers me.
I’ve spent years feeling guilty for wanting to be alone.
I’ve spent years feeling guilty for getting upset over silly little sounds or my children playing joyfully.
Nobody warned me that I would seek the dark, and the quiet.
Nobody warned me how I would long for space, and why.
The truth is that I am a human, just as much now as I was before I had children. My physiological needs remain the same. My capacity for stress and stimulation remain the same. Yet, as a mom, my senses are more engaged than they have ever been for longer periods than they have ever been. As a mom, my stress levels are higher than before.
It is normal to feel triggered when we are stressed and overstimulated. Normal doesn’t make it feel better in the moment, but at least normal lets us know that there isn’t anything wrong with us.
I was overstimulated today, in a big way. I wanted to scream. I wanted to hide under a blanket, almost like a child. I devoured a few moments of peace in the dark but the guilt still crept in. I am unlearning the shame I have layered onto my motherhood for years.
If you are too, you aren’t alone. If no one has told you, overstimulation in motherhood is a natural and real thing. It does not make you a bad mom. It makes you human.
If you're looking for advice or resources go check out the newest post from @seed.and.sew from today. 💞
We can't prepare you for everything—but we can promise you that you aren't alone. Connect with other stories of motherhood in our collection of essays.