I can think of almost no other role in this life that requires as much emotional resilience as being a mom, which is why I decided to re-air this episode from about 18 months ago because new listeners of the podcast need to hear it, and veteran listeners need a refresher! Being resilient means to be able to withstand or recover quickly from stress and challenges, and our roles as mothers give us plenty of opportunities every day to practice this skill.
From enduring a whiny toddler hanging on your legs all day, to discovering upsetting texts on your teenager’s cell phone, to trying to meet a work deadline while also managing all of the moving parts of family life, to having a child scream at you that they hate you at the end of a long day…. Sometimes motherhood feels like a never-ending exercise in patience, grit, and self control.
One thing I know for sure is that the more emotionally resilient we become as individuals, the easier it will be to handle all of the ups and downs of motherhood. And the good news is, emotional resilience is something that we can develop more of and get better at over time.
This episode’s guest is Dr. Jen Riday, a mom of 6 with a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies. She’s the host of the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast and her mission is to help busy moms get off the hamster wheel and find balance so they can be their best selves and love their lives again. Due to her mix of academic expertise and personal experience mothering a large family, Jen is uniquely qualified to teach practical tools that bridge the gap between research and “real life,” and I know my conversation with her today will help you assess how you are doing with your own emotional resilience and give you a few practical ideas for how you can develop in this important way.
- Practice holding space for yourself. This may sound like a bit of a nebulous concept, but I love the simple way that Jen defined it. She said it’s “giving myself space to understand what I think and what I feel.” We can hold space for ourselves by not overfilling our schedules, by creating a personal retreat within our homes, or developing a meaningful journaling or meditation practice that just gives us the chance to metabolize our experiences and learn from them. I love that Jen pointed out that holding space for yourself is true self-care.
- Feel it to heal it. The best way to process emotions is to “stick with them,” as Jen said, or in other words, stay in your body and notice them, name them, envision them, and breathe them in without judgement or overthinking.
- Create healthy boundaries. This is essential if you want to protect your ability to stay resilient–you have to know what you need emotionally and how to guard it, as well as know what is not your stuff to handle. Boundaries are what you will do to protect your needs, not what you expect others to do.
>>>Are these tips from Jen Riday helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.
Many of the concepts that Jen and I touched on in this episode are covered in much more depth in my nine-month program, Self-Assured Motherhood. There is an entire module devoted to learning how to Bolster your Boundaries and an entire module on how to Sanctify your Soul-Care. So if you listened to this and know you want and need to take action, but you’re not sure where to start or you’d like some accountability and community as you work on your resilience, this program is for you. Go to 3in30podcast.com/interested for more information.
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- Vibrant Happen Women Podcast
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- The Map of Consciousness Explained by David Hawkins
- Episode 164: 3 Ways to Heal your Relationship with Food This Year
- Episode 030: How to Coach Children Through Big Emotions
- Episode 204: How to be a More Self-Assured Mom