Being a mom is more challenging than we ever imagined before getting pregnant or having our first child. It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting, and sometimes, it feels impossible to find the right amount of support.
Highly sensitive people (HSPs) tend to be overwhelmed by too much sensory stimulation, so the energy and noise of children may take an extra toll on us. This can make it difficult for HSPs to ask for help because we don’t want to appear weak or selfish in our desires for peace and calm. We often neglect our own needs because we focus so much on the needs of others. Highly sensitive people are so attuned to the emotions of others that their feelings drain them.
You might think asking a mom how she’s feeling is a no-brainer, but there’s a difference between just asking and listening. When you ask the question and then cut her off before she can respond or start immediately telling her how to feel instead of letting her speak, you risk making her feel invalidated and dismissed. Let her talk—you don’t have to solve everything for her; you don’t have to tell her it’s not that bad or that it’ll get better; you must listen. If you take the time to listen to what she has to say, she’ll be more likely to feel heard and understood, which may make all the difference in helping her reconnect with her inner strength.
Here are five things highly sensitive moms wish you would say so that you can be there for them in the best way possible:
“I’ll take care of dinner tonight.” For most moms, cooking dinner is an exhausting task. Especially if it means grocery shopping and meal planning beforehand, and when you are a highly sensitive person, every little thing can feel like a huge burden. Offer to relieve her stress by cooking dinner for the family one night or picking up food. She’ll be so grateful to have one less thing on her plate (pun intended) and might even enjoy a night off from cooking!
“You’re doing an amazing job!” We don’t need any more criticism or negativity in our lives as moms. We get enough from ourselves. What we need is encouragement. The phrase “you’re doing an amazing job” can go a long way with most moms—highly sensitive or not. It’s nice to hear that we’re getting it right in some areas, even when we feel like we’re getting it wrong in so many others.
“I’d love to help.” What can I do?” We all need help sometimes—highly sensitive moms included! Just because you offer to help doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to handle everything on our own. Just knowing that you are offering your help will make us feel much better about being able to manage everything.
“Let me take over this one thing so you can focus on other stuff.” If the highly sensitive mom in your life is trying to do everything alone, she’s probably feeling overwhelmed. Offering to take something off her plate can help her feel more at ease and more capable of getting through the day without feeling overwhelmed.
Ask “How are you doing?” I know this seems like a simple question—so much so that it can be overlooked. Asking this question will show that you are interested in them and care about how they feel.
When highly sensitive moms need help, we often don’t know what we need until someone asks us about our feelings and gives us the chance to start talking honestly about what we’re going through.
Being asked a direct question leaves no room for us to skirt around the issue or keep things bottled up inside. It’s a simple but powerful invitation to open up and start spilling all of our thoughts and emotions out onto the table—and really, what could be better than that?
Join our Facebook group (community) of like-feeling moms, where you can find loving guidance and support from those like you.