Homeschool Mama Big Emotions Toolbox Part 3

You want to address your homeschool mama’s big emotions with your Homeschool Mama Big Emotions Toolbox so you’re always prepared.

What might be some of your Homeschool Mama Big Emotions?

Because I’ve got a Homeschool Mama Big Emotions Toolbox to address your big feelings.

get your big emotions homeschool mom checklist

Oh, I dunno…

Anger, you can handle one kid being too sharp, but not four; you told that kid a thousand times to do something and they forgot again, or you’re simply feeling a lot of intense frustration around that premenstrual time of your month,

Irritation, sibling squabbles, constant interruptions of any thought you have, you can never find the scissors (or is that just me?), no matter how many times you clear the minivan of garbage, dog hair, it’s always gross,

Loneliness, wondering if you can have the kind of communal support that you need to have to do this homeschool thing for the long term,

Guilt, you lost it on your child, you don’t have the motivation to do the cool homeschool things everyone on Instagram or Pinterest is doing,

Stress, there’s more going on in your homeschool than homeschool, you’ve got a sick parent, you’re marriage is in a heck of a lot of trouble, you think you’re dealing with unresolved trauma or depression long before your family,

PS If you weren’t clear about the difference between emotions and feelings, check out this podcast episode with Sarah Susanka, author of Not So Big Life.

The Most Important Tool for Life: Creating Strategies to Address our Big Emotions

So what is the third tool in your Homeschool Mama Toolbox for Big Emotions?

Your feelings!

First, you have to know yourself: what even are your feelings?

You feel things all the time.

But you might not have built-in self-awareness practices to explain and understand your feelings.

  • What is a common reason you might feel sad?
  • What is a common reason you might feel mad?
  • What is a common reason you might feel glad?
  • What is a common reason you might feel happy?
  • What is a common reason you might feel confused?

Mom overwhelmed with big emotions in her homeschool day

If you’re having a bad day, what would be the backdrop to that bad day?
  • What was going on?
  • Who were the people involved?
  • How did you feel waking up?
  • Have you felt supported and connected to your relationships recently?
  • Have you had a lifelong disconnect with important people in your life?
  • Have you ever spent time addressing any of the above questions?
  • Is there something else you need to address that I’m not asking here?
All of humanity has experienced all emotions, but we all experience them differently. We all have different triggers.

Different things make us happy mad sad glad (the base four emotions, and the one bajillion other expressions of these emotions).

Before I share how we can wield this tool, your feelings, I assume you’re spending time alone with your feelings.

Are you?

Homeschool mama hanging out

The first principle of wielding this tool is to acknowledge that you have big emotions.

Just as you can’t leave your tools or toolbox out in the rain, you can’t leave your big emotions out in the rain either. (AKA pretend they don’t exist).

Leave the electrical generator out in the rain, and when you most need it, it won’t be available, and you won’t be able to access electricity in a power outage. (This literally happened to us yesterday).

So the first thing we have to do? We have to acknowledge that we have big emotions and become familiar with them all, the comfortable emotions and the uncomfortable ones.

Here are a few practices you can practice to address your feelings:

If you want to get more familiar with your feelings, start with journaling.

A journaling practice helped me…

When I was seven, I purchased my first item ever, a green-locked journal.

In that journal, I wrote every morning:
  • I woke up,
  • I made my bed,
  • I brushed my teeth.
Not a lot of inspiring activities as a seven-year-old, but I wrote everything down.

And obviously, I didn’t have a lot of dental visits!

Eventually, I learned to write and describe my feelings, the activities of the day before I felt those feelings, and how I related to those feelings (what I did with them).

This act of writing helped me process what I was feeling.

Eventually, I wrote stories, fiction stories, fiction stories based on my non-fiction reality, random snippets of stories that related to my favourite television shows (everything with Michael J. Fox), short stories, and novellas.

I just wrote a lot.

This writing act helped me process my perception of the stories in my real world.

I wrote myself out of confusion.

And even in my coaching sessions today, I continue to encourage homeschool moms to journal in their notebooks about how they feel.

ps I’ve created a Journaling Notebook for Big Emotions for the Homeschool Mama so you can self-coach too.

And I’ve recently completed the Journaling Notebook for Overcoming Overwhelm in your Homeschool too.

Mom sharing about her frustrations with her friend or partner

What else can we do with those feelings?

Use grounding techniques…

Sometimes when you’re feeling intense, you need to feel and locate that uncomfortable feeling in your body.

Go somewhere where others are not (the front seat of your car? in the backyard shed along with the lawnmower?)
  • Sit on a chair,
  • feet on the ground,
  • hands-on lap.
  • Breathe and inhale for five beats.
  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you taste?
  • What do you smell?
  • What do you feel?
  • Where do you feel it?
  • Do you feel it in your feet, your stomach? your heart, the palms of your hands?
  • Acknowledge it out loud: I feel pressure on my heart, I feel butterflies in my stomach, my palms are sweaty, and my head throbs.
  • Breathe and inhale again.
Hold that breath for five beats.

Sometimes we can use mirror work…

What do I mean by mirror work?

Simply put, I mean standing in front of a mirror and asking yourself how you’re feeling. (Yeah, I really mean that).

Let me explain.

One day, frustrated with one (or two, or four, I don’t remember) of my kids, I wanted to text my husband at work and complain.

(Probably, I really wanted him to relieve me of my intense feelings too).

But he was busy in the hospital emerg (he’s a physician) addressing someone else’s big issues, so I had to find an alternative approach.

So I texted a friend. 🙂 But she wasn’t available either.

What to do?

Well, I always had me.

So I took myself to the mirror and stared into those swollen red eyes and spoke to myself.

Who did I see?

I saw someone sad and frustrated. Someone that felt defeated and mistreated.

“I’m so sorry you’re feeling bad,” I spoke to myself in the mirror.

Looking into the mirror, I could tenderly approach myself like a separate person.

How would I speak to a mom who had a super frustrating day with their kiddo?

  • I would definitely be kind.
  • I would definitely honour the fact that she loved her kids even though they were making her angry/sad/frustrated.
  • I’d definitely honour the fact that all moms everywhere make mistakes with their approach to their children. We learn as we go.)
I’m sorry you’re feeling as you do. I’m sorry you’re frustrated, I told myself.

And ya know what? I began to feel better.

Frustrated mom trying to find some quiet in her day

Then I could ask myself, How do you want to show up in your homeschool? What would be the truest, most aligned approach that you know would be best for your kids, right now?

But sometimes you need another human to tell you those things. An objective human.

Sometimes you need someone outside yourself.

You might need someone who can hear the depths of your heart and reflect it back to you, ask great questions, and help you gain clarity.
Sometimes you need a therapist or a coach.

ps Did you know I offer coaching too?

I’ve been to a therapist, and a few different therapists over the course of my life. I’ve had a business coach, and I’ve had a life coach.

The money you spend on an objective source is worth its weight in gold.

And PS, you’re not usually looking for someone else’s advice when you do this, you’re looking for someone to help you unravel your own internal world, your thoughts, your emotions, and your confusion until you get to clarity.

What would you add to this list of tools for addressing your big feelings?

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Teresa Wiedrick

I help overwhelmed homeschool mamas shed what’s not working in their homeschool & life, so they can show up authentically, purposefully, and confidently in their homeschool & life.