Emotions, Own Them, Use Them… {{Guest Post}}

Special Needs Mother to son Williams Syndrome
Very excited to be welcoming a guest blogger today! Her name is Erin, she is the mother to an amazing little boy with special needs. Read her inspiring post below and check out her blog to learn more about her and their story.

  “Don’t feel guilty for loving
the things you love about your job. Don’t feel guilty for missing him.
Use up all the emotions. Own them, use them. They will steer you
” – Obi Wan Jamie


Williams Syndrome
When we met IRL for the first time June 2013

So I have this friend. This AMAZING friend Jamie. We met on this fancy thing here we like to call the internet.  We met through a support board for families of individuals with Williams Syndrome. Her daughter, Norah, is about 4 months older than Evan and I just adore her. We have gotten to know each other through Facebook private messaging, text, and phone calls.  Whenever I am feeling doubtful about something, or I am worried about Evan’s development, I don’t google it, I send Jamie a message.  She is one of those people who just “get it.” And not only does she “get it,” but she also gives incredible advice that sounds like it should be coming from a woman far beyond her years.  I call her Obi Wan on the message boards because her responses to posts are always so thoughtful and…well, wise. Can’t think of a better word for them.  

Last week I was having a moment (one of many) where I was struggling with the idea of going back to work.  I messaged Jamie in a moment of panic and told her I was starting to crumble.  She got back to me and part of what she said was the nugget I opened with:  

  Don’t feel guilty for loving the things you love about your job. Don’t feel guilty for missing him. (my son)
Use up all the emotions. Own them, use them. They will steer you correctly.


Getting in good cuddle time

I have heard over and over about how working is a part of who I am. Being a teacher is sort of part of my genetic code, as much as missing the elastin gene is part of Evan’s.  I have felt that myself at times when I missed standing up in front of a classroom.  I actually think my true love is theater, children’s theater primarily, and being a teacher is sort of a form of that.  (sometimes….) But since staying home for the extra year with Evan, I have become very comfortable in my role as mother, therapist, housekeeper, paperwork filler-outer, etc.  I like being the one who knows the most about Evan.  It feels right somehow. But we also knew as a family that I needed to go back to work for financial reasons currently and in the future.  
Hence the transition period we are currently in.   But what Jamie said felt so incredibly helpful to me.  It gives me permission to feel sad when I walk up the ramp of his school on Tuesday to my car and feel the sting of tears that I know will come.  To feel exhilarated when teaching a new skill to my students in a few weeks and knowing they are “getting it.”  To feel anxious when I think of Evan taking a nap on a mat for the first time, and wondering how he will do with the other children, will he interact? Will they be frustrated by his speech patterns? Will they love him?  Permission to feel excited to see the students I left for maternity leave as second graders who are now fifth graders.  To feel comfort in the hugs of my staff family who have gone through what I am going through before.  

I like that concept. Owning my emotions. The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Own them and use them.  Use the sensitivity I have as a mother of a child with special needs to better understand the parents of my students.  Use the sadness I feel from missing Evan eat his lunch or play on the playground to be a better mom to him when I DO have time with him. Make it count.   Love what you love and miss what you miss.  It is all part of the package of being a working parent.  Hoping I can heed my own advice in the coming months. 

 About The Author

Erin is a thirty something mama who taught for 11 years in the special education field before before becoming a mother to her own amazing little boy with special needs.  She writes of the good, the tough, and the beautiful that goes along with motherhood. You can find her at www.edivaput.blogspot.com or on Facebook.

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  • Reply
    September 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

    It is, sometimes, difficult though to own our emotions especially when they don’t come easy. It’s so much easier to hide them and swallow them away, but you’re so right.

  • Reply
    Dawn ~ Spatulas On Parade
    September 9, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Emotions are difficult, they can control us and we can allow them to make our lives miserable. However, they can be good things too. Without them we’d be robots. I like what your friend told you. Thanks for sharing with us. Being a working mom always makes us feel guilty but we do what we must.

  • Reply
    Terry (My Journey With Candida)
    September 9, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Emotions are something I think we all struggle with… women maybe more so than men… but maybe not. Men have been taught to keep their emotions hidden. I have been trying to keep a positive outlook on things and it seems to be helping me a great deal.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2013 at 10:05 am

    What a beautiful post and a great message. Mothers who want to work and love their jobs should not feel guilty about that fact,

    I think owning your emotions can be difficult for some because they have preconceived ideas about how things should be. We need to let go of that.

  • Reply
    Sarah Bailey
    September 9, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I’m awful at owning my emotions I have to admit they do rule me – thank you so much for a lovely guest post 🙂 x

  • Reply
    September 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I am awful about owning my emotions too. I totally agree with the post though–don’t feel guilty about going back to work if that is what you would like.

  • Reply
    Myrah - Coupon Mamacita
    September 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I am very emotional, so holding back my emotions is something I struggle with very much, Great and inspriing post.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    It’s never easy to control your emotions but yes, we gotta do it! Use them for your good. The bad emotions just hurt. Just feel cheery girl! Don’t feel bad 🙂

  • Reply
    Viccy H
    September 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I’m really bad at letting my emotions rule & control me 🙁 And I do struggle with times. It”s nice to see that others are similar too, phew. But do need to kick my own butt into gear and start controlling my emotions xxx

  • Reply
    Growing Up Madison
    September 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Jamie sounds like a very wise woman indeed. I remember not wanting to go back to work, although at times I hate my job, because I had been with Madison for only a short while and I didn’t know how it would be without her. It actually didn’t turn out too bad. btw, I’ve never heard of the Williams Disease, thanks for highlighting it in this post. I’m going to read up about it.

  • Reply
    Chavonne H
    September 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Great quote. I like the idea of owning my emotions and using them to relate to others in fact I do that without even realizing it. Sometimes I put myself down for how I feel and it’s always so reassuring to read things like this where emotions are seen as a positive thing whether they are good or bad. Thanks for this post!

  • Reply
    Dov Shapira
    September 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I do agree with you 100% on owning our emotion. We sure do have them.
    Dealing with reactions is another story.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Emotions are not easy. For anyone really,. I’ve never heard of Williams Disease, thanks for the post about it .

  • Reply
    Anita Breeze
    September 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    It’s definitely a challenge for us Moms who do work, to have that mix of emotions. It can be hard to reconcile loving your job with loving your children when they seem to conflict!

  • Reply
    September 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you for all your comments. I appreciate the feedback very much. Emotions are definitely hard to handle at times, and I just really fell in love with the idea that we should embrace the good and the tough ones, rather than stuff them away. I am so glad to be spreading awareness about Williams Syndrome as well. It’s the only way to continue research and further the advancements in medical techniques and educational strategies to service those with WS. http://www.williams-syndrome.org/

  • Reply
    Tough Cookie Mommy
    September 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I completely understand how you feel. I love teaching but I wish I could dedicate myself completely to raising my own children. After 13 years of teaching, that is exactly how I feel.

  • Reply
    Michelle H
    September 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Very best of luck to you in your journey back to work. After my first son was born it took me a very long time to admit that part of the reason I was not happy was that it was okay to still want some of the life I had before he came. I learned that doing some of my favorite things was healthy for me and made me a better mom when I got home at the end of the day.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2013 at 8:30 am

    What a beautiful guest post. Good luck to you on going back to work. I totally agree with your friend that you cannot feel guilty about loving what you do and what you feel right about.

  • Reply
    Courtney Pies
    September 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

    That’s fantastic that you have a friend that you can call to ask for advice and lean on each other! This was a beautiful post!

  • Reply
    Aida Ignram
    September 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    This was such a beautiful posts. People don’t often know the challenges and joys of having a special needs child. It is great to have someone you can lean on, and who can support you. Thank you for sharing this!

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