Highly Sensitive Mothers: Advantages and Disadvantages
About 20% of the planet’s population falls into a group called “highly sensitive people” (HSP). Highly sensitive mothers have a series of characteristics linked to brain function that make them more susceptible to what happens in their environment.
Since the HSP diagnosis is scientifically proven, many people are now able to understand themselves better, as well as their family. Additionally, it’s very likely that highly sensitive mothers would pass this trait onto their sons and daughters.
One of the characteristics of highly sensitive mothers is the ability to perceive the world around them very intensely. They’re also able to process more information faster in their brain. Both of these characteristics make highly sensitive people more likely to feel like they need to isolate themselves.
This overstimulation causes people to feel so overwhelmed that their brain can’t process it all at once. On the other hand, this high sensitivity makes these people very supportive, empathetic, and put themselves in other people’s shoes.
How the environment affects highly sensitive mothers
Highly sensitive women who become mothers will have more obstacles both in pregnancy and during childbirth because of their sensitivity.
In many cases, in societies where women are objectified and infantilized, highly sensitive mothers are easy targets for “macho” attitudes. These attitudes can come from doctors, gynecologists, OB/GYNs, nurses, hospitals, families, and even husbands. In other words, it comes from everywhere.
The patriarchy corners highly sensitive mothers. It imposes rules, ways of giving birth, caring for and feeding babies. On the other hand, some highly sensitive mothers may know about feminism, be feminists themselves, or just not get caught up in the inequality in society.
Other mothers assume that these opinions are correct. Additionally, since they have a hard time setting limits, they suffer a lot. They have an extra hard time in the first few months as mothers.
In addition, these mothers often have an unrealistic and romanticized idea of motherhood. They assume that their life will be a bed of roses after they see their child for the first time. However, this is very far from the truth, and any mother knows it.
These women who pretend that their motherhood is like a fairy tale will soon find themselves quiet and alone. There’s a completely helpless and defenseless person that depends on them. Therefore, they just want to hold them and stop the world for a few hours to understand what’s happening.
Sensations of highly sensitive mothers in motherhood
These are some of the emotions that highly sensitive mothers experience at different parts of motherhood:
1. Lack of time alone
Highly sensitive mothers have suddenly lost the intimacy that they love so much. Nobody warned them or thought it would be so painful to stop having their own space. Even when the baby is asleep, these women feel like they’ve lost something very valuable – a part of herself.
2. Greater contact with the family
Before having children, HSP mothers may see their relatives every few weeks. However, with a baby, family will want to be around a lot more. Highly sensitive mothers won’t feel comfortable with relatives coming around so often.
“This high sensitivity makes these people very supportive, empathetic, and put themselves in other people’s shoes.”
3. Changes in the couple’s relationship
Some things change, and they usually change negatively. For example, couples are almost forced to postpone intimacy. On the other hand, even when the couple was trying to have a baby, they could still argue. For highly sensitive mothers, this can be very overwhelming.
4. Social ideology of the perfect mother
Society demands that mothers don’t yell too much, that they don’t overprotect, that they don’t buy too many toys, that they have the newest products; this goes on for all phases of motherhood.
Highly sensitive mothers tend to collapse under pressure and social demands. The saddest thing is that society is never around when mothers need help and support.
Positive aspects about highly sensitive mothers
In these circumstances, the most important thing is to be aware of your own feelings. This way, you can enjoy motherhood to the fullest, and you can give your children all the love they need.
One of the greatest advantages is that, naturally, mothers with HSP feel empathy for their children. This will make it easier to help them as they learn and grow.
Love of art, sensitivity to life, cognitive development and language are invaluable gifts that highly sensitive mothers can give their children.
Because of all this, women who go through motherhood with HSP can feel happy and calm that they’ll be able to raise their children well. Working on it is important to know your own desires, feelings and limits.