Motherhood – Emotions Series – Disgust

“We feel disgust when faced with something toxic or unpleasant. Disgust varies in strength and frequency in our lives”

Atlas of Emotions

Disgust in motherhood?

This is an exciting Emotion to write about. With so many emotions coming and going through the day, this is one that is hard to identify. I know it will smell cheesy, but even my baby’s poop has a sweet mustard fragrance that is pleasant.
In that case, is there anything I am disgusted about these days? Looking at the definition, yes.

It is now 6 am, and I can write because my boy is kicking his legs, completely awake and ready to start the day. He is not crying or calling us; he is just kicking his feet on the wall, bed frame and occasionally the floor. It is his thing. He has been lifting and dropping his legs since he was three months old and never stopped until now.

I should be happy that he is not crying or calling us over and over again until we come. He’s fine, not in a hurry for us to go. He can, if he wants, leave his bed and play or come to the door. Instead, he chills laying down, kicking his feet.
It is highly unpleasant, and it turns my mood sour if I am not careful. When I hear the banging I know:

  • The day has started, ready or not
  • You can’t make noise cause he might still fall asleep (rarely happens)
  • He is awake and didn’t sleep enough
  • I am awake and didn’t sleep enough
  • I need to be quiet until 7 am when the day is officially starting

My husband sometimes notices it but can quickly go back to sleep – lucky him! Unfortunately, that means I don’t have a partner to complain and vent. It might be for the better: it wouldn’t be healthy anyway.

But it is a trigger for a strong dislike or even repugnance. I used to get all worked up with this kicking; with the waste of time, energy and sleep it meant. It was tempting to imagine ways of preventing my boy from kicking or me from hearing it. However, the reality is that he needs this to process whatever he needs to process, he likes it, and it gives him something. He, no matter how young, deserves respect and space to be himself. Let him kick.

Others can sleep, so the issue is not his behaviour but my reaction to it.


It reminds me of this analogy I read about once, related to mediation. Someone is on a boat, in a lake with very foggy weather. The person can’t see anything. Suddenly another boat hits his boat, and he is furious at the other person for the event. How could he?

He will need to fix the boat, apologise, etc., etc.. He is yelling and raging about it. As the fog lifts up a little, he realises the vessel is empty. No one did anything to him or his boat. It just happened, no intention. And then he understands there was no reason for his reaction; it was all in his response, not in the event.

So is the same with my boy’s kicking. He’s doing his thing, floating on his lake. Let him be.

Kicking Disgust

I still get annoyed, and I still dislike it, of course. It can make me angry at times. Nevertheless, I decided to use the time, even if quietly. Today, for example, it is an opportunity to write; sometimes, I use it for a longer shower – a luxury, when you have a toddler and a newborn – or to finally read that longer article that seems so exciting but time-consuming.

Ah, today there’s even a coffee to keep me company.