Motherhood – Emotions Series – Sadness

Sadness is a response to loss, and feeling sad allows us to take a timeout and show others that we need support.”

the Atlas of Emotions

Sadness in Happiness

You would expect that with so much happiness coming from motherhood, Sadness wouldn’t be a regular presence. But it is.

Yesterday was a delightful day. Everyone was in a good mood; we almost slept enough, enjoyed Nature and made some progress around some house projects. It was nice. I was, however, feeling a bit overwhelmed as my baby seemed only to be able to sleep on the baby carrier during the whole day. As I see it, that is wonderful, and I love the close contact, the warmth and the convenience of it. However, it just felt like too much yesterday, as I was too tired and my back was hurting.

To make matters worse, I looked in the mirror and tried some shorts only to realise my belly is still much bigger than it used to be. I looked at my body and was disappointed to see the floppy belly. After the first pregnancy, my body was back to normal in basically a month. This time it is taking longer. I was sad to see how I lost my figure and the ability to rebound so quickly. I tried to tell my husband, but he seemed to dismiss it, to deny it. In his eyes, there was nothing to be sad about it. And maybe, he just took it as the usual, “does my butt look too big in this pants?” kind of comment.

Throughout the day, both my kids complained and demanded what they needed, but I failed to be able to talk and express what I wanted. More than once, I was left talking alone or mid-sentence, even if unintentionally.


And then it hit me: I am expected to see them and to be listening, but I don’t feel seen or even heard.

I was sad about not having my body like I used to: for its shape but also freedom of using it, for the space I had.

So, if emotions are not good or bad, positive or negative, how can I use this Sadness to my benefit? What is the message that is bringing me?

It occurs to me that sadness is an important seasoning that makes appreciating the joy so much. It also works as a way to realise what our limits and boundaries are. Because if Sadness is a response to Loss, it lets us know what are the things that are important to us.

The importance of Sadness

And what is important to me?

I held my baby tight. And then I remembered my husband telling me that one hug will be the last. At some point in our lives, we will hug our children for the last time. Just imagining it breaks my hurt. Suddenly, I didn’t want to let go of my baby anymore. Soon, he will be too big to carry around in the carrier. It is important to me to enjoy all of these moments with my boys, including when helping them sleep.

Still, my back was hurting, and I needed some space. I needed to mourn my lost body shape and regain the ability to move around and jump if I wanted to. My husband came to the rescue, once again, and stayed with the kids while I grabbed the bike and went for a spin. Who am I kidding? My husband pushed me and convinced me to do it that it was a good idea and he had it covered. He did.

It was a 30 min bike ride along the river. I felt I was flying on wheels. The light was just perfect, and the water was sparkling, there were kids, horses, sheep and whatnot. It was magic. Half an hour is not that long, but it was more than enough to respect and honour my needs as well. And to miss those kids again. To listen and see me again.