Do you find yourself feeling all the feelings as a mom? That emotional wave just coming in- sometimes flattening you, sometimes you can comfortably ride it. The mental load of motherhood comes with all these feelings. What the what? How on earth am I supposed to remember all these positive parenting strategies and tools while the emotional wave is trying to take me under?


How do you typically handle your own big emotions in front of your kids?

Do you put on a happy face and deal with it later?

Do you melt into a puddle on the kitchen floor every time you open the news app on your phone?

Maybe we can strive for a balance of these two rather extreme reactions.

When most of us were growing up, it wasn’t the social norm for our parents to let us see their real emotions. They showed strength in their own way by keeping the status quo in front of the kids and hopefully dealing with all the other stuff later. Now thankfully we know that it’s not necessary to grin and bear it. In fact, modeling emotional regulation is good for our kids. It can be an incredible model and teacher for them while helping regulate ourselves as moms.

When you are feeling that emotional wave and your precious children are around (or in your face, attached to your body, talking nonstop to you), consider this a teachable moment.

This is a time to SHOW your kids with your words and actions what healthy regulation can look like. So how exactly should we do that?

I’m so glad you asked…


Try this:

  1. Name your emotion while being careful to not place blame, “I am feeling ____.”

2. Name what your body needs to manage this emotion coming on. “I need ____.

3. DO that thing. Show with your actions what you are going to try to do to calm your body down so you aren’t overcome by that wave of emotion.

In our “Banish Mommy Burnout Class,” participants made their own visuals of Mommy’s Calming Tools. We created a picture using Canva or some other free software that included all the things that we as individuals find helpful when overwhelmed by big emotions.

Calming strategies don’t always have to look calm. Emotional regulation can include things like big gross motor movements, exercise, dancing, whatever works for your body! Create a list of things that work for you when you are feeling overwhelmed. It may have things on it like deep breathing, walking away, getting fresh air, calling a friend, working out, doing a hobby- whatever you like to do.

Then share that list with your kids. Hang it up in the center of the home. Use it to model. Do these things. Say out loud, “I feel ____. My body needs ___.” You are helping yourself AND setting up the most amazing model for your kids so that they will start to do the same for themselves.

When your child is having big feelings, what do you want them to do to manage those more effectively? Are you modeling that with your own big feelings? If not, how can you expect it of your child and not of yourself? Hmmmm….

We want to model emotional regulation so our kids can SEE what that looks like.

Then when your child is upset use the same general wording applied to their feelings. “It looks like you are feeling ____.” And then focus on the physical aspect of things in that moment saying, “What does your body need right now?”

Depending on the situation and their emotions, they might need different things such a hug, a drink of water, to get a breath of fresh air, hear their favorite song, jump up and down, etc. You can offer suggestions and try different options as needed.

If you have been modeling this with responding to your emotions by using calming strategies, it’ll be a million times easier to work on it with your kids.  The main idea is to start by modeling self emotional regulation and then extend that concept to help your kids regulate their emotions.

It’s a win-win.

Help yourself regulate the waves of emotion that are a part of this motherhood life. Then you’ll have better days.

Model emotional regulation for your kids. Then they can have better days.

And that is definitely a win-win.