How to Survive Parenthood as a Highly Sensitive Person

One thing I never considered when I was choosing whether or not to be a parent…is that I like silence.

For ten years I lived alone.

During much of that time I was a full-time public school teacher, so I got my fill of connection, but when I’d wake up in the morning…there was silence. Always. I got ready in silence and didn’t speak to anyone until I arrived at school. That’s about two full hours of silence in my mornings.

I never even really noticed. Since it was simply always the way it was, I took it for granted. I knew no different.

I wasn’t intentionally taking a vow of silence. It just happened.

When I’d go home, I’d be home all evening alone. I’d reflect, journal, be creative, meditate, take hot baths.

 

I had lots of time to process.

 

It wasn’t until I truly began to validate + acknowledge my psychic gifts that I realized I was highly sensitive.

A psychic healer I went to once told me that I think everyone is like me, and they’re not.

I’m learning as I get older, where we are the same in our humanity, and all the vast spaces where we’re different.

My sensitivities make me different. In the car with my mom, we argue over the radio. I can’t stand to have it on- especially talk radio- especially if there are people in the car, also talking.

In the home, I don’t want the sound of the television.

I need to hear myself breathe. I have to have space to be in my imagination…it’s where I live, I guess, much of the time.

When Sophia was born, it was joyful + quite easy- and just like with my silent school mornings, I didn’t know what made that phase distinct:

She couldn’t talk.

As a parent, one of the great joys is watching our children grow so quickly. We often don’t realize it was a phase, until it’s gone. Then, one by one, or in an avalanche, we see change + growth before our very eyes.

So, she’s talking now. For going on two years. She talks constantly. All day. About everything.

She calls upon me to be present, fiercely. Not when I want to be, not in my own time, but on her time. Which is constant.

It has me think a lot about all the empathic, psychic, highly sensitives out there who never thought about it and suddenly have two or three kids, a husband, a dog, and maybe a job, too.

Say wha???

It’s intense. I like to write. To daydream. To be alone in silence. Uh, that’s not for mama’s of toddlers.

So, I’m learning about all the places within that want to push her away.

All the places where I have trouble accepting.

Sometimes I leave the room and shut the door- but then she’ll usually start screaming and crying and banging on the door.

After almost three full years of having someone on me and needing me just about all day, keeping in mind I’m basically a single-mama-

I’m coming to grips with the intense levels of healing required to be a parent.

 

So, to survive, here’s my best advice:

 

  1. Keep your husband. Leave the house. Let him do it. 🙂
  2. Lock yourself in a room and eat a piece of chocolate.
  3. Put your kiddo to bed early, between 7-8, so you have time every night!
  4. Have good friends you can talk to so you know you’re not alone!
  5. Listen to Unruffled. (Keeps me sane!)
  6. Read this book.

 

Okay, that’s what I got.

If you’re in it with me, thanks for being here. Got any good advice or great resources? Post ’em in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

All my love,

xo

Rachel Claire