I’m Kristin, and I am a Highly Sensitive Mom. My sensitivity affects every area of my life, and always has. I was supposedly a very stressed out, tearful baby, as evidenced by stacks of baby pictures with my nose red and eyes swollen. I was a cautious, quiet but extremely creative child. I was a bit of a loner. I had friends, but just one or two soul mates at a time.
In High School and college, I felt fake and phony and didn’t understand why. I strived to be perky and outgoing on the outside (cheerleader, drama, student government), but was nervous and scared on the inside. I did well in school because I’m conscientious and enjoyed the peaceful ritual of studying. But my good grades didn’t come easily. I felt like I was working twice as hard as everyone and struggling to stay ahead. I was trying to keep up with the pace of my peers and feeling burnt out. And I wasn’t even in the “real” world yet!
I’m now in my 30’s, and I’m definitely in the real world now. It’s intense. I’ve owned several small businesses, some have failed and some haven’t. I got married. I suffered the loss of my father to suicide 5 years ago. But becoming a parent rocked my world more than any other event by far. It brought my HSP qualities to the forefront. There were so many times when I thought I was just not cut out for motherhood; I’d never get the hang of it. I wanted my old life back.
Reading The Highly Sensitive Person changed my life. Not only did it explain why I feel so frazzled, overwhelmed, and emotional much of the time, but it showed me that I’m not alone. I’m not broken. I’m not crazy. I’m just a highly sensitive mom living in a highly-stimulating world. I realized I CAN do this parenting thing! I just might need to do it differently.
There are so many ways that being HSP has made parenting hard. So very hard. The mommy guilt, the sleepless nights, the screams of a newborn are intense enough, but what if you experience the world in high definition? There are also myriad ways in which it’s made me a more thoughtful, empathetic, responsible parent. I can say now that I’m blessed to be highly sensitive, and that my kids are blessed to have me.
That’s what this blog is about. It’s my attempt to wrap my mind around what it means to be an HSP parent. To find the joy in my sensitivity and to accept the burden it brings, too. Most of all, I want HSM to be a safe place for other HSP parents to come and learn, reflect and say “Yes, that’s sooo me!” Because doesn’t it feel good to know you’re not alone?