Mom's role in filling the emotional bucket


Once the umbilical cord is cut, the connection between mom and child changes from a physical one to an emotional one. Elizabeth Stone says it so beautifully: “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

That means to look after your child, is to look after your own heart. Keeping a baby, toddler, child or teenager’s emotional bucket filled to the brim, is a mom’s job. It is mom’s unconditional admiration that convinces her (and dad) that their child is the most beautiful child ever. It is mom (and dad)’s utter belief that their child is the cutest and the brightest that triggers mirror neurons in the baby, toddler, child and teenager’s brain to respond to mom’s positive attention and love. And when the mirror neurons are dancing, happy hormones flow strongly to fill emotional buckets with positive self-esteem, confidence and daring to let go of mom’s hand, and venture further afield.

Research shows time and again that a child prefers the love, softness and comfort of a mom, to food. The best option obviously is a mom and food, not just because it is practical, because food stimulates the two chemical senses – smell & taste, which in turn converts pleasant smells and tastes into happy hormones! Both mom and food gets the happy hormones going, which in turn create a kind of psychological glue that bonds them together. These happy hormones also release heaps of energy to explore and learn, make friends and have fun.

A mom is a soft place in a hard world.

Where mother love is lacking, food sometimes become either:

  • a replacement for mom and a source of comfort (obesity), or
  • a love-hate relationship (anorexia nervosa & bulimia).

The danger of being an unconditional online emotional-bucket filling mom, is that mom may feel sapped of energy, ratty and snappy. An empty mom, can’t keep a child’s emotional bucket full.

Do you realise if every mom looks after the emotional bucket of her own children, moms can turn this world from violence to love?

Nancy McBrine Sheehan has the perfect gift for every mother.


Mothering Myself

In a society preoccupied with how best to raise a child,

I’m finding a need to mesh what’s best for my children with what’s necessary for a well-balanced mother.

I’m recognizing that ceaseless giving translates into giving yourself away.

And, when you give yourself away, you’re not a healthy mom and you’re not a healthy self.

So now I’m learning to be a woman first and a mother second.

I’m learning to just experience my own emotions without robbing my children of their individual dignity by feeling their emotions too.

I’m learning that a healthy child will have his own set of emotions and characteristics from mine.

I’m learning the importance of honest exchanges of feelings because pretences don’t fool children,

They know their mother better than she knows herself.

I’m learning that no one overcomes her past unless she confronts it.

Otherwise, her children will absorb exactly what she’s attempting to overcome.

I’m learning that words of wisdom fall on deaf ears if my actions contradict my deeds.

Children tend to be better impersonators than listeners.

I’m learning that life is meant to be filled with as much sadness and pain as happiness and pleasure.

And allowing ourselves to feel everything life has to offer is an indicator of fulfilment.

I’m learning that fulfilment can’t be attained through giving myself away

But, through giving to myself and sharing with others.

I’m learning that the best way to teach my children to live a fulfilling life is not be sacrificing my life.

It’s through living a fulfilling life myself.

I’m trying to teach my children that I have a lot to learn

Because I’m learning that letting go of them

Is the best way of holding on.

Nancy McBrine Sheehan

You might also want to read why it is important to spend time with dad.