The Economics of Emotion
Ok I know …too schooled for cool with the title but really, just hear me out. It’s not some crazy super scientific theory that will go way over your head. It’s simple economics. It’s about the emotional room in your life. You can really only carve out so much room for others. Their emotional baggage takes up room. That precious room in your life that you have designated for others and their ‘stuff’.
So here are my two cents. As a young parent you have already met unwanted and unwelcomed criticism from others about choices that you made. You may have been ousted from your peer group, suffered the wrath of other teenage girls and been lectured by parents and other adults. People have told you their opinions about things that you’ve done. People have told you or shown you with their actions, their emotional response to a situation that really isn’t their business.
For most people, your choice to have your child when you were young doesn’t directly affect them at all. At an age when you are vulnerable to others’ opinions of you this is an 11 on the top ten chart. People love to add insult to injury. People get that mob mentality and stand around and watch but don’t do anything. And yes, girls are probably worse than boys! Gossip, whispers, rumours and all the back talk. Negative talk. Negative energy that you are on the receiving end of, eat up that emotional room that you have.
And here is the kicker….it brings with it more negative emotional energy. The kind you already have too much of. Negative energy invites more negative energy and it will spiral out of control. It can literally consume you! Feeling low is just the tip of the iceberg. Eating habits change. Sleeping patterns change, your peer group changes and activities you liked to do change. You fall victim to negativity. Sadness can set in. If you start to feel depressed, see your health care practitioner to get the best care possible!
But this is the best part – the silver lining if you may – positive energy begets more positive energy! The more you have, the better you feel and then more comes your way. The difference between the negative and positive is that positive energy doesn’t take up space! There is no need to constantly put more thought and energy into a positive situation. Those happy feelings are attributed to endorphins and they are already in your body to make you feel good. And you know, they say happiness is contagious for a reason.
I’m not saying that you are going to be Mother Theresa or Mary Poppins or even The Baby Whisperer! Everyone has bad days, bad parenting moments, slip-ups and setbacks. Goals we set too high and situations slip out of our control. But take some time to notice that when you have a good day, things seem easier, lighter. The economics of it all is just like a really good song on the radio, more people hear it and like it, so they request it and it gets played more and more – just like those happy positive emotions.
Here is my idea for you, write up a list of things that make you happy: the people, the friends and family, the achievements, the goals, the supports, the pictures and events. List all the happy things that have happened and all the ones that you are dreaming about. Write your list and stick it up on a wall or mirror somewhere where you can see it, everyday! And don’t forget to add to it! So you remember the happy when you aren’t and you keep your positivity going when you have lots already so you can be a spark for someone else.
The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program
Young Parent Outreach is a dynamic resource program providing services and support to young pregnant women, young moms and dads, and their children in the Greater Victoria area.
These services - provided by The Cridge Centre for the Family – are designed to give young pregnant women and young moms and dads the help and support network they need to have healthy babies and to be effective, successful parents. Whether it’s housing, income assistance, food back or dealing with child custody or substance abuse, The Cridge Young Parent Outreach program can help.