A Short Note On: Emotional Intelligence and First Time Motherhood

While I was pregnant with my son, the Top 1 advice (solicited or otherwise) was: BE PATIENT. I would always just smile and agree but deep inside I’d think, “Duh, of course! it’s a baby…” Then when my son was born, it dawned upon me that in this case the need for patience encompasses a wider range of public– from my own family members to well-meaning (?) strangers in a bus stop.

Basically, everybody around me suddenly turned out to be experts on infants and child-rearing. Everybody would have something to say about everything and anything they can think of. And what’s most unbelievable for me is the fact that it is some of my fellow women and fellow mothers who have been the quickest to judge, the toughest to criticize and the least empathic to certain situations (gasp!).

Far from making this post my personal sounding-board, let me just share how managing adverse situations like these has made me grow. It did seem like a boot camp for character build-up, but I notice now how I’m more able to filter between what’s important and what’s important TO ME.

Where Emotional Intelligence “… refers to a set of competencies that enable us to engage in sophisticated information processing about emotions… to use this information as a guide for thinking and behavior”, I am pretty convinced that some of the “wiring” in me have changed and have helped me learn how to process my emotions in a way less harmful to myself and to others. It still needs a bit of polishing so sometimes the control switch would go “off”, but I’m working on it on a daily basis…

Emotional learning constitutes a change in habits, which studies have proven to be more difficult than purely cognitive learning (one that is concerned with acquisition of problem-solving abilities and with intelligence and conscious thought). However in my case, I was eased into this adjustment by an even bigger and more significant transformation: motherhood.

Here’s to the new learnings from the current stages of our lives!



  1. “The neural bases of key competencies of emotional intelligence”, available at: http://www.pnas.org/content/106/52/22486.full
  2. “Bringing Emotional Intelligence to the Workplace: A Technical Report Issued by the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations”, available at: http://www.eiconsortium.org/reports/technical_report.html
  3. The Free Dictionary, available at: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/cognitive+learning



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