Sometimes Mamas Just Need a Good Cry
Moms just need a good cry sometimes. It’s cathartic. It’s necessary. It’s real. I’ve always thought that I needed to be discreet about crying—do it behind closed doors or dry my eyes before the kids catch me. Most of the time I still do this in order to keep up the perception that Mom has got this, even when she doesn’t. But about a month ago, I just had a moment and the tears came and I couldn’t hide it and I couldn’t fight it.
My husband, Ryan, a Chief Engineer in the U.S. Merchant Marine, had been shipped out for approximately two months at this point. Under normal circumstances, I am pretty skilled at keeping it all together when he is at sea, but there are always ups and downs. This particular day, I just caved under the Mom pressures, the pressures of maintaining a household and to top it off, a very unfortunate situation involving a rental property we own. My husband called me at a particularly weak moment and when I heard his voice, I just let my guard down and the emotional dam burst.
The kids were in the other room and so I thought I might be safe to let it all out for a moment. They must have heard me and one by one, they appeared in the kitchen. Normally when I see them and I’m upset, I try my hardest to shut it down. This time I physically couldn’t do it. I let them see me having my moment. A couple of them started to cry with me, which made me feel worse, but once I was able to step back and take a breath, I realized there should be no shame in crying, in showing emotion in front of your children.
Now that I’ve been able to reflect on that day, I have reminded myself that suppressing emotions is unhealthy and usually comes back to haunt you later on down the line. If my children never see me cry or working through emotions and struggles, then I feel like I would be setting a precedent that it’s not ok to experience a hard time or reach a breaking point. I want them to know that even the strongest people are allowed to cry sometimes.
The important thing was that after I was able to calm myself down and pull it together, I vocalized to the children that Mommy was having a bad day and that sometimes she cries when she feels stress. They were so sweet—showering me with hugs and kisses, telling me over and over again how much they love me. And even though I was initially upset with myself for letting my guard down, seeing my children’s reactions made me realize that I am must be doing something right. I’m raising sweet, caring, loving and compassionate children, and that to me, is everything.