I used to think that I shouldn’t cry in front of my children and sometimes I still do feel that way. But, more often than not, I do believe that it is healthy for our children to see their Mommy, or their Daddy, cry.
If you asked my husband, he would say that I cry at the drop of a hat. Or, more literally, at the spill of milk or the smell of a poopy explosion or even at the mere idea of something that I planned for going awry. I get it. I am sensitive.
When I became pregnant for the first time, I also began this new thing where I would “laugh cry”. I don’t know how to explain it and why it happened so often, but I would have a full stream of sad tears and be laughing at the same time. It is something that still happens to me every so often.
I love my life and am generally a very happy, optimistic, upbeat person. But, I do wear my emotions on my sleeve. Most of what I give and put out there in this world, I do wholeheartedly. As a result, sometimes I get disappointment in return and this can lead to tears.
Nowadays, with three children under the age of five, tears happen often; but typically they are coming from the kiddies at tantrum or boo-boo time. But, in all honesty, in those moments where all three kiddies are upset and crying and screaming at the same time, sometimes Mommy cries too. And that is okay.
I believe that it is okay for my children to see me cry because:
Crying is a natural and normal response. I want them to understand and believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling an emotion and letting it out. Further, I want them to be encouraged to let that emotion out so that they can move on from it.
Crying does not make you “weak”. Crying means that you are strong. Strong of heart and strong of mind. Crying means that you feel so passionate about something and I never want my childrens’ passion to be tamed by myself or other people.
A person who cries is a person who cares. I want my children to know that I cry because I care and because I am trying so hard.
It is more positive and productive to cry when you need a release, then to act in way that is self-desrtuctive or destructive to others.
Crying is cleansing; both for the body and for the mind.
Crying can be a sign of exhaustion — in both children and parents.
And lets face it, sometimes, especially as parents, you just need a good cry – even if you don’t know the reason why you are crying! (happens to me a lot) And truth be told, sometimes that good cry can simply cure what a good laugh cannot.
Think about it this way, since you were born, your crying was a sign that you are alive…
You are the model for your children and whether you are up to the challenge or not, they are learning everything from watching you. I believe that you should set boundaries (better than I do) around when it is appropriate to have a good cry and over what. But, no matter what you do, do not force yourself to present yourself as stoic and tearless at all times.
Be genuine, be honest and be okay with crying.