We need to chat about this “don’t cry in front of your kids” business because I’m tired of the illusion that it’s inappropriate.
Why is it that being happy or excited is okay, but being sad is not? Why is it that being angry or frustrated is okay, but being sad is not? I refuse to live in a world that ignores a very normal human emotion - sadness. Sometimes we feel sad, people! And I’m not about to hide this truth from my children.
Here are 5 reasons I will continue to cry in front of my kids:
Showing emotions is normal. What’s not normal is showing only our positive emotions and neglecting the existence of our other ones. I know I already alluded to this point, but it’s worth being said OVER and OVER again. Sometimes we feel sad, people! Sad is an emotion and it is something everyone feels at some point or another.
Big people cry, too. Feeling sad or the act of crying is not something that stops when you turn 18. Big people, the people our kids look up to most, we cry too. Big people, the people our kids consider heroes and warriors, we cry too. And the hero or warrior in us isn’t tainted by tears.
Often times, crying is what you need to feel better and move on. I can tell you that, at times, letting myself have a good cry has been my go-to form of “self-care”. I grab a box of tissues, release what’s bothering me, and feel so much better afterwards. It’s true - the “cry it out” method isn’t only for sleep-training! It’s a tool I want my children to know about should they ever find themselves searching for an emotional relief.
Crying is temporary. Crying is not a place where we unpack and live forever and ever. You can cry and recover. You can cry and then be happy. You can cry and then go out to dinner with friends.
Crying gives my kids the opportunity to practice compassion. By comforting me (or by watching their Dad comfort me), they learn how to give comfort to others. They learn how to help and how to listen. They learn to be good humans.
Of course, crying that is too frequent can be upsetting for our kids. But when my friend is going through a hard time and I am not able to console her? Yep, I might cry. Or if the family dog has to be put down after years of beautiful memories? Yep, I’m gonna cry.
But it doesn’t mean I’m inappropriate.
And it doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom.
It just means, I’m human.