There are millions of mom stories about crying in the shower when it all feels like too much. And there are times when what we are struggling with emotionally just isn’t age-appropriate to talk about with our kids, so we hide it away and share our thoughts and feelings with only our spouse and our friends.
And honestly sometimes parenting is just so hard I want to have a vacation all by myself so I can rest and cry and process all that has been happening in my life lately.
The thing is, my kid recently walked in on me when I was feeling sad and quietly crying to myself. This intrusion into my emotional processing was exactly what I needed. It prompted a lot of honesty. It showed me that I have successfully taught empathy and love, because that was what I was shown.
And it gave me a chance to talk about some interactions we had been having that were really bothering me (some of which is the fault of hormones and their underdeveloped brain, but some of which was because of their lack of recognition of things going on around them). We ended up having a really emotional, but beautiful conversation. And we both felt so much better afterward.
Sometimes as moms we feel like we have to be the superhero. The strong one who fixes all of the family problems. The thing is, that just isn’t always realistic. Moms have feelings, too.
And are we doing ourselves and our children harm by not being more honest about the emotional ups and downs that we are going through.
We want our kids to tell us about their days, what happened at school, how things are going with their friends, and what they are feeling inside. I think we sometimes forget that the best way to teach something is to model it for others.
I am not going to fool myself by saying that I will be wearing my emotions on my sleeve for my kids to see all the time, but I do think this is a lesson to remind myself to share a little bit more of my thoughts and feelings with my kiddos.
Yes, I will still give myself time-outs where I lock myself in the bathroom. Yes, I will probably still want vacations for myself from my wonderful family.
But at the same time, I am going to work on answering a little more honestly when my kiddos ask me about my day. I am also going to find a way for some of those magical conversations in the car to be about things I have been thinking about and struggling with, rather than just being focused on my kids emotions, observations and needs.
I am going to be more real. More honest. And hopefully it will help me get more of my emotional needs met in the process.