I’m not much of a crier. At least not publicly.
For most of my life, I’ve been the emotional support system for my family. When my parents divorced, I was the strong one for my brother. When my grandparents passed, I was the rock who stood firm, face on, ready to give a eulogy and be a shoulder for my mother and brothers to lean.
I did not cry. Not in front of them. I couldn’t.
Among these major events were smaller ones where I had to keep face and move us all forward. After many years of this, my emotional shock factor was low. Not much got to me. I was stone faced and unattached.
Fast forward to meeting my husband, oh what a whirlwind of emotions. We fell hard and fast. I wasn’t used to sharing my feelings with another human so breaking down the walls was hard, but bless his heart. He must have seen the good parts buried deep inside because he stuck around. Eventually, I let him in and was able to slowly bare my soul to him.
Now, here we are in the midst of parenting our beautiful daughter and I’m learning how to navigate new emotions. Motherhood is no joke y’all. There are days full of laughter and fun but also ones that bring exhaustion and frustration. There are days when it seems that everything has gone wrong, my emotions have built up and I’m at the brink of tears. And you know what? I cry because it’s okay to cry.
All my life, I’ve had this notion that if I hold it together and keep a smile on my face that I’m doing everyone around me and myself this huge favor. Yeah, I’m not.
Bottling up how I feel is just about the worst thing I can do and it doesn’t set a good example for my daughter. She needs to see her mommy happy and healthy, but she also needs to see me feel. She needs to see me process a whole range of emotions. I need to show her that it’s okay to be sad or angry or hurt. Then I need to show her how to pick up the pieces, learn from what happened and move forward knowing the sun will come up again tomorrow.
Being vulnerable and showing my emotions is never going to be easy for me. I’m going to have to try hard at working through my feelings in a positive manner. I know I’m doing my best job to be a momma by helping my daughter know it’s okay to cry.