“Whatever you do, don’t let your kids see you cry.”
“Cry in the shower, or in your pillow at night, if possible… they need to know you’re okay, so they know they’re okay.”
That’s some advice I received once I became a solo parent of three little ones.
So, I heard people tell me that. I read it on a blog too… but, I still just never understood it. Or accepted it.
What if things just *aren’t* okay?? What if things just plain suck right now? What if you’re having a really, really bad day, because being a Mom is hard, being single is hard, being married is hard, finances are hard, life is hard… ??? What then? Still need to put on the happy face? Save the tears for the shower? Bedtime? Or never??
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a crier. I’m emotional. Sometimes I feel like I’m emotionally exhausting to those around me. I feel like I have to apologize for crying to whoever is around me. Sometimes I still feel embarrassed about it. And, sometimes I can’t even explain why I’m crying. It doesn’t take much to bring it out of me… and, it doesn’t matter where I am, or who’s around me. Including my kids.
I’ll still cry.
But, there should be no shame in crying.
And, kids need to know that sometimes it’s simply okay to *not* be okay. They need to know that crying is okay. It’s more than okay, actually… it’s normal. We are wired with emotions, and one of those emotions is crying. Jesus wept. And, I’m certain that not only does He smile when I smile, He also weeps when I weep.
There’s power and healing in shedding those tears, so let. it. out.
Sometimes friendships crumble in ways that we could never imagine. Sometimes we are hurt by the words or actions of those around us. Sometimes we experience heartbreaking loss. Sometimes we just have to mourn and grieve over situations or circumstances that are simply out of our control… in those moments, I need to cry. But, not only that, I also want my kids to know they can weep through that deep emotional hurt, and I never want them to feel ashamed or embarrassed for it.
Since I met with my lawyer a few weeks ago, I’ve shed a lot of those tears.
In just 2 months, I will no longer be a “Mrs.,” I will simply be a “Ms.” In an uncontested divorce, the process is relatively quick.
One court appearance. Ten minutes before a magistrate. And, it’s all over. Just like that.
But, it still doesn’t keep every memory, every moment, and every emotion from flooding back into my mind like waves in an ocean… so, with salty tears, I have to say goodbye, and grieve again and again and again… there’s no love left there for him, and there’s no desire for reconciliation, but there is mass amounts of affliction, nonetheless… unbearable emotional pain that is difficult to express into words.
The division of what once was one, will become two. This is the opposite of God’s righteous and rightful design for marriage.
So, my kids have seen me cry and cry and cry. I simply cannot, and do not want to hide it from them. They know crying is okay… that it’s a healthy emotion to express, and not one that needs to be hidden.
Let go of yourself, be vulnerable, be free, and cry in front of your kids. It’s good for you, and it’s good for them.
John 11:35 (NIV) – Jesus wept.