I’ve seen my mom cry twice in my whole life. Once when I was in 6th grade and I hugged my best friend goodbye for the last time before we moved away. And once at my brother’s funeral 6 years ago.
It always confused me. I’m a really emotional person and I used to cry All. The. Time. I could not wrap my brain around how my mom never shed even one tear. Especially given the infinite number of reasons she had to cry over the years. I always joke that she’s allergic to tears. And I still think it’s true to some degree.
But life as a mom, although it’s only been 3 years of it, has shown me a different perspective. Since becoming a member of the mom tribe, I’ve begun to learn and understand the inside scoop of how it all works.
Several days ago, I cried in front of my sons for the first time. They didn’t really see it though. I was driving and they were in the back seat.
I’ve never consciously tried to not let my sons see me cry. I don’t feel the need to always be brave and strong and tear-free in front of them. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s important to me that my boys see crying and feelings are ok and that there’s nothing weak about tears.
Why then, have they never seen me cry? Why don’t moms, at least in my experience of moms, cry in front of their babies much?
I think part of it is that if we really allowed ourselves to give into all the emotion we feel and experience on a constant basis, we might not ever stop crying.
Motherhood is a continuous pouring out of all that we are and all that we have to give. We feel everything. Much more than I ever thought possible.
We carry our babies in our bodies, literally, and then after we give birth to them, we carry them in our hearts forever. We know every mark on them. Every facial expression and quirky behavior. We’ve kissed every boo boo and caught every tear. We’ve watched them grow, day by day. We’ve cheered and encouraged and loved with everything in us.
All their successes, all their failures. It’s all wrapped up in us. And we carry it all.
My tears have changed since becoming a mom. I still cry. A lot. I ugly cry during Minute Maid commercials and I come completely unglued with all the mom sentiments that tell us we are the best thing that ever happened to our babies and we are doing a better job than we think.