Being a parent has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It has also been one of the scariest. When I think of the incredible amount of responsibility being put on parents to be for the creation, support, and well-being of an actual human who will be a living functioning adult one day, it’s like a wow moment.
Over the years as a parent, there are so many things you learn and other things you wish you knew before you became a parent or made a mistake that made you wonder if you ruined your kid for life. Truth is, in addition to joy and happiness the pesky feelings of guilt rears its ugly head for parents when they are raising kids and long after kids become adults. This feeling along with so many more can cause tears to flow like a river at times.
What happens when your mom cries? Often times, kids never see their parent’s tears unless they are the happy ones like at the site of their first steps, kindergarten graduation, prom or some other milestone worthy of significant joy. There is, however a side of parenting, of motherhood that often gets overlooked. The human side, the hurting side, the side that is hidden because we have to be strong for our kids and the world. It’s the side that causes us to go to our bedrooms, cars, bathrooms, offices etc. and cry. It’s the side that hurts when our kid says hurtful things to us during the rebellious years. It’s the side that fights tears when the bills are due, we face relationship problems, lose our own parents, work at a job we hate, get fired, or face a health challenge we feel we can’t share with anyone. It’s the side that gets excluded as if we don’t have feelings and when faced with a sadness tear from us we may face the “OMG what are you crying for” or the “Ok but what about me…” from our kids and the supporting cast of those around us and them.
Kids aren’t responsible for being here. However, as time moves on, we hope that we have done a good enough job for them to respect us and give us back the love, compassion, empathy, and forgiveness we’ve given then through the grace we’ve experienced being a parent. Sometimes that never happens. Other times, it happens once they begin to experience life in its realness as a parent or an adult faced with challenges. And when we’re lucky we may have one or two kids who naturally have those feelings but without caution, those same kids can carry the weight of their own guilt or feelings of being responsible for our emotional health. Honestly, the job of being a parent is a constant balancing act and not one person has gotten it 100% right EVER!
Today, I offer my love and compassion to moms who cry in secret. Moms like myself who felt hurt when a child told them they hated them or even worse. Sending love to moms who feel like they aren’t worthy of the very children they are trying so hard to raise despite overcoming childhood or adult challenges of their own. I hear you. I see you. I’ve cried just like you and in fact, today was one of those days where I simply said “God, I did the best I knew how” and the tears came flowing down like that river that never dries up.
Know that tears of a mother will happen. Many will wish their kids know how deeply life can cut you as a mom whether it is related to something they’ve done or not. Kids may not fully understand that sometimes we do hurt, sometimes we do cry, sometimes we feel like failures, sometimes we feel like champions, we feel, we feel, we feel! Your are not alone moms. And one day, I hope your kids understand that you are a human too and maybe this day, today may not be your strongest day but because you’ve endured because you’ve raised them to the best of your ability, you are and always will be one of the best superheroes that exist! Keep walking. Keep living. Keep hoping. Know that GRACE is yours. Cry when you need to and once you feel better, just do the best you can and keep it moving.