One morning, I was holding my little 2 year old #JasperBean crying non-stop. Suddenly, I felt his strong little shoulder and soothing concerned voice. I could feel his worried little face peeping down to see what I was doing. When I hear him continuing to say “mummy… mummy, sorry… mummy sorry… mummy is okay?”, this warmed and broke my heart. So many of us nowadays want to appear in control of our lives, our kids and that everything around us is perfect that we have become masters at suppressing our emotions. But what happens when you can no longer hold this front anymore? What if you are at breaking point? Is it okay to cry?
Everyone will have times when they need to release their emotions through tears. The only difference is whether you choose to lock your door and cry in bed alone, or cry unreservedly in front of your loved ones. In many Chinese families, parents do not like to show any sad emotions and crying in front of their children was seen as a sign of weakness. I understand that every parent wants their child to see themselves in a positive light. Therefore some might choose to hide these negative emotions from them so that their children only see a happy mummy/daddy.
I am weak, but that’s okay
As a mother, in this instance, I have chosen the latter, which is to cry my eyes out whilst holding my baby when I am upset. Why? Because I believe #JasperBean needs to know that showing feelings, be it laughter or tears is okay. I believe that by crying in front of #JasperBean, I am able to show him that even parents, us “Super Mummy’s” suffer from times of weakness and crying IS acceptable.
Me and S are #JasperBean’s closest relation and that day when I cried in front of him, it seemed to suddenly awaken something emotional and caring inside of him. Before that day, I never would have thought that a 2 year old could comfort me when I was down. He cuddled me and stroked my hair and asked me if I was okay. He even told me that I was sad and wanted to give me a kiss to make everything better. That day, that moment, my little boy took my role and provided me with comfort when I most needed it.
I am so proud that #JasperBean has shown responsibility and compassion to care for the people around him.
It’s okay to cry, but beware
Although I believe showing your emotions in front of your kids are beneficial, there are some boundaries I stand by:
- You can cry, but not over everything. You know the saying “crying over spilt milk”, well there is a time and place for appropriate crying. For example, crying during a sad emotional scene in a movie, life changing experiences like death, marriage troubles, losses etc, but crying over burnt dinner or a broken plate? Time for a rethink. Explain to them why you’re crying and how you feel so that they can understand the reason behind it. P.S. You can spare the detail.
- This is so important, I’m going to say it twice! Always explain to your kid’s why you’re crying. Remember I mentioned #JasperBean saying sorry when he saw me crying? This is because children tend to blame themselves when something goes wrong. If it’s got nothing to do with them, let them know it’s not their fault and that crying isn’t something bad. Tell them you just need to get it out of your system, and don’t make them feel that it is their job to comfort you.
- Avoid hysteria. They need to know that mummy (and daddy) are only human and we all cry, but avoid meltdowns. They don’t need to see you shattered into pieces.
It’s okay to cry, this is normal. Acknowledge that and teach your kid’s how to deal with a range of emotions. They are bound to run into these “negative emotions” oneday. Therefore, I believe shielding them from it is unhealthy. Children are very good at picking up nonverbal cues, so if they can sense your unhappiness but don’t know why and you’re not sharing with them on whats going on, this may do them more harm than you think.
What do you do when you are sad? What are your tips? Are you a crier like me? Or do you disagree and think I’ve got this all wrong, I would love to hear your story and learn from your experience.
Thanks for reading and until next time…
Love, MsMamaBean x
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