We all have them. Those times where we wonder if we can handle everything being thrown at us and still be the picture perfect Mom. If we are honest with ourselves, it rarely happens that way. The last few months for our family has been full of transitions in life.
As Moms, we are expected to keep right on going (and we usually do) without ever showing a sign of weakness or sadness.
But why? We are still people. Yes, we are responsible for little humans now, and we must be an example of faith, strength, and flexibility in life, but if we hide the emotions that we feel, the ups and downs of life and how it all affects us, are we doing our children any favors? Or are we just sheltering them from knowing that life isn’t always happy and organized?
My little “baby” is about to start kindergarten in August. She is an only child, and I was not prepared for how emotional these “lasts” would be with her. Preschool graduation, kindergarten registration, kindergarten checkups, and trying to squeeze in as much fun as I can into this “last” summer with her is about to do me in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of her and very thankful for everything I get to do with her. I just want to go back and do it all over again.
Moms of multiples who have to do the “lasts” over and over again–you all are my heroes.
My Dad became very ill in April, and his stay in the hospital continued into May, before he passed away on May 24. By far, it was the hardest thing I have ever been through. But my five year old went to the hospital with me many times to visit him before things became critical; they would talk and eat banana popsicles together almost every night. And the night before he passed away, I took her one last time, and she told him she loved him. She went to the funeral home, as well. I believe it helped her to feel the emotions of having a loved one who is ill, and of having a loved one pass away. She had lots of questions, and still does at times. And that’s okay. I would much rather have her asking questions to understand, rather than being scared of the idea. There are days she caught me crying (gasp!) and still does, from time to time:
Mommy, why are you upset? Do you miss your Daddy?
Yes, I do.
I miss Papaw, too.
I know you do, honey. It’s okay to miss him.
I hope she looks back on this at some point in life and remembers that she and I walked this walk together, and that I didn’t hide anything from her or make her feel like she had to sweep her feelings under the rug.
With my husband traveling five days a week for work, all of the emotions are magnified, daily. My little girl has meltdowns. I have meltdowns. Maybe you do, too. And here’s what I want you to know:
I am so exhausted with the idea that Moms aren’t allowed to not “keep it all together.” Motherhood itself is emotional. Growing up is emotional for your child(ren). So why do we judge one another on how well we can hide that anything is going on? Shouldn’t we support one another through the battles of life? Offer a Kleenex, a dinner, a nap, a glass of wine. But for crying out loud, if you haven’t lived it, don’t judge.
Transitions in life are hard for everyone. Throw parenting into the mix and it becomes even more difficult to keep a smile on your face constantly. But we do it, to keep from being judged. So, I see you, mommas. I see you wiping a tear when you think no one is looking. I see you pausing for just a second as you start to get in the car. I see you taking a deep breath and letting it out ever so slowly, praying for things to calm down just a little. And I see that smile; the one you think hides it all…I do it, too. As we pass in the parking lot, and I return that smile, know that I understand. And know that it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to not be able to keep it all together, all of the time.
The next time you see another Momma trying to keep it all together, tell her you get it. That you see her. That you’re going through transitions, too. Anything to give just a moment of support in someone else’s life. We’re all going through the same experiences in very different ways.