Mama Mantra: Let Them See You Cry
Posted June 21, 2019 by Prairie Wife -
Trigger Warning: Loss of an Infant
I’m not really a cryer.
I guess I should rephrase that.
I cry all the time at sad movies (Big Hero 6 was ridiculous) and sentimental songs on the radio, but when I’m really scared or hurt I tend to keep it all in.
Over the last two years, I’ve gotten better at being vulnerable.
In truth, a lot of that has to do with my Mastectomy surgery and the uncontrollable crazy hormone surges that went along with it. Some of it has to do with learning to soften and be gentler on myself and others.
Around here we strongly believe in age-appropriate honesty.
What that means is, we share with our kids the hard stuff, but we make sure we do it in a way that is appropriate for their age.
A few weeks ago we heard the heartbreaking news that a member of our parish family had lost her baby during delivery.
I was devastated for her and was in tears at work when I heard the news, and again at home as I recalled my own losses.
When I learned that our parish would be gathering to do a Rosary service, I knew that we all needed to go.
I also knew that I would need to explain to the Cowkids why we were going to the service.
I gathered them all up, took a deep breath and told them what had happened.
In the most basic and simple of terms, I explained how loved and wanted this baby was. I said that Gods plan was different than what we all wanted. That the parents and their family were heartbroken. That it made me sad too and that we were going to the Rosary service to show them that we loved them all.
Of course, I was sobbing the entire time.
Several times I had to pause and regain my composure before I could continue on.
Cowboy C pointed out that praying wouldn’t make the baby come back alive (after all “mom only Jesus did that”).
Before I could respond, his older brother, Cowboy J said “Because when it seems like there is nothing that we can do to help someone who is hurting, we can still always pray.”
And I knew at that moment that we had been doing the right thing.
Those conversations about their Grandma and Aunt having Cancer, about the death of The Cowboy’s Step Father, the times we told them the truth about their animals dying and let them see us weep and hurt…
It had been worth it to let them see us cry when it would have been so much easier to skip the conversations or pretend everything was okay.
Cowboy J was echoing what he had heard us say time and time again when we had shared hard and heartbreaking news with them.
Because we had let them see us openly struggle with the harshness of life, they had confidence in not only the power of prayer, but the knowledge that we were strong enough to get through this.
I truly believe that if you never share the hard parts of life with your children, if they never see you cry, if you always prevent them from feeling uncomfortable, they won’t know that it’s normal when they feel that way.
They won’t know how to deal with those crushing emotions.
They won’t have the knowledge that they can still keep moving forward even as they struggle.
Trust me, at some point, something will happen to them that you simply can’t make better.
Don’t you want to know that they have the tools they need to make it through those times?
Have the hard conversations.
Teach them to pray.
If you are struggling with the loss of an infant, here are two posts that may offer you support.