As many of us know, parenting is an emotional roller coaster that keeps going and going and going and becomes a ride we can look back on and see the hills and valleys and cry over both. Yes, cry. There are happy tears, amazed tears, sad tears and every kind of tear in between. I used to make fun of one of my friends who would cry over silly things about being a mom, until I became a parent…and a crybaby. I have probably gotten tears in my eyes at least 3 times this week over being a mom. I actually even bawled at a parenting article this week about an organization for parents called “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep”.
At any rate, I thought, why not share my tears of parenthood? Perhaps other parents can relate and maybe I can shed some light into parenthood for the people who like to joke about us teary eyed moms.
Tears of Parenthood:
- Tears of Frustration: My boys are ALL boy. They have boundless energy and their talking skills are off the chain. I have cried many tears of frustration in the 5 years of being a “boy mom”. Most recently over our first shattered window. My youngest threw a toy and shattered the window. Needless to say a $200 glass replacement was not in our budget this month! Frustration can be from many things though and it first started for me when my oldest was a baby and had terrible reflux and nursing abilities. Tears of frustration are present in parenthood from the very first days.
- Tears of Laughter: The first days of being a parent are very emotional; hormones are everywhere and not exactly even keyed! When our first son was born, diaper changing provided a lot of laughter! My husband just could not believe that something so little could make so many messes and ruin so many outfits. I remember my youngest peeing in the mouth of my oldest and being MORTIFIED. I was so freaked out I called the doctor to make sure he would be ok! But then shortly after, I found myself laughing hysterically until I cried. There have been so many more instances of laughter since that moment. The most recent was the other night at bedtime when we were having my 5 year old read a book to us. He got the words “knees” and pronounced it “k-nees”. I have no idea why it struck my husband and I as so hiliarious, but we laughed and laughed until we had tears of laughter.
- Tears of Sadness: You may wonder how you can be sad being a parent, but it’s possible. Seeing your child hurt in any way creates sadness. Whether it’s their first set of stitches, their first fever, or their first hurt feeling, you WILL cry tears of sadness for your child. Becoming a parent also gives you a sense of compassion for other parents you never imagined feeling. Seeing parents lose a child was a sad thing before I had kids, but now that I am a mother, the feeling almost brings me to my knees. That type of sadness is just unimaginable to me.
- Tears of A Job Well Done: Being a parent is not a huge confidence booster and often a thankless job. You wonder every single day if you are doing things right and question your decisions and actions constantly. The game of comparison parenting can also destroy you. But there are moments that you know you are doing it right-that the job is done well. Moments when you hear your youngest say to your oldest “Good job Will!” or when out of the blue (you may even be sitting on the toilet) your 3 year old comes up to you and says, “Thank you Mommy for making my favorite breakfast”. Or having your son run over and help a friend get up after they have tripped. Whether they boys have the best behavior all the time (or not), seeing glimpses of the men they will become and the caring they will show, allow a tear of a job well done to slip down your cheek
- Tears of Anger: These are different from tears of frustration because these tears come from much deeper inside of a parent. They may occasionally come out when your child REALLY messes up (or messes up in the SAME way for the millionth time), but they mostly come from me when someone hurts my child or I see another child being hurt. The old term “Mama Bear” is true. You mess with my child and you mess with me. I have definitely gotten so angry as a parent that I have cried.
- Tears of Amazement/Accomplishment: From the moment my sons were born and every moment in between, they truly amaze me. Whether it’s their boundless energy, their lack of noise level skills, or more major milestones, I just love seeing them accomplish things and have their personalities shine. I cried in amazement at their perfection at birth, I cried when they accomplished crawling, walking, eating solid foods, writing their names, and most recently when my oldest rode his bike with no training wheels.
- Tears of Innocence: Each day I walk my child to the door of his elementary school and every day he looks in the crowd of students hoping to see a classmate. Yesterday he spotted one and ran over to grab his hand to walk in the building. A simple thing such as this brought tears to my eyes. I love that he is so passionate about others and still so innocent to grab another boy’s hand to walk in a building. He is young enough to not even give this a second thought. At what point will he lose that innocence and think holding hands with friends is “not cool”? At what point will he ask me to stop walking him to the door? I hope never…but since I have already been asked to not kiss him in front of school anymore, I am guessing this loss of innocence is coming shortly-so Mommy will again cry…