Moms Don’t Cry

I’ve seen my mom cry twice in my whole life. Once when I was in 6th grade and I hugged my best friend goodbye for the last time before we moved away. And once at my brother’s funeral 6 years ago.

That’s it.

It always confused me. I’m a really emotional person and I used to cry All. The. Time. I could not wrap my brain around how my mom never shed even one tear. Especially given the infinite number of reasons she had to cry over the years. I always joke that she’s allergic to tears. And I still think it’s true to some degree.

But life as a mom, although it’s only been 3 years of it, has shown me a different perspective. Since becoming a member of the mom tribe, I’ve begun to learn and understand the inside scoop of how it all works.

me and boys 2

Several days ago, I cried in front of my sons for the first time. They didn’t really see it though. I was driving and they were in the back seat.

I’ve never consciously tried to not let my sons see me cry. I don’t feel the need to always be brave and strong and tear-free in front of them. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s important to me that my boys see crying and feelings are ok and that there’s nothing weak about tears.

Why then, have they never seen me cry? Why don’t moms, at least in my experience of moms, cry in front of their babies much?

I think part of it is that if we really allowed ourselves to give into all the emotion we feel and experience on a constant basis, we might not ever stop crying.

Motherhood is a continuous pouring out of all that we are and all that we have to give. We feel everything. Much more than I ever thought possible.

We carry our babies in our bodies, literally, and then after we give birth to them, we carry them in our hearts forever. We know every mark on them. Every facial expression and quirky behavior. We’ve kissed every boo boo and caught every tear. We’ve watched them grow, day by day. We’ve cheered and encouraged and loved with everything in us.

All their successes, all their failures. It’s all wrapped up in us. And we carry it all.

boys

My tears have changed since becoming a mom. I still cry. A lot. I ugly cry during Minute Maid commercials, and I come completely unglued with all the mom sentiments that tell us we are the best thing that ever happened to our babies and we are doing a better job than we think.

But I don’t cry like I used to. I’ve really become much tougher than I ever imagined I’d be. Motherhood has given me a badass edge. But I do cry when my heart is so overloaded that it can’t possibly hold anything else and the tears have nowhere else to go.

I think that must be what all moms do.

We have to be strong for our babies, so when we are in front of them, our tears are tucked away. Not because crying is weak, but because they need us to be their strong force. And we are.

For many years I thought my mom just didn’t have tear ducts or something. Or maybe she was stronger than me. That last part is probably true. But I’ve decided, moms do cry.

We cry real tears in the quiet of the night after we’ve put everyone in bed and the exhaustion of the day hits us all at once. We cry in our cars after we leave our babies with someone else so we can go to work. We cry in the bathroom at our jobs when we get a phone call about one of our children struggling throughout the day without us. We get teary eyed when our babies talk about getting bigger. When they get hurt, we are braver than we’ve ever been; but then, once we know they’re ok and no one is looking, we cry.

Even though our kids may not see us cry all the time, and even though we remain strong and tear-free in front of them most of the time, we cry with them through our hugs. We cry for them through our supportive words and encouraging speeches. We cry happy tears for them through our cheers at the stadium and our celebrations over even the smallest accomplishments.

Our tears are in our effort. Our tears are in our kiss. Our embrace. Our “Goodnights” and “I love you’s.” They’re in our bedtime stories and our night time routines. They’re in the clean up and the organizing. They’re in the phone calls and schedules and appointments. Our tears are in every dinner, every packed lunch and every school meeting. They’re in every “How was your day?” and “I’m right here baby.” They’re in every celebration and every defeat. They’re in every enforced rule and uncrossed boundary. Every thought throughout the day and every carefully planned move we make.

Our tears surround our children and are carried in the strength of our love. They’re carried in our prayers and our moments of weakness and self doubt.

Moms don’t have time to cry very often. But out of the overflow of our hearts, our tears are everywhere.

And they never stop.

wpid-migrant-mother-dorothea-lange-610x800.jpg
The essence of a mother’s heart, love and pain.

I may have only seen my mom’s tears twice, but I know they’ve been present through everything. Because her love for her children spills out from her heart and into everything she does. Just like all moms.

My mom’s tears have covered me my whole life, and they always will. And now, my tears cover my boys, just as yours cover your children. They may not see it because there’s not much time for tears; but oh, they feel it.

And now I know, moms do cry.

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16 thoughts on “Moms Don’t Cry

  1. So much truth there on a subject I am way too adept at. Lol. I feel that urge to cry and fight protectively against it. Never felt safe to let it out except in shower or in my pillow. But, working on healthy emotion sharing. 🙂 And, yes, so true our tears are all over in everything we do. Beautiful as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so true…I can remember how many times I saw my mom cry too… I cried the other night an ugly cry after I had put my two babies to sleep…I cried for my new single mom status for the new pictures of just me and my kids and I must have cried loud enough to wake my daughter. She walked over to me and out her chubby hands on my face and gave me a kiss ❤ I try not to let them see me cry but I'm glad she saw me that night because her little chubby hands and little kiss were all it took to stop. You are a beautiful and wonderful mother and I am so thankful for your blog

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow this gave me chills. So beautiful! What a precious moment between you and your daughter. I honestly wish I had seen my mom cry more…I think it shows a vulnerability and simultaneous strength that’s necessary for children to see. Especially a daughter. So I’m glad she saw you that night too. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I am so glad you found me so we could connect this way. ❤

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  3. My mom never cried either! I can remember one time and, of course, I felt like it was because I sent her over the edge. Being a single mom, I think a lot about what it would mean for my kids to see me cry. It just isn’t something that was done in my house. Now, I do want my kids to know that it’s okay to be upset and to let that out. They’ll be watching you pick yourself back up again too. I don’t intend for it to happen but when it does, I don’t feel bad about it anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more. I don’t want to intentionally cry in front of my boys, but if it happens, I’m not going to fight it anymore. I think it teaches valuable lessons about emotion and humanity and real life. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

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  4. This post could not have come at a better time. I cried in front of my son (while in public) the other day and it has really been bothering me. I had obviously reached my breaking point and the tears had nowhere else to go….. “Dealing” with his father gets better everyday but sometimes it feels like two steps forward and then one step back. Being a single momma is hard and although I wish that I had held it together better. I’m glad I got to show my son that sometimes its okay to just let go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you! I so understand that feeling of two steps forward and one step back. That is the way this process goes in many ways. But at least we are always at least one step further. We just have to keep going. While it’s not necessarily fun to cry, I think a lot of healing can come from letting it out. And I think it can be a very positive thing for our kids to see it sometimes. It’s real.

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  5. When my son was very young, there were a few times where I lost it in front of my daughter. Now if it ever happens, I’m able to mask it a bit better (because I’m not as overwhelmed as I once was-usually). And oh!! When they get hurt! Putting on the brave face, for as long as it takes until you know they’re ok. Then losing it when they’re not looking! Been there! Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tarynn! That makes a lot of sense. My tears and crying sessions have changed a lot since becoming a mom, but I think moving forward, although I won’t purposely cry in from of the boys, if it happens, I won’t try to hide it. But it is an amazing thing how strong we become and how our tears change over time.

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