In order to write this article on why moms cry, I first had to find my charger, which, strangely, had gone missing. After marching around the house looking first in the obvious places (my bedside, next to the kitchen table, etc.), through increasing frustration I started hunting in weirder areas (the hall closet, in the bathroom, etc.). My husband had even gone down and checked in my car to no avail.
Even though I knew there was absolutely no way in hell I’d ever take my charger into the pit of despair that is my daughter’s bedroom, I still marched in there, only to step on a tiny plastic toy and collapse on the floor, where, ironically, I began openly weeping.
Not my best moment.
Once I’d pulled myself together, I decided to throw on a big sweater over my pajamas, climb into some grubby shoes, and drive myself to Best Buy to purchase a new charger. Upon flinging myself angrily into the car, I checked behind my seat again, just in case.
Lo and behold, here we are. An ice pack is strapped to the bottom of my foot and I’m drinking a glass of wine, but I have a charged computer.
I believe this begs the question: When isn’t there a reason for moms to cry? I mean, really.
This isn’t to suggest that parenting isn’t an amazing experience, and raising kids isn’t a gift, blah blah blah. But, let’s be real here. Families can reduce us to our least common denominators with minimal effort, especially when we’re sleep-deprived, which is always. Allow me to share a few things that have made me cry. Obviously, this is an abridged list.
Tears of frustration can result from things being misplaced, kids not listening, partners not listening, kids being sick, you being sick, forgetting about a birthday party, having everyone forget your birthday, and lice. Ugh. Lice.
There are the negative self-talk cries that occur because you feel you’re too fat, too messy, too disorganized, not present enough, not good enough - too much of the wrong and not enough of the right. You’re not momming right.
Crying can occur when it feels like you’ve tried everything to put your kid to sleep, and absolutely nothing has worked.
You cry when you find out your daughter has been bullied, when your son asks why school shootings happen, when your child is struggling with a learning disorder. You cry when you tell your kid their dog has passed away in its sleep.
There are the tears that fall because your child is in pain or scared. You cry when it feels like there is nothing you can do to make it better.
Crying happens when your baby rolls over for the first time, when he loses his first tooth, and when she goes off to her first day of school.
When your daughter is a toddler and farts really loudly, startling herself to tears, you might laugh so hard you start crying. Hypothetically.
Pixar movies. Car trips. Unsolicited parenting advice. Spilled glitter. Other kids. Daycare expenses. Horrible restaurant experiences. High school reunions. Comparing yourself to seemingly perfect other moms. Barf.
The good news is this: You’re not alone. Moms everywhere have been in your shoes, have stepped on similar Lego toys, and have found themselves covered in vomit. All moms have cried tears of exhaustion.
Taking care of yourself is important. You can’t be the best mom you can be when you hold all of it inside, so let it out. Give yourself a break. It’s better to feel all the feelings than to not feel them at all. Cry. You’re a mom. It’s what we do.