Recently A month or so ago Stacey did a post about crying and posed the question “when last did you cry?”
It sparked quite a bit of banter on Twitter and honestly there was so much that came out of that conversation that has been bumping around my head that I’ve not quite made sense of. That I am STILL trying to make sense of. There were two definite camps, the criers and the non criers. Criers seemed to be able to cry at the drop of a hat or soppy commercial and the non criers seemed to be devoid of any salt water in their bodies to eeek out.
I am of the non crier camp. I’ve never been a crier. I often wonder why this is? Is it because I grew up with a military father and was taught to be “tough” and that crying doesn’t solve your problems? Or is it because I am devoid of any crying emotion? Who knows…
The one thing that did stand out to me was that all of us whether we fell into the crying or non crying camp did not cry in front of our children. Comments like “I cry in the bath when the kids are asleep” and “I don’t let my kids see me chunking away” really hit me. Hard. Criers and non criers alike we did not want our kids to see us “like that”. WHY?? Because crying is WEAK? Because crying makes you somehow LESS? WTF?? We are all trying our damnedest to teach our children to be emotionally intelligent people aren’t we? Isn’t crying a part of that? I hear myself berating my kids all too often “why are you crying?” “stop crying” “that’s enough crying”… geesh. Thinking about it now, I believe that crying SHOULD be an integral part of our emotional quotient.
By hiding ourselves crying from our kids aren’t we somehow leaving out part of that emotional intelligence training we are trying to give them? The more I think about this the more I really believe it is good for them to see us crying. To understand that crying in the right environment can be healing. It can help relieve frustration. It can help open the dam of grief we may feel about things in our lives.
As a non crier, I worry about how my non crying, hard ass self is going to teach my children this important skill. So I let those tears that brim in my eyes fall when I’m watching Greys. I allow myself to cry with a friend who has lost a mom. I am trying not to hide this part of myself from my family. From myself for that matter.
It’s probably one of the hardest lessons I’m teaching to both them and myself. But one I hope I get right…