As I was talking to a friend who is also going through a trying time in her life she made the statement that she didn't want to cry in front of her son, that she always tried to be strong in front of him. I understood that, I also had done that. Until I had Sadie. Another big lesson taught by such a tiny little girl.
Why do we try to hold our sad emotions back in front of our kids. Are they not allowed to know we are human? Are they not suppose to see us struggle? Are we not allowed to show emotion? Why are we like that? Is crying that horrible of a sign of weakness?
While Sadie was in the NICU I had to balance my time between 2 little girls at home and 1 in the hospital. It was seriously the worst thing. It's not that I thought they weren't in good hands, or that it wasn't good quality time with dad. I felt like I had to choose between my girls (I know in reality this wasn't the case, but at the time it sure felt like it). Who did I love more? It was awful.
One night I came home early from the hospital so I could eat dinner with my girls and put them to bed with our regular bedtime routine. They missed it and honestly I missed it too. I needed a dose of my old routine to feel semi normal again, at least for a night. So after we ate dinner I was folding the laundry and I just started to cry silently. Why? Just because I was an emotional mess. The guilt I had was absolutely overwhelming. I just wanted all my family under one roof. I wanted Sadie home in the worst way and I didn't understand why they wouldn't let me bring her home. As I was sitting there crying, my girls came over to me and gave me hug and rubbed my back, just in the same manner as I do to them when they are sad. They asked why I was sad. I replied that I missed Sadie and I just wanted her to come home and be with her sisters. They said they wanted her home too and they began to cry (mostly Chloe). It was the first time I saw them cry over their sister not being there. They cried about me leaving to go to the hospital to see her, but not over her being in the hospital and not at home. At that moment, I realized it was a good thing that I "broke down" in front of them. It gave them an opportunity to grieve in their own way. That it was ok to be sad. We sat there together in a big hug, crying (well Aubrie for just a few minutes cause her attention span is... non excistent).
Sadie's lesson that day was it's ok to cry in front of others, especially our kids. It teaches them empathy, it teaches them that life isn't just roses. It's ok to show emotion, all varieties of emotion. It makes us real, makes us human. Life has struggles. It's better to learn this at an early age, and learn how to cope now, because you just don't know what life is going to throw your way and when it is going to happen.