Parenting’s hard – it’s OK to cry

parenting's hard it's ok to cry

Some days find me crying over parenting, for a variety of reasons, and it made me think, through the tears of course, how it really is OK to cry.

I vividly remember a time when my eldest was 6 weeks old and I was desperately trying to hold it together.  I was running on empty from the traumatic birth and cumulative sleep deprivation building up over those 6 weeks.  All of this coupled with the fact that my baby wasn’t doing what the books said, he didn’t have a short nap, then a long nap, then another short nap.  He didn’t nap more than 30 minutes at a time and even then it was a case that he needed the dummy, the breast or to be on the go to sleep.  This wasn’t what I expected parenting to be like.  I kept going.  And going.  6 weeks of smiling, of keeping going.  Of battling to do what the books said to do.

Then I broke.

One cold, dark, December night.  Pushing the pram round Clapham Common, desperately whispering under my breath, praying that his eyes would close and he would sleep.  Shooting daggers at all the cars whizzing past, being noisy, keeping him awake.  Round and round.  Circling.  Before I knew it I was crying, sobbing, tears slipping down my cheeks as we walked round and round.  Calling my husband on his way home from work, those halting sobs sounding down the phone as I headed towards the bright lights of Sainsburys.  Choking out the questions as I looked at the roast in the tin options for tea that night, “why won’t he do as the book says, he should be napping and he’s not, why won’t he nap”

baby in a pram

That was the first time I really cried.

I mean, really, really cried.

I didn’t do the tears when he was born, I was just grateful he made it out alive.  The days of paternity leave were a blur and then my husband was on reduced hours for jury duty.  At 6 weeks he had gone back to real work, with real working hours and left me alone to fend for this tiny, little human who we had created.  And we weren’t doing as the books said (screw the books) and he hated to sleep.

So I cried.

That evening, walking round the park, not caring who could see me, was the first time I really cried since having him.  And you know what?  It’s OK to cry.  Which is good because it certainly isn’t the last time I’ve cried.

Some days I cry from frustration.  Some days I cry because I am so happy and those happy tears squeeze out.  Some days I cry because I am overwhelmed.  Some days I cry because I can’t do anything to make it better.

I cry…

I cry when they are sick and there is nothing I can do to make them better.

I cry when they are tantrumming and I am at the end of my tether.

I cry when they are fighting.

I cry when they are being loving towards one another (it is just too cute)

I cry when I am sick.

I cry when I am tired.

I cry when they won’t sleep.

I cry when I battle with them over eating yet again.

I cry when I have watched too much Peppa.

I cry when they shout at me, stamp their feet and don’t want me.

I cry on the school run because it’s been a battle to get there.

I cry having to wake up my littlest to collect my biggest.

I cry when I feel helpless.

I cry when I’m happy.

I cry because they are crying.

And you know what, it’s OK to cry.  You are not alone.

 

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8 Comments

  1. November 18, 2016 / 7:32 am

    Yup, I’ve cried more since I became a parent than any other time in my life. It’s cathartic and we have to let it out or we’d go utterly crackers!
    Thank you for sharing, and being honest! ❤️
    #effitfriday
    Karen recently posted…no titleMy Profile

  2. November 18, 2016 / 10:03 am

    Oh Laura, this post is brilliantly honest and will help lots of people. I too had a traumatic birth with Oldest and she never slept. I beat myself up constantly about it. I now realise that Gina Ford mistakes babies for being in some army regiment. I didn’t tell anyone because I felt that people would think I was selfish when we were both lucky to be alive. I wished that I had read a post like this back then. I still have days when only a cry will do, when Youngest is refusing to eat, when pre-school pulls me aside to talk to me. Sometimes only a cry will do and it really does help to get it out. I also helps to realise that we are not alone xxxx #EffitFriday
    Emma recently posted…The Mother Feminist with Jess from Mrs Helicopter WritesMy Profile

  3. November 18, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Ahh I love this, although not because you are crying, because I cry all the time too! I cry out of worry, happiness, frustration, anger…anything at all! Sometimes it just helps to get it all out doesn’t it?! #effitfriday

  4. November 18, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    So many new mums need to read this. It is ok to cry. Before having my son I rarely cried, I was not a crier. When I was pregnant I cried tons because I was a hormonal mess and I thought that would go away when he was born. But nope I cry at least once a week, for any reason. Motherhood is as difficult as it is beautiful and tears are needed for our sanity! #effitfriday

  5. November 18, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    This is wonderful. Those early days are the worst when they won’t sleep and you just don’t know what on earth you’re supposed to do with them. I still cry every now and then and I just feel so much better for letting it out! X X

  6. November 19, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    Well said, I have lost count the amount of times I have cried but needed it and it helped X #effitFriday

  7. April 28, 2017 / 7:24 pm

    Such a helpful post! Thanks for helping us all know that we’re not the only ones.

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