Within the past twenty-four hours, I have almost cried 267 times. And not because I am crazy (rather, not clinically diagnosed), but because I am a mother.
Below are some of the reasons I can recall that felt as if any mother-woman could relate.
She caught a glimpse of her forever growing baby.
Last eve, I went to the gym with grand intentions to run miles on miles. Okay maybe two at best. Okay maybe until Goulding stopped singing. Reality: I stood at the counter munching yummy conversation with the gym assistant. While discussing moving out of our shoebox houses, I caught a tiny glimpse of my wee one rounding the corner. One of the babysitters had tied his hair back (probably his gorgeous older cousin who works in the babysitting room) and he was just bliss. Talking to himself and anyone who would listen as he ran up and down the hall. Questions in my brain kept pace with his footwork: when did his legs get so long; when did his curls start to graze his shoulders; when did he learn how to say mutli-syllabic words like “to-mow-row;” does he always look at me with such unaltered bliss in his eyes? And I start crying to myself. If only for a second–probably only long enough for a fellow mother to notice.
Such sentimental beasts we become in mommahood.
She is planning a birthday party.
Sounds festive and balloon-filled, right? Wrong-o. Of course it is an ah-mazing experience to be able to shout from hills and hollers that everyone in your house has survived another year, it can also be devastating. Where did that entire year go? Did my bonnie babe experience enough? Have we lived enough within this year? And that good parent guilt that keeps mommas awake in wee hours comes full force as sweet little cherub faces blow out their candles. Thankfully, we are gifted a little more time with these baby doves, and can curb that guilt with ice cream Sundays, summery pool-times, and museum exhibits. For this momma, these are the best of times and they will never come again, and if I am found crying during these events, it is totally happy tear city.
She was recently mauled by a member of her brood.
True story: one moment ago, I was crouched on the floor fending off water works after my son straight up punched me in the mouth with a choo-choo Thomas the Train toy. I could still perish from this wound, but at least he said, “Sorry, Mommy” without prompting. I think I got a love pat or two as well. Sweet boy, right.
She just watched a Disney movie.
I had viewed films of the animated variety pre-baby. I was a child once. But no story line has made me cry myself into a red-faced, bubbling disaster like I was throughout my pregnancy and beyond. Just 36 seconds of a confused Dory or a small boy missing his inventor genius of a brother left me sobbing uncontrollably as a cranky three year old who missed his nap. Deeming it an “ugly cry” is just not enough, for there was snot, hands covering puffed cheeks the color of strawberries. From behind those hands I’d yell, “Stop looking at me!” And thus, I now know why seven year olds say such things mid-tantrum. Husband has forever banned me from animated films featuring a small thing that loses a relative prematurely and must go it alone (read: plot of every Disney movie).
She works in, out, or far far away from home.
No matter how a momma hustles, she wishes for more quality moments with her babies. And all of the seconds that she is not braiding her babe’s hair, brushing another’s tooth, or copying over that Excel file for her boss, her brain immediately transgresses to questions regarding if she is doing it right. If the money is worth it. If she is missing out. If her babies are missing out. Each momma’s working situation is as unique as their family is. There are so many ways for women to perceive and rate how and what they are doing against another mother. It’s kind of crazy just how vast and open-ending choices are to make the dream work for each family. What works for one momma would never work for another, and yet I have found myself riddled with guilt over not accepting full-time positions that have been thrown my way in the past. Which lead to me crying as I try to gauge what is best for me and mine. I cannot give much hope here, but I can say that I will never stop trying to perfect this balance for us.
This list is in no way comprehensive, and so I am wondering what you or someone like you has identified as the cause of a crying session or two. Be them good or bad. Be them pretty or the gross snot-infested sort.