I was talking with a coworker today about crying. She has two teens and laughed about how she was a complete psycho until each child hit about a year old. She cried about everything – mostly from lack of sleep.
Then we started talking about the ridiculous times we cried right after we’d just had our kids. Like how a well-meaning friend got hamburger grease all over my clean baby bottles. How we sobbed about magazine articles. Or commercials with sad music. I had to stop reading anything but home improvement magazines and romance novels. And how our poor husbands, who tried so hard to understand what we were going through, just didn’t get it – especially how we’ll often feel so much better after.
Lately I get weepy when I’m frustrated. And nothing makes me more frustrated than being exhausted. Nothing works right, including my body. Today I cracked my forehead on the car door because I was looking down at my feet in the snow, thinking about getting my boots out of the closet, and not thinking about the door that I was opening straight into my head. (I’m afraid to check and see how colorful my forehead is right now.) I’ll laugh about this later – I’m a total sucker for physical comedy – but right now I’m just annoyed. And feeling silly for being annoyed.
My mother and her sisters are criers. They cry at everything. The happier the occasion, the louder they are. When I got married, it was like Albert from The Birdcage was in the audience. (Seriously, watch that movie.) As I listened to my aunts weep and sniffle with joy, it made me feel so blessed to know that they couldn’t physically hold in all of their love for me. My mom cries on my birthday every year as she remembers the day I was born. Mom or her sisters would try to explain to my non-mommy self that crying can be such a good thing. I didn’t get it then.
I get it now. When each of them first held Max they started laughing and crying at the same time – which is exactly what I did when the doctor put him on my chest right after he was born. Even as I cry out of frustration that I can’t do it all, I think of all of the joy that Max has brought me and my heart overflows with love, and my tears change in a heartbeat. And I feel better after.
So, once the swelling on my forehead goes down, I might just have a good cry and let those emotions overflow. And maybe not tomorrow, but probably next week I’ll laugh about how I was so overtired that I managed to open the car door right into my head. My husband is already laughing about it - after he made sure I was ok, of course.