A Glimpse Into the Emotional Lives of Mothers
By Jennifer DeBrito, Founder of Eden’s Promise, LLC
In the time since having my first child, I have personally faced the possibility of divorce more than once. I have lost a brother to alcoholism. I have *almost* lost a child.
I remember the first time my son caught me crying. He was maybe 2. I don’t know why I said it this way, but I remember explaining to him that my tears were “sad bubbles” coming out. He put his chubby little hand on my shoulder, and stood quietly with me until I regained my composure. It was sweet. And awful. I remember thinking, “Never again.”
Fast-forward nearly a decade, to today. Talking about life, a therapist friend of mine asks me, “Don’t you ever just cry and let it all out?” I respond, “When am I supposed to cry? My kids are with me all the time.”
She is quiet.
The way that the enemy uses our convictions against us is astounding. Prowling near me during that “never again” moment, I imagine him adding a whispered, “no matter what.” And I see that from that point on, instead of processing my emotions normally, my children witnessed me stuffing them away.
The point is, we are not wrong to shelter our children from our hardships. They are our children, not our friends—at least not yet. And they are most certainly not our therapists. But it is our responsibility to teach them to recognize and honor their emotions, and handle them in normal and healthy ways. This begins with how they observe us.
Moms, you don’t have to be facing divorce, loss, or illness to be suffering. (Although, statistically, many of you are.) Lack of sleep, tactile overload, and a never-ending laundry pile are enough for most of us to break once in a while, too. The question is, how are you going to handle it?
If we want our children to grow into adults who process emotions well, it might mean that we need to ask for help. For me, that has translated into doing things like taking on a mentor who runs a household like clockwork. And yes, it has even meant saddling up and heading to therapy. Don’t be ashamed to to do whatever is needed for your children to be happy and healthy.
Not sure where to turn? Contact Eden’s Promise for assistance in finding the right resources for you.
Photo courtesy Danielle Victoria Photography
Jennifer DeBrito, CSP, CCLD, CCBE is a Master Splankna Practitioner and Colorado Springs Doula and Childbirth Educator. She is the owner of Eden’s Promise, LLC and the founder of the Eden’s Promise Initiative. She authored Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional, and is the creator of the Expectant Parents Workshop childbirth preparation class. Jennifer also specializes in prenatal and postpartum wellness coaching. To learn more about Jennifer, go to EdensPromiseLLC.com.