Emotions . . . we all have them. Even Jesus Christ, when He was alive on earth, showed emotions. He became fully human during those years, experienced all that we humans experience, so He could take our place and pay our price. John 11:35, “Jesus wept,” is famous as the shortest verse in the English Bible. Jesus, in all His humanness, wept. So it should come as no surprise when we mamas feel the need to do some weeping as well!
I know my own daughters have seen me cry more times than they could count or remember. In my earliest years of motherhood, this gave me a great deal of guilt. I would try so hard to be strong for my daughters and to hold in my emotions until I was in private, and then I would feel so guilty when the tears came flowing out of me. Yet, it is inevitable, isn’t it, that kids will see their mamas cry on some occasions?
Mamas Cry When Things Are Hard
As a police wife in an isolated community with two young daughters, life felt overwhelming at the best of times. Trying to be both mother and father to my tiny girls on little to no sleep did not bring out the best in me. Some days were hard. Sometimes Mama cried. And over the years, I had to realize that was okay. It was okay for my little girls to have the chance to comfort me and practice their compassion. It was okay for them to see that sometimes it was hard, but Mama kept going. It was important for them to see that Mama cried, but Mama knew WHO to go to in prayer for encouragement and comfort. It was okay for them to see Mama cry.
As the years have gone on and those little babies and toddlers have turned into tweens, I am even more convinced there is a space for them needing to see Mama cry. These little tween girls have so many emotions. It is my prayer that by letting them see me navigate mine, they will have a better understanding of how to navigate their own. I hope I can model for them how to turn to God when things are hard.
Give Yourself Grace
Mamas, have grace for yourself when things are hard. It is okay for your children to see you cry and to see you finding comfort in Christ. You can use these times as teachable moments for them when they are struggling. “Remember when Mama was having a hard time with [insert time here] and she prayed and read her Bible and felt better? Let’s try doing that now.”
Coping When Mamas Cry
Something many of us homeschooling moms struggle with is overwhelm. We try to do everything for everyone and be everything to everyone, but we can’t do that. We need to allow ourselves the moments that we need to.
A large part of that is often finding balance in homeschool and household management. Some of that balance is letting (or requiring) your children to help. This allows them to learn basic life skills but also learn to share the load and be a part of a team. As hard as it can be to do, we also need to let God take control by stepping back and letting God take the lead.
Being a homeschool parent adds a new sense of responsibility. It can be hard to feel like there is time to grieve or mourn or even rest. Remind yourself of the reasons you are homeschooling. Chances are, many of them aren’t academic. If you miss a day or two or a week here and there, it will not have a long-term negative impact on your child. Yet those days might just be what you need to help you recalibrate.
Whatever season this finds you in, know that it will not last forever, and God is with you in it. Look for teachable moments with your child and the opportunity to build relationships. You are not alone.
This article has been written by Kristin Stewart, the Product Evaluation Team Manager for The Old SchoolhouseⓇ. She is a homeschooling mother of two daughters and a former elementary teacher. Her passion is to see all children receive positive educational experiences and to support parents in their desire to keep their children home. You can read more from her on her Instagram account, @from_kristin_homeschool.