Crying used to be something I denied doing. I didn't like the thought of being viewed as sensitive, because I equated it with being weak and "too feminine" (which, of course, I equated with "bad," because toxic masculinity and internalized misogyny are real). But I was, and always have been, a crier. As I got older and, I think, smarter, I embraced that undeniable truth. Then I became a mom and my crying reached a level I never could have imagined. And that's when I realized there are some truths about being a crier when you're a mom that just put you in a new category of emotionality.
It's not that I'm always sad. Yes, I cry when I'm sad (sometimes a lot) but I also cry (sometimes a lot) when I'm happy or just generally moved. And I don't even have to be really sad or really happy. Just a little nudge out of "neutral" will do it. Like, have you ever seen Kristen Bell (patron saint of criers) weep upon learning she'd be meeting a sloth? It's like that, and she put it perfectly when she talked about it with Ellen: "If I'm not between a three and a seven on the emotional scale I'm crying."
Same, Kristen. Same.
So what can you expect from a weepy mom? Any and all of the following, for starters:
It Will Be Worst When You're Postpartum
So many hormones. So many feels. Your life has just changed in a huge way, and that's enough to make anyone emotional even without hormones surging through their body. So when you're someone who feels big in general, this makes it, like, a million times more powerful. Gird your loins.
Your Crying Won't Subside As Your Kid Gets Older
Some people I know say that motherhood just permanently made them more sensitive. For many, all of a sudden, anything with kids — sad or happy — made them cry. In other cases they were just generally more susceptible to tears.
Of course, if you're like me, you've always been a bit of a hot mess and motherhood just gives you new outlets through which to express your feels.
Stories About The Thing That Made You Cry Will Have A Cry-Break Built In
It never fails: whether my kids did something really adorable or something sort of sad, when I relate the story to my husband/mother/friend/whoever, I will start crying in the retelling.
Of course I do that when I recount episodes of Great British Bake Off, too, so, you know.
It Takes Very Little To Get You Going
For example, maybe at some point your child will do something very normal and childlike, like dancing in the living room, and before you know it your face has sprung a leak because OH MY GOD SHE IS SO BEAUTIFUL I CAN'T STAND IT! THERE IS SUCH PURE BEAUTY IN THE WORLD AND I GET TO RAISE HER!
You're Always Having To Assure Your Kid That You're OK
"No, it's OK sweetie. Mommy's fine."
Even if you're not always totally fine, you still need to reassure them that you'll be OK and that you're they're rock and whatever. You're just, you know, a bit of a weepy rock.
As Your Kid Gets Older They Will Make Fun Of You
So that story about the dancing child in the living room? Yeah, that absolutely happened to me. (My daughter is so amazing you guys!) And it just so happened that my older child, who is 7, witnessed this moving movement. By now he has had seven years of watching me get all emotional about stuff, and he's also had seven years to internalize my sarcastic sensibilities, because when I'm not getting overly emotional about stuff I'm being snarky. So his response to me crying as I watched my beautiful daughter, his amazing sister, dance was, and I quote:
"Oh my God, are you seriously crying over this?"
YES I AM, CHILD.
Of course it's very much a case of the pot calling the kettle black, because he's every bit as sensitive as I am. (He regularly tears up at the sight of particularly cute stuffed animals and, well, same.)
Bless my husband and daughter, who have to deal with our weepy asses.
Because it's only a matter of time before you wind up embarrassing yourself in front of someone.
It's Also Super Cathartic
Honestly, is there anything better than a solid cry to work your way through something? Good or bad, you just let it out
"On This Day" Destroys You
THEY WERE SO LITTLE A YEAR AGO! WHO IS THIS BIG BOY I SEE STANDING IN FRONT OF ME! HE'S BASICALLY AN ADULT! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME FACEBOOK, YOU SADISTIC HELLSCAPE.
So Does Pixar
Though, like, if you don't cry at every Pixar movie every time you see it, regardless of whether or not you're usually a crier, then you have no soul and I will stand by that statement until the end of time.
Milestones Require Tissues
Just like the whole "crying during a Pixar movie" thing (OMG when Andy plays with his toys one last time?!), I understand that regular, non-cryer people cry at pre-k graduations and the first day of school and ballet recitals or whatever. But if you're a crier you're going to go hard. You think one of those little purse-sized travel tissue packs is going to get you through your kid's Christmas pageant? Girl, you're going to have to bring a full-sized box. From Costco.
You've Learned How To Wipe Your Eyes Without Smearing Your Makeup
You've trained your tears to go in a particular direction and you're a very skilled dabber. So, you know, small silver lining there.
This Is Who You Are & You Wouldn't Change It For A Thing
"Sensitive" is not the same as "fragile." Sure, you're weepy, but you're in touch with your emotions and have the courage to express them. This also means you get to feel the highest highs and lowest lows authentically, as they were meant to be felt, and overall this is going to make your parenting experience that much better.
Oh wow, this is all so inspiring.