When was the last time you had yourself a good cry? As working mums we don’t get to do that too often. Pretty much the last thing in the world any of us want to do is lose our shit at the office and validate any mushy female stereotypes we’ve spent years trying to destroy. The only thing we want to do less than lose it at the office is lose it in front of our children. My family just lost our dog of ten years about four months ago so I was of course a huge mess. My oldest son was clearly not okay with it – at all. I tried to explain that crying is a good things sometimes. He made it clear that while that might be the case for other moms I am expected to remain the pillar of strength regardless of what life throws my way. So while I’m struggling to pull myself together I’m also thinking that I better start socking away money in a special account to pay for Jack’s future therapy bills.
I’ve found the shower and sitting in a parked car in a quiet parking lot are my two favorite places to engage in the crying game. The shower is a natural choice since it is the one time I typically am alone – although let’s face it nothing is sacred when you are a mom. The parking lot trick I discovered accidentally as I actually started my meltdown while driving. For those who know me, driving isn’t my strong suit on my best days so I pulled into the closest place I could find with relative privacy. Which luckily turned out to be the lot around the corner from my office. I find it comforting to know that I have a refuge so close by.
It’s not that I’m a weepy woman who breaks down regularly. But even us “steady, well-adjusted types” need a cleaning cry every once in a while. I always feel better when I indulge myself. So why do I feel guilty about doing it? Why does it feel so uncomfortable to let folks know that I have human emotions that are perfectly normal? Have we really come such a long way, baby? Or as working moms are we now just extending the perception of perfection from our homes into our work lives?
So my challenge for you this week is to promise yourself that you give yourself permission to be a mess every once in a while. Because like I tell my son Jack: “Crying let’s the bad stuff out so the good stuff has more room.”