Holding Them While They Cry

I’ll let you in on a little secret: being a mom is hard. Wait, that’s not really a secret is it? We go into it with some faint, laughable idea of the struggles mothers have, but then we’re blind sighted by this roller coaster ride our lives become. One minute everyone’s happy and smiling, drawing you pictures and being helpful; the next, your six year old is crying because you asked her to brush her hair, the eight year old is too tired to eat one more vegetable (aka he just doesn’t want to) and the nine year old is hanging a tissue from the snot in his nose. And these are the easy struggles.

The hard ones look more like disabilities, bullying, heartbreak, illness. We watch our kids go through these things, trying to help them as much as we can, knowing we can’t fix everything for them. These are the hard things. The sleepless nights and nursing, changing diapers and longing for showers, those are hard in their own way. But these things we cannot fix no matter how desperately we long to? These are the things that make motherhood painful and heavy and heart-wrenching. These are the worst.

Just today, my daughter’s very best friend moved away. They’ve been best friends since they were two. More than half their lives. All I could do was hold her and let her cry. Every part of me wanted to reach inside her little heart and fix her hurt and sadness. I don’t want her to feel this pain. I don’t want her to know heartbreak and sadness.

She’s better now. After lots of crying, in my arms, in her bed, in the shower, and a night with some other, newer friends, she’s a little happier. I know tonight will probably bring more sadness, more tears, but I’ll be there, holding her, crying with her, and hurting for her. Because even though it’s hard, that’s what mothers do.

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