Going Through Grief Waves as a Mom
The past year has been full of grief waves and I, like so many other warrior women, rode each and every one of them. One of the things that I found difficult was balancing how to be there for my kids to answer their curious questions about death and not let my grief get in the way. Kids don’t understand that you need time and the way their curious minds work, they tend to blurt things out without knowing the sting of the painful reminder of death.
You can be smooth sailing until BAM - a wave of grief comes out of nowhere and you find yourself an emotional wreck. Of course, as a mom, these can come at the most inopportune times - picking your kids up from school a crying mess, at a restaurant eating with the family or having a conversation with your children.
I always thought that to be a Mom - you had to be stronger and tougher than anything. After the loss of my best friend, I tried my best to hide how broken and sad I felt inside. I would answer all their questions about if ReRe was ever coming back and where exactly heaven was. Grief waves would strike every time and I could feel my kids hesitation in mentioning our memories of her or talk about her at all.
I felt guilty as a mom, like I was doing a bad job of being there through their loss as well - which made me feel even worse. So, I decided to stop feeling like to be a good mom I had to show them a fake facade of a strong warrior that wasn’t feeling crushed by waves of grief at times. I talked to them about how crying doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk about it - that crying is ok, it doesn’t mean your weak or less of a person.
That sometimes you need a good cry to help clear out those old pent up emotions before you feel that you can breath again. As a mom, you need to take the time for yourself to go through the grief wave - this is crucial and don’t beat yourself up about needing the time.
Instead of feeling guilty for taking time to yourself, think of it as putting on your oxygen mask first. This allows you to be able to breathe (physically and figuratively) and you can then in turn be more helpful to those around you AKA your kids. Kids need a lot of attention and don’t understand that you need time too, especially when dealing with grief waves. Allow yourself the time and even explain to your kids why you need time - instead of making it this big unspeakable, scary thing that mommy is crying… again.
The bonus to taking time for you and not feeling guilty about it is that you become a healthier person and you become a healthier parent (mentally at least - if you’re like me I usually turn to comfort food). Just by allowing and giving yourself permission to put your oxygen mask on first is going to feel like you have kicked the elephant off your chest. It’s OK to take time to yourself, you are a human being with needs of your own. Leave the guilt trip behind and just breathe.
Love you bunches,
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