When you’re sad, do your kids know it, or do you hide it from them? Is it our job as parents to hold the painful emotions somewhere up on the top shelf where they can’t reach them and “put on a happy face” for them? I have always believed that it was, although I have failed from time to time, slipping into tears, pushing them away with “Mommy’s alright. Let’s make cookies.”
I need your wisdom today on how to keep your emotions in check when your children are around. Do you have any tricks? Those of you who know me know that I have a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve, which I suppose has been both a blessing and a curse in my life, as so many things are. Now that I have other little psyches to be concerned about, I want to make sure that I’m not burdening them with the weight of grownup emotions too soon. I want them to enjoy their childhoods, keep them as carefree as possible, and let them come to understand certain kinds of pain only when it’s necessary, if it’s ever necessary.
It’s definitely not necessary yet.
How do you protect your children? When your heart aches, how do you keep their sensitive little spirits from sensing that? And when they do sense something, do you dismiss them with “It’s nothing” or “There are things mommies have to worry about that little boys don’t have to, and this is one of those things. Let’s read a book.”
Life is so messy, so imperfect, so not what we plan. And so filled with love, especially for the children. I write this blog on the day before Ethan’s 6th birthday, filled to overflowing with gratitude for him, remembering the day before his birth 6 years ago. I have never been so humbled by another human being as I was – am – by Ethan. He is a force of nature.
My constant prayer on this eve of his special day is – let me love him better. Let me protect him and his little brother from the things I can, accept the things I cannot protect them from, and give me wisdom to know the difference.