Hall believes letting our kids see our emotions helps them become more empathetic humans
At some age, most of us can’t exactly remember when, we realize our moms aren’t some superhuman force, they are just people, like us. They get frustrated, have imperfections, dance with their friends, and experience heartbreak. It’s natural to try and hide this from our kids, but one blogger believes being able to show this emotion in front of them does them far more good than harm.
Constance Hall, blogger and mother of (soon-to-be) five little ones, posted an emotional plea on her Facebook page this week to let our kids see us cry.
“Do you hide in the shower when you need to cry? Do you wipe your puffy face quickly and answer your kids with ‘no no mummy’s fine,’” she wrote. “I used to.. you know, you don’t want your kids to feel the insecurity of their rock breaking down.”
But Hall said during a particularly rough spot in her life, she cried a lot, and her kids eventually saw her and consoled her while she “lied about being fine.” She said she eventually got better, but her children were changed because of it.
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She said her kids told her recently that one of their teachers broke down in class. “Apparently all of the other teachers came to her aid while some of the students started making fun,” she wrote. “It got me thinking about how any of us handle raw emotion.”
She said she was raised by a young, single mother who taught her to not be fussed about saying the wrong thing. “Just say something, go in for the hug, say your sorry, ask the questions, in a world where everyone is silent in the face of raw emotion just say something,” her mom told her.
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It’s so true. Most of us worry whether we’ll say the wrong thing, if we’ll make a situation worse. We are in our own heads so much that we often lose the opportunity to just be there for someone else. To let them open up, have it out, and just be in the moment with them. It’s a gift, for sure.
Hall has always been open about her life and her connection to others. Whether its pleading for help around the house or why moms need to put ourselves first, she never shies away from the raw emotion of things. And letting our kids see us in a vulnerable place, she said, is actually a gift to them.
“It occurred to me that I’ve never had a boyfriend who was comfortable to comfort me when I was distressed, even my current husband who is very emotionally mature backs away and shuts down when I cry,” she continued. “But on the weekend I watched a terribly sad documentary with my children and as tears were welling up in mine and my daughters eyes my son put his arms around us both, patting and rubbing our backs.”
If being a mother has taught me anything it's taught me that you get nowhere being a martyr. Nowhere. You can stomp your feet, reel off lists of all the things you did today, cry while folding washing.. but it won't mean shit, coz your still doing it and you will be for the next 20 years… unless you.. Stop doing more then your fair share. There is no trophy at the end of it and nobody hands you back all the time you've spent wanting to be acknowledged for your hard work. There is a 30% difference in the amount of house work working mums and working dads are doing. It's time to change that. Coz I for one fucking hate housework.
She said it was then she realized her kids are perfectly fine with human emotion. They understand, she wrote, that “this is life.” That “people get hurt, people hurt people, mums have their limits and even teachers cry,” she said. What people need is compassion and a soft place to land.
“There is such comfort for a child knowing that their rock can break down, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t secure.”