Meanwhile, my school is neck deep in standardized testing. My family is currently living with my in-laws, who have graciously taken us in while our wood floors are being redone (which is important, because our carpets were actually filthy and we’re planning to move). I’ve been sick. My commute this week has topped an hour and forty five minutes ONE WAY. My partner teacher is leaving the school. And we have realized that a nanny is really expensive.
For lent, we are giving up meat. Not because we’re Catholic. Not really for any spiritual reason at all. But because meat is expensive.
(If anyone asks, it’s because we’re really spiritual and give up important things like meat for Lent.)
I called Karen yesterday and spent a full hour telling her all the pent up feelings I’ve had for the past month. I didn’t even get to the fact that I hadn’t brushed my hair that morning.
Then I got home, played with my baby, handed over my baby to my husband when he got home an hour and a half later, went upstairs and cried.
There’s a lot of shame about crying. Slash that, I feel a lot of shame about crying. Which is unfortunate because I cry about everything. I’m making myself tear up right now just thinking about it.
The shame has not changed the amount of crying I do. It just makes me feel really dumb when I do it.
Therefore, for Lent, and because I believe in starting movements of social change, I have decided to stand strong and support the Cry It Out Method.
I believe that it is appropriate, nay HEALTHY to cry it out. Whenever and wherever one deems necessary. Here is a list, hardly exhaustive, of reasons why you should feel completely entitled to cry it out.
1.) You still can’t fit into your regular sized jeans, even though it has been seven months and you’ve given up sugar AND exercised daily since New Years.
2.) You are eating an apple and cheese for lunch for the third consecutive day because you are living out of your in-law’s home and the thought of packing enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner was beyond your capabilities. Who cares that you’ve written a masters thesis and run a half marathon. Packing lunch is impossible.
3.) You aren’t feeding yourself or your family organic, GMO-free foods.
4.) For the one hundred and twenty seventh day in a row, you have woken up three or more times a night to console your crying child.
5.) You spill a bottle of pumped breast milk.
6.) You finally find a dentist that is covered by your insurance, manage to schedule an appointment, manage to make it to scheduled appointment, and then find out it was only a consultation and you will need two additional appointments to do your teeth cleaning and to fill your cavity.
7.) You have cavities.
8.) You accidentally poke your sweet infant baby in the eye. And he cries. Loudly. At midnight.
10.) It’s been months since your last Girl’s Night Out. And there isn’t much hope for a GNO in the foreseeable future.
Of course I advocate for being thankful as much as possible. Practice an attitude of gratitude and all of that. And I am incredibly grateful. I work to appreciate the small victories.
And I recognize that most of these fall very solidly into the category of First World Problems. Very solidly. On the privileged end of First World Problems, even.
But I also think that it’s okay to cry. Sometimes loudly. Sometimes privately. But whenever it’s necessary. Or for no reason at all. And I want to start a movement that says that crying does not mean weakness. It doesn’t need to evoke pitying glaces. Sometimes tears are just tears are just tears. Sometimes tears are all we can do. Even when we are privileged and recognize that privilege.
You’re welcome to use my shoulder to cry on. I’ll probably cry with you. And I might even remind you of some sage advice from my mama.
“Rachel, you can’t always give 100%. Sometimes you have to set your kid in front of the TV and do what you need to do.”
And sometimes what you need to do is cry. Cry it out. It’s the new black.
P.S. For those looking for advice about getting your child to sleep through the night, you will find none of that here. Sorry. My husband says there’s a good chance that by the time our son graduates from High School he will be sleeping through the night. I’m holding on to that.
P.P.S. Please share your reasons for crying. Maybe it will make us all feel better.