Is it just me or do we hide our feelings too much?
When my depression and anxiety were at their worst, I remember feeling immense shame and guilt.
I desperately wanted to hide all of it from my kids.
All of those bad feelings.
There was no way I would let them see me fall apart. I was their mom, their rock.
I had to have it all together. I had to be the best version of me at all times.
But then . . .
Then came the days when I couldn’t get out of bed and the tears wouldn’t stop.
I was paralyzed.
I literally couldn’t hide my feelings from them anymore. I was exposed.
And then I felt like a complete failure.
All because I couldn’t hide my feelings.
It wasn’t until I was in therapy when my therapist asked me this simple question, “Why can’t your kids see you experience any of these emotions? I mean, we were given all of them for a reason, right?”
And that’s when it clicked.
Our children are going to experience all of their emotions at one point too right? From heartbreak to rejection—it’s a part of life.
And who better to teach them how to handle their emotions than you?
You get to teach them that.
it is normal to feel sadness at times in life.
It’s normal to feel anxiety about certain things.
It’s normal to feel anger when someone has made you mad.
And most importantly . . . it is normal to just feel bad sometimes.
You get to model that all emotions are normal.
You get to show them it is not a failure.
You get to give them the tools they need to deal with these emotions.
You get to teach them to rest when they need it and to be gentle with themselves
So now, when I’m feeling anxious or when I’m feeling low, I simply tell my kids this, “Mom is having a rough day today, and I think it’s a good idea for me to rest.”
And just like that, they get it.
So next time you’re feeling these heavy emotions know this . . . you, my love, are normal. And it is OK for your kids to see it.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say they need to see it
Because showing emotions is not failure . . . it actually shows strength.
So go on let them see it, teach them it’s OK, and then teach them how to bounce back from it like the boss that you are.
Originally published on the author’s blog