I used to wonder why the world didn’t fly a big “PULL YOURSELVES TOGETHER, MOMS!” flag across the sky. I thought there couldn’t possibly be enough dry land on this earth to soak up all the tears that moms seem to be crying all the time.
That attitude ended exactly nine months before Toddler was born.
Because sometimes, moms cry. It's just what we do.
Some moms cry because the days can be so long. They swear they have been on baby duty for at least 17 hours, but the clock says it's only 2:37 p.m.
And they think that if they have to listen to one more of Daniel Tiger's ditty's about how "I like you just the way you are," they might reach through the TV screen and tie him to the front of Mr. Trolly with his red cable-knit sweater. Because they get it already.
And they wonder how their spawn could be such a Bossy Pants about which pacifier they use, or which mushy food they eat, or which princess shoes they want to wear to the grocery store.
Some moms cry because they work for a different kind of Bossy Pants, and they wish they could just get home to their babies.
Some moms cry because Motherhood is so yummy. They are pretty sure they could eat their babies' leg rolls for breakfast, nibble their precious little piggies for lunch, and get drunk off their shampooed scalp for an afternoon snack.
These are the tears of pure delight.
Some moms cry because they feel like a failure. They yelled more than they should have. They begrudged longer than they should have. They were too easy on their babies, or too hard on them.
They weren't honest. They weren't kind. They weren't gentle. They weren't patient. They weren't grateful. They weren't aware.
And they are sorry. Really, really sorry.
And some moms cry because "Grace" is so big. It wipes clean their mistakes. Their babies' mistakes too. And it's hard to comprehend how much love it would take for someone to sacrifice Himself in order to offer this kind of salvation.
And then they remember how much they love their own babies. And then they think about how much the Father must love them too...
These are tears of awe and gratitude.
Some moms cry because they couldn't be more proud of their babies. Holding their neck up, rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, running skipping, playing, sharing, scoring, cheering, graduating, learning, living, exploring, loving.
And they can only marvel at the beauty of this person who was knit together inside of them, or was so lovingly placed into their care.
Some moms cry because the years can go so fast. They swear it was only yesterday they brought their sweet bundle home, and now they are buying back packs, Crayola boxes, and purple sneakers for gym class. And they think they might die when the teacher takes their baby's hand and they slowly walk under the sparkly banner that says "Kindergarten."
And then they blink again and it's "boy-girl" parties, and then a driver's license, and then twin sheets for their dorm room. And then it's white lace and black suits, bouquets and "I do."
Some moms cry because their babies are hurting. Maybe they have already met some of the people in the world who aren't very nice. Maybe they feel insecure or afraid. Maybe they feel lonely. Maybe they feel rejected.
And these moms know they can offer their hugs and shoulders to cry on, but that their protection can only go so far.
And some moms cry because their babies are hurting themselves. They are walking away. Walking down paths they know aren't good. Know will be a bad influence. And it's frustrating, watching someone they love so deeply make choices that hurt themselves. Someone they know is so smart, act so stupid.
And these moms realize they aren't in control. That their baby will have to figure some things out on their own, by God's big grace.
Some moms cry because the world can be a scary place. They want their babies to dream big and go far, but they wish they could know for sure that "everything's going to be okay."
But they know it might not be. They know that Jesus isn't always "safe," and neither is taking up their cross to follow Him. So they can only get on their knees and pray "Your will be done, Lord." They can only entrust their babies' lives into the Father's hands, just as He entrusted them into theirs in the first place.
Some moms cry because their babies are hilarious. And they are pretty sure that thanks to having their babies, there are not only tears running from their eyes, but down their legs now too.
The tears of Motherhood's laughter are some of the best.
Some moms cry because their six babies won't cooperate to take a nice family picture on Christmas Day, 2003. Sorry, Mom.
Some moms cry because their babies feel far away. Maybe they have been in there for almost nine months and they just wish they would come out already. Maybe they are with the nanny for the day. Maybe they went to school for the week. Maybe they went to college for the semester. Maybe they moved to a new country for the year.
Maybe there are many years and 3,254 pieces of paper to fill out and sign before they finally get to meet their babies. Or maybe that little test keeps coming back negative.
The bitter tears of Motherhood's sorrow are the hardest.
Some moms cry because they don't feel like they are ready for their babies. And some moms cry because they have been ready for way too long.
Some moms cry because their life is not only Motherhood. And sometimes life is hard. Their baby isn't the only one who struggles with insecurities, or feels belittled, or feels jealous, or wishes they could get what they want. Or fights with a friend. Or wonders what their next step should be.
Some moms cry because their own mom is getting older. And they wonder where they will be without her hugs, her laughter, her affirmation, and her wisdom when that time comes. And after so many years of "know-it-all" they finally start to realize, "If I could be half the mother she was."
Some moms cry because they recognize that Motherhood is a gift. Sometimes it's a gift that comes easily. Sometimes it takes time and tears and waiting. Sometimes it's long days. Other times it's short years.
But amid the joys, the frustrations, the heartaches, and the excitement, it's such a gift.
These are the tears of just because.
Moms cry. We have a whole host of reasons why, but we just do.
Maybe lots of your tears like to hover around that cyclical spell essential oils so nicely calls, “Dragon Time.” #ThereIsAnEssentialOilForThat
Or maybe when you’re not jacked up on hormones, you find yourself wrapped up in those moments of really big Mom Feelings.
Or maybe you are grieving.
Whatever the reason for your Mom Tears today, I hope you feel bonded to the rest of us moms grabbing tissues right along side of you.
Just remember that tears are good.
Tears are expression. Tears are the overflow of your joy, pride, confession, sadness, yielding, hope, gratitude, laughter, and praise.
Tears are healing.
Grace and Peace,
P.S. What kind of Mommy Tears are you crying today? What kind of big Mommy Feelings are you experiencing?