To quote the late, great Ray Charles:
“I suppose I’ve always done my share of crying, especially when there’s no other way to contain my feelings. I know that men ain’t supposed to cry, but I think that’s wrong. Crying’s always been a way for me to get things out, which are buried deep, deep down. When I sing, I often cry. Crying is feeling, and feeling is being human. Oh yes, I cry.”
Charles really knows what he’s talking about. Men, in particular, think crying is a sign of weakness. Fathers think they need to be the rock in the family. What most macho men don’t know is that bottling up these emotions can lead to physical problems. This physical stress can lead to heart disease, stroke and many other diseases. Also, distress can contribute to bad habits.
Parents should show their strengths and weaknesses in order to model good mental health. Showing emotions to their spouse and children actually has health benefits, so let the tears flow, gentlemen.
I am an easy crier. Joy or sadness can get me welled up. I don’t movie-style cry, either – you know, the one tear streaming down the face. Nope, I get splotches all over my face. My nose starts to run, and tears just keep falling down my face. Even being a belligerent crier, I still think it is a sign of strength. It takes great courage to be vulnerable enough to reveal tears.
Why wouldn’t we want a good cry every now and again? After all, we all have ups and downs.
I think it’s important that Hannah Jo understands the balance and is not afraid to show her emotions. For some reason, I thought crying in front of Hannah Jo would create insecurities. However, I think it does quite the opposite.
Being able to match my feelings from the inside out is quite significant. Showing her that mama and daddy can shed tears every now and again is healthy. She will learn to let her emotions out. I want her to be able to communicate her feelings in order to live a happy life.
A good cry can cleanse the spirit.
• Becca Hirst is a proud DeKalb resident who writes about her life as a working mother. She hopes to bring more enjoyment to and less shaming and judging of herself and other mothers. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.