A Time to Cry

Posted on | July 20, 2012 | 19 Comments

You know those moments when you sort of hover over your body and look down on your life with the distant, observational eye of an outsider?  And then you realize that you’re freaking ridiculous and you wonder why no one is coming to strap you into a straight jacket and haul you away?

Yeah. That was last night.

I’ve been having a string of bad luck lately.  Nothing epic, just little tick tack horrors that are piling up around me like tiny carcasses of madness, reaching all the way up to the bottom side of my knees.  I realize they’re not heavy and could be easily moved, but somehow I’m just mired down by my disgust at how many there are.   I’ve been finding the humor, laughing at myself, and pushing down the urge to scream at the top of my lungs and maybe, just maybe tell someone (ANY ONE) at exactly which stop they should get off. But there’s only so much pushing down you can do.

Last night, all of that pushed down emotion erupted out of me with a force great enough to floor my son.

We had been reading stories on the sofa, nothing major, and I got up to go to the bathroom.  He followed me in, as he often does when I forget to lock the door, and he was chattering about… well, I don’t know what, because I wasn’t paying attention.  Apparently he said something that required a negative response but didn’t receive one because, well, I wasn’t listening.  So without getting the “no” that he possibly expected, he gleefully shouted “LIKE THIS!?” and hurled my $42 brand new glass bottle of Laura Mercier Foundation at my feet.


The bottle.



It was a silly straw to break my back, but break it it did.

I began to sob with such ridiculous force that J began to cry.  I was simultaneously wailing and trying to tell him that I wasn’t mad at him so I sounded a bit like a Lifetime Movie alcoholic “No, no, no. nononononononononono. It’s broken. WHYYYYYYYYYYY.  It’s okay, baby. Mommy’s not mad at you. (WAIL WAIL SOB SOB) I’m just so sad because… OHGODITSBROKEN. Mommy’s silly. Mommy’s being crazy. I love you, J. I’m so sorry. OHMYGOD.”

All the while, mascara was running down my cheeks and staining my shirt with black lines, I’m still sitting square on the pot with my pants around my ankles, and tiny droplets of $42 foundation are splashing down through the vent while I wail like I just got the worst news ever.

J was standing outside the bathroom sniffling and saying, on repeat, “Mommy. Please stop being sad now.  Mommy stop crying now, okay? Mommy I didn’t mean to.” Which was making me cry harder because he looked so broken by my tears, so hurt and harmed and scarred by my inability to just push it down… just one more time.

It took me the better part of 20 minutes to pull my shit together.

It took an hour of snuggling and reading books to convince J that I wasn’t mad at him.  It then took two hours of sipping wine and reading a good book to make me feel less like walking out the front door and never coming back.

Because honestly, I know how good I have things.  I love my son and my house and my job and my dogs. I realize that crying over broken foundation is stupid, crying over poison ivy and broken air conditioning and getting bitch slapped at work and … and… and… I know.  It’s stupid.  I’m a grown woman with responsibilities. So I do what I did last night. I dry my tears.  I tell my son that I was being silly.  I read Richard Scarry until I want to kick Goldbug in the nuts.

Because yes, I know, I am blessed to have all that I have.  But there are moments, oh are there moments, when I just want three minutes, three hours or maybe even three days to cry without feeling like my tears are letting someone else down.  And THAT is one of the hardest parts of single motherhood.


19 Responses to “A Time to Cry”

  1. kristin
    July 20th, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    No just single motherhood – life. There were so many times with my husband having cancer and raising a 5 yr old that I had to hide my tears. That I had to push everything down and pretend all was ok when all I wanted to do is crouch in the corner, cry and never deal with life. You are not alone – single or not. 🙂

  2. Law Momma
    July 20th, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Yeah… I think maybe it’s a generic motherhood thing. 🙂 It’s hard to remember. I think you’re pretty ferociously brave, though, KP. Always have.

  3. Yca
    July 20th, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    I have about one of those a month. If I don’t, I get worried 😉 … Sometimes you just have to let it all out.

  4. Law Momma
    July 20th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    True. Maybe I need to hire a baby sitter for a monthly cry session at a hotel. Or a bar.

  5. Patsy Thompson Buccy
    July 20th, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Schedule a night of sad movies after j goes to bed and get the tears out. They do build up, and it is such a release when they’re out!

  6. Law Momma
    July 20th, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    Ooooh… a marathon: Steel Magnolias, Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes and Penelope. Yeah… I know, Penelope isn’t sad. Only it is because … sniff… he loves her so much… sniff, sniff…

  7. EK's Mommy
    July 20th, 2012 @ 11:27 am

    Yes. To all of that. Just yes. And I think it’s motherhood in general because (full on stereotyping here, but…) motherhood is different than fatherhood. I wake up – think about my child; get ready while I entertain my child; go to work and worry about my child; race home from work to see my child; take days off to spend them with my child; won’t exercise unless I can take my child; and the list doesn’t end. Meanwhile, in our house, while my husband is a good Daddy. Daddy doesn’t equal Mommy, and his every second is not molded by his role as a Daddy, so… many times I let myself begin to feel like a single mother… because I don’t buy things for me. I don’t do things for me. I don’t take time for me. I am 100% my child. And… I get this. I so…. so…. get this.

  8. Law Momma
    July 20th, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

    I get YOU. You’re right… most mothers think they are an extension of their child and vice versa. I remember I got all teary eyed the moment I stopped being just me and started being called “J’s mommy” at daycare. But we ARE people outside that, too… and we deserve to feel however we feel. And stuff like that.
    Now I kinda want to cry again…

  9. Carrie
    July 20th, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    Oh lawmamma, thank you for making me feel normal! I’ve been there and the look my daughter gave me when I cried in front of her, well ::hugs:: I like to shut the door to my office and get out a good cry from time to time. Sometimes I can’t even pinpoint why, it’s like you said all the little things, but they add up and I tell you, I ALWAYS feel better afterwards. It’s good to just release it all and let it go that way.

  10. Law Momma
    July 20th, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    So true…. I need at least three more hours of tears. Maybe this weekend, I’ll hire a sitter, check into a hotel, and sob for a bit. LOL

  11. Jennifer Williams
    July 20th, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    But it’s really not stupid. When we hold those things in and tell ourselves that we aren’t supposed to feel them and that we should just buck up we are belittling our feelings. That’s not right. You need to give yourself permission to be sad and angry and hurt about whatever it is. Even if it is just foundation. No emotion is a bad emotion. All feelings have purpose.

  12. Law Momma
    July 20th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Wise words, friend. Wise words.

  13. Katie
    July 20th, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

    this is EXACTLY what my therapist told me this week. EXACTLY.

  14. facie
    July 20th, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    I don’t often cry in front of my kid, but sometimes I just can’t keep it together. Why should we, as parents, not be “allowed” to break down once in awhile?! I don’t recommend bawling on a regular basis, but we are human and it seems rather unhealthy to pretend that everything is fine and dandy all the time.

  15. Michelle Spina
    July 20th, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    Yes, this!!!!! It is unrealistic and unhealthy for us to put on some huge act in front of our kids ALL the time. Sure, it was upsetting for J to see you cry, but that’s ok. As long as it isn’t a crazy regular thing, it’s good for him to see you upset sometimes. It’s a part of life, even when it’s over something silly, and you are teaching him that sometimes you cry, then you get over it. Good job momma! 🙂

  16. maconmom
    July 20th, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    You know that was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond! I just saw it recently.
    So true. I think it’s hard for any woman living with another human being! Haha. Men don’t get it either!

  17. kristinayellow
    July 20th, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

    I so understand; sometimes we can only hold it together for so long before something “little” causes us to burst. And it’s often in front of the person who deserves the upset the least. I wish I could give you a hug–and I would totally be a friend who would happily let you cry it all out, just so you wouldn’t have to do it alone.

  18. Katie
    July 20th, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

    first let me tell you how awesome your design is. LOVE.

    Second, it must be in the water this week. Miranda had a post like this and I sat in an hour of therapy losing my shit about this SAME THING. Small things all piled up all over the place out of NO WHERE make me completely…GONE. Sigh.

  19. Laurie
    July 21st, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    You are a great mom and a star person! It’s okay to lose your shit sometimes. And its okay for your kiddos to see it. This is life and sometimes it’s hard and it sucks. And sometimes its awesome. It’s a rollercoaster and at times it’s okay to say “I want to get off!”

    BTW – love your new layout!

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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