A bloody good cry

If you’ve been a parent for some time, you’ll recognise the symptoms: You’ll feel overwhelmed, exhausted, emotionally raw and possibly half-mad. There are lots of solutions to those feelings- call a friend, have a huge glass of wine, kick an inanimate object or you could revert to the time-proven response of having a good old cry.

"I just have some dust in my eye..."

What gets you crying? For some, it could be something as simple as a detergent advert on TV, but for others it takes a snowball of frustration to explode all at once, maybe over something like running out of milk, or yet ANOTHER leaky nappy. We asked our friends on Twitter and Facebook what makes them cry, and if they cry in front of their kids. Here are some replies:
  • “My dad was a crier, when he felt lost, sad or frustrated to the point of breaking, like you Tania Roux - it is for that, that I thank him every day. A dad who cries, is a dad who raised a daughter to not be afraid of emotions. Emotional honesty, yes. Adult tantrums, no. So cry when the dog dies but don't lose your cheese over someone stealing your parking space.” Catherine
  • “I cried out of exhaustion and frustration. A case of the straw that breaks the camel's back. The kids were shocked at first, but they consoled me sincerely. I'm still shocked at my reaction. I'm usually so composed... It’s a human thing I guess.” Umna
  • “I cried when my son asked me about my late mom. And also when I was totally frustrated and tired a while back. My son immediately went into consolation mode and I felt so bad but I think it was good for him to see that I also have feelings.” Rochelle
  • “I have done it when the kids have pushed me too far. Once on one of those days where everything was going wrong and everyone was stressed we all cried together - mom dad and eldest child - and everyone hugged and talked about it and felt better afterwards. In the bigger scheme, no harm done I think, possibly even a bit of good.” Margot
  • “Shew all the time and for all reasons: from adult tantrums to pure emotion. I'm human, they need to know that.” Jenny
  • “I often do when I'm overwhelmed & my 2yr old boy wipes my tears. He then makes funny faces so i can laugh,)” Leaticia
  • “Just need 2 watch a sad movie then I cry.” Sharon
  • “Yes. Pregnancy hormones.” MeeA
  • “yup, frustration at doing the same thing every day. Picking up toys, him making a mess, me cleaning up again.” Bronwen
According to Care2.com, in an article "5 Reasons Crying is Good for You",
  • “85 percent of women and 73 percent of men felt less sad and angry after crying.
  • On average, women cry 47 times a year, men cry 7 times a year.
  • Crying bouts last 6 minutes on average.
  • Tears are more often shed between 7 and 10 p.m.
 “Crying is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration, it’s a healthy one. Crying is a natural way to reduce emotional stress that, left unchecked, has negative physical affects on the body, including increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other stress-related disorders.”

You’re not alone. Whether it’s real grief which makes the tears come, or just a rough day after a week of rough days, it’s ok for parents to cry, and, according to other parents, rather than kids becoming distressed at the tears, often they will understand- you’re speaking their language, after all.

Do you find that crying helps to release emotions?

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