Growing up, I remember my mom would always cry. Like—all the time. I’m not saying that my mom was perpetually a sad person, but she would easily shed a tear or two during sad and happy times alike. We would tease her because she could get emotional over the silliest things. A sad movie scene? “There goes mom again…” and then we would all laugh about it.
Fast forward to many years ahead and a couple of kids later, I find myself crying all the time, just like my mom. It ranges from getting misty over the drawing my kindergartner made in class, to having to catch my breath while watching Disney’s Coco. Now it’s me who’s being teased by my husband and kids…and we all laugh about it too.
I don’t remember being like this before, I was the kind of person who would roll their eyes at the end of Titanic. Now I get moved so fast and so easily by things like a Facebook post or a TV commercial. This vulnerability is my new normal and it’s all because of my kids.
Motherhood has changed me to the core in a way that is impossible to describe. Being a mom has transformed my perspective and has given me a newfound empathy I never expected. When I read about a little boy who was sick, I would pray for him while my heart ached for his mom without knowing her. Same thing happened when a young mother passed away, I couldn’t help but thing about her child’s pain, and her own mother’s. Nobody warned me my feelings would intensify this much, but between all these emotions, I’ve found the ability to be grateful for the good and forget about the things that don’t matter.
I like to think that just like the Grinch’s, my heart grew three sizes when I became a mother. It had to, otherwise how would it fit all these emotions only a mother can understand? Sometimes it can be overwhelming, it seems like motherhood can make you feel a thousand different things at the same time, but all these feelings, and all this love, and all these tears are the best thing that ever happened to me. And all of this only makes me more aware of this beautiful gift that life gave me, the gift of motherhood and the heart that comes with it.
Yes, I may cry more, from happy tears to real sorrow, but I’ll take this mom’s heart any day. Because in-between all the chaos, mixed up with the dirty dishes and fights over shoes left on the staircase, all of a sudden there are these moments, these tiny pauses in time that remind me that no matter what’s going on around me, my heart is as full as it gets and sometimes a tear is the only way to express it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re like me who bawls over song lyrics or if you secretly hold it together. Whether you’ve always been a crier or you save your tears for the shower, the truth is that we all share this same exact thing, a mother’s heart…and I wouldn’t trade that for the world, ugly tears and all.