Aspen crawled into my bed this morning, tired and emotional. She wanted to be by my side. She needed her mum. I could tell she was on the verge of tears, she didn’t know why. I assured her that I am here for her and she gently cried. “I’m sorry”, she told me.
It saddens me when she apologises simply for being emotional, or being confused. I understand what she is saying, but we should never apologise for our emotions. I never want her to feel sorry for being emotional. She has always been a deep thinker and feeler, that is part of her nature. And as much as it is not always easy dealing with an emotional child, it is very much what makes her the amazing person she is. It is what makes everyone who knows her feel important and loved. It is why her friends know they can always come to her, it is what makes her siblings know she is there for them 100%. She loves deeply, she cares about everyone, she would do anything to make someone sad feel happy again. But when it comes to herself she can be so critical.
I think we can all do this, we can understand others, forgive them their imperfections, yet when it comes to who we are, we can be so overly judgemental. We want to be everything to everyone, and never have to say “no”, or disappoint. For so many years now we have been told ‘we can have it all’. But the truth is we can’t look after ourselves, say ‘yes’ to every opportunity so we don’t let anyone down, and be ‘perfect’ at everything without becoming burned out. We spend so much time trying to build our daughters up, telling them that if they work hard, and are passionate enough that they can be anything they want, that sometimes we forget to teach them that they need down time too. Our daughters need to know that looking after themselves emotionally is hugely important!
I told Aspen to never apologise for sharing her feelings, or for being emotional. That sharing that side of herself is her being authentic, being real, and that is something to be proud of.
I told her that just like when we touch a hot pan and burn our fingers we get a message to our brain saying that it wasn’t good for us to do that, and it is the same with emotions. When we feel sad for no reason, it is often a sign that we are burning ourselves out, and we are tired. Our body is trying to tell us that we need to slow down. I told her that she needs to pay attention to what her body is saying. We are women and we are strong, and we can achieve amazing things, but sometimes we ignore the signs that we are tired. We stay up later than we should, or don’t eat healthy meals because we are trying to do too much. We as mum’s, grandmother’s, aunties, and even father’s need to show our children that it is ok to look after ourselves, to slow down, unplug, and seek comfort in a hug, or a long chat when we need to. That through seeking rest, or asking for help we are being strong, and we are being authentic.
Let’s teach our children that loving themselves means knowing their time and energy is precious, and that looking after themselves is key to being able to achieve their dreams.
I am sure this is something I will continue to have to tell my daughter, and something I will have to continue to role model too.
Do you have any thoughts on this topic? I’d love you to share them with me in the comment section.
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx