There are times when it’s important to feel the feelings, and this was one of those kinds of days. My Nan was buried today. I wasn’t there. Those are not good feelings but still, it is good to feel them. I spent some time looking at some old photos and remembering again how I loved her and my Grandad.
A strange parenting experience is that you feel all the feelings whilst cooking poached eggs (I have them down to an art), sorting socks (yes, simultaneously that can be a problem, but you need all the skills..) and working on maths problems. Just don’t try to change a nappy at the same time. It’s not always easy to keep the feelings out of the children’s sight but I also sometimes feel it’s not helpful to try. They are sensitive and we are tuned into one another, so they notice pretty easily. Not explaining and not being open about how I’m feeling can be scary for them, scarier than sharing with them I’m feeling a bit sad but that’s ok, it’s not something they have to hide, and nor is it something I have to conceal from them. And if I do try to hide it, it usually shows itself when I am more snappy and short-tempered than usual; again I wonder if that is the more harmful expression of emotion.
This seems particularly relevant while we are all cooped up together. It’s an opportunity to be honest and to model healthy ways to manage feelings. We are all going to be feeling all the feelings over the next few months. Days like this are for hugs and quiet moments by the fire, talking and sharing and figuring out how you move forward together.
Time to snuggle up with my feelings and a hot water bottle for a while and remember some really special memories. Those moments have passed, but the moments to remember come round often enough.