Do you cry in front of your kids as I do, or keep your emotions hidden like Angelina Jolie?
By anyone's standards, Angelina Jolie has had a difficult couple of years. She endured a cancer scare, and of course, is in the process of recovering from the breakup of her family. Now, the star is finally opening up about her headline-grabbing divorce from Brad Pitt in a new Vanity Fair cover story.
It's during the revealing interview that the mom of six makes a shocking admission: She doesn't cry in front of her children. "I was very worried about my mother, growing up—a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it's very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything's going to be all right even when you're not sure it is."
While I don't begrudge anyone their parenting style, I can't help but come out strongly against her decision to hide her emotions from her kids. You see, like Angelina Jolie, I'm having, well, the worst year of my life, actually. I recently lost a pregnancy late in the second trimester. So I'm pretty sure there are just as many tears in our modest house, as in the Jolie mansion.
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But unlike the famous movie star mom, I cry in front of my kids all the time, and I'm proud of it. Because I want my three girls to know that it's okay to show emotion. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to fall apart. Importantly, I also show them how I pick myself back up, and keep going. They need to see all of that, as losing this baby won't be the only time they experience pain in their lives.
One day, my girls may have their hearts broken. Our family will be crushed by more loss, perhaps of a pet or a grandparent. Life is full of happiness, as well as disappointment. And when my daughters come in contact with the latter, I don't want them to think they need to hide away to shed tears. I want them to remember how their mom sobbed, and sobbed. And then, how I pulled myself out of bed, and tried to find hope and joy. Each day. With my family there to support me, and shed tears right along with me.
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In the end, I understand everyone heals differently after loss of any kind, be it divorce, or miscarriage. But I'd encourage Angelina Jolie to open up to her kids a little more. Yes, they need to know that everything will be okay, but that will happen as long as she shows them love. The rest, is just being real, and teaching them that it's okay to cry.
What is your take?