As the helm of your family, the chances are that you feel a certain pressure to keep up appearances. Whenever a traumatic event comes your way, you may always aim to be the ‘calm one’ who keeps everyone else together.
Whether you’re dealing with death, illness, or even financial setbacks, making sure your kids are okay is undoubtedly crucial. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to turn into a super trooper who’s unaffected by anything.
Showing weakness to your family unit can be tough, especially if everyone else usually leans on you. Still, taking the time to recognize how the event in question makes you feel, and also giving those emotions some airing room, is vital for avoiding the following.
The pile-on effect
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When any trauma hits, processing your emotions is the only way to move forward. If you simply ignore those feelings and power through, you’ll be in a much worse position to deal with what life next throws at you. Let those traumas pile on top of each other too much, and even a seemingly simple setback could see you tumbling and entirely unable to support others. By instead dealing with each issue as it comes, you can heal alongside your family unit, and thus remain as strong as you’re hoping to be.
The unhealthy outlet
Even if you think you’re strong enough to take on the world, we all need to let stress and sadness out somewhere. And, if you don’t allow yourself to do that in healthy ways, there’s every chance unhealthy outlets will creep into your life, often without your even realizing. Something as simple as a glass of wine or two to ease underlying feelings could lead to bottle a night, and then a stint in a residential addiction treatment center that takes you altogether out of the family unit. That’s guaranteed to set your kids and partner back more than just admitting that you need to take a little time when trauma first hits. Avoid such harmful coping mechanisms by always facing things head-on.
The bad example
Being a trooper in the face of trauma is all about being there for others, namely your kids. In reality, though, your failure to address your own feelings could set a bad example. After all, you likely want to teach your kids how to process their emotions in the best possible ways. By failing to do those things yourself, you’re showing them one thing and telling them another. And, as it happens, there’s a high chance that they’ll do as you do, not as you say. If you want your kids to cope with future traumas as they arise, then, you should never let them see you simply ‘powering through’ with such detrimental effects.
Believe us; you can be strong and supportive while also coping with traumatic experiences on a more personal level. Simply give yourself the time you need, and realize that caring for #1 will, ultimately, help you better care for your family.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.