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Woman Reveals The Reality Of 'Still Having To Parent' In The Midst Of Paralyzing Grief

Photo: Yurii_Yarema - Shutterstock
Grieving mother and daughter

Parenting is one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet, albeit the most difficult, too. No matter what you are experiencing personally, you have to press on and make sure your mood doesn’t negatively affect how you show up for your children.

One sad mother experiencing such a situation took to the "r/breakingmom" subreddit to share the difficulty she was having parenting while grieving the loss of a pet. In the post, the distraught mother explained that she had just lost her dog, who she owned for 13 years, leaving her “heartbroken.” 

Despite being saddened, the sorrowful woman still had to find a way to parent her little one despite her grief.

“There is no pausing mom mode. My baby still needs to eat, bathe, play and get cuddles,” she said of taking care of her daughter. The loving mom admitted that she is honored to do these things, but that she truly just wants to lie in bed and cry.

you still have to parent with a dying pet reddit postPhoto: Reddit/Fizkes - Shutterstock

RELATED: Angus Cloud & Sinéad O’Connor Prove We Have To Acknowledge The Unbearable Pain We Feel When Someone We Love Dies

Grief can make being a parent feel like an uphill battle.

Losing someone you love can really complicate your ability to parent. I had first-hand experience with the struggle when my niece, Monique passed. I wanted to crawl into bed and stay there until the sadness went away, but instead, I forced myself to get it together and push forward.

My children were much less impacted by the loss than I was and expected me to be the mother they know and love, so we went through the motions, going to and from school, back and forth to recreational activities, and even spending time at the local fair, getting on rides. I was primarily ‘pretending’ to enjoy myself while also holding on to those moments that made me smile.

Though hard, there are things that you can help you parent through your mourning.

RELATED: Why Parenting After My Dad Died Was Nearly Impossible

Here are five helpful tips to handle parenting your children while grieving a loss.

1. Open up to your child.

It can be helpful to talk to your kids about the grief you are experiencing. The more they understand where you are emotionally, the more aware they are — it'll help them read the room better. It also educates them on the grieving process and builds emotional intelligence.

2. Let it out.

It’s easy to try to bury your grief and keep moving through life. You put it on the back burner in hopes that you can ignore the associated pain and trauma, but it lingers just beneath the surface. Acknowledge that you are in mourning and share your situation with people who care. Cry about it, write about it in your journal, and seek professional help if you need it.

RELATED: Mom Jokes And Laughs With Little Girl About Her Dad's Passing: 'Grief Humor Heals Your Soul'

3. Go inward.

Mindfulness techniques, meditation, and prayer are just a few of the practices that can help you take care of your mental and emotional well-being. They help you to be present in the moment and keep worries about your future at bay.

4. Practice self-care.

Self-care is not selfish. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so by taking care of your needs first, you are able to show up for the people you love. Take time to do things that you love to do, or to do nothing at all if that’s what you need in the moment.

5. Get active.

It’s amazing how a brisk walk in the great outdoors can lift your spirits. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that naturally impact your mood and emotions. Dedicate time to getting some exercise that gets your blood flowing.

RELATED: 15 Healthy Ways To Mourn When Someone You Love Is Suddenly Gone

NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationship, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.