27/04/2011 17:42 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Semi-Detached Parent: Cry Baby

The Semi-Detached Parent: Cry baby Getty

Is it OK to cry in front of your children?

I guess I know the answer to that is 'sometimes'. Depends on what has prompted the tears. When our cat died two months ago, I cried openly in front of my son because it let him know it was OK to cry too. We cried together.

I suppose it is considered less OK when when your tears stem from your own total sense of hopelessness and despair. Things that you most definitely do not want your child to be a part of, sharing in.

Like the tears my son witnessed recently. He came into my room, unexpectedly, and found me with my head in my hands. He didn't say anything, merely thrust his DS under my nose to show me something. Perhaps he had not noticed, or worse still, perhaps in fact he had, and he did not know what to do or say. Or maybe he is just so used to mummy crying that it washes over him.

A friend tells me she locks herself in the loo, and with the taps running, sobs into a towel when she needs to cry. Another says she does it openly, saying bottling up and hiding away feelings and emotions is not healthy: 'Children should see the laughter and the tears of life,' she insists.

I remember seeing my own parents crying at certain points in my childhood. There tears were always because of bereavement rather than rows or frustration. Or at least the ones I saw were. It was wretched, but I always knew it would get better; that the sadness of the loss would eventually lessen.

The tears that come from the anger, resentment, frustration and general awfulness of a relationship break-up don't seem to cease at all. If anything, when there is a child involved, a child you want the best for, they just seem to flow more.

I've been crying buckets for over three years now. I'm working on the theory that soon, there will be no tears left.

What do you think?
Do you cry in front of your children?