Tuesday, May 20, 2014

tea. with me.


I had to cancel tea with friends today, instead hiding under an umbrella in pouring rain to take Joel to the dentist. Awake through the night with a toothache, I knew I had to get it looked at urgently.
He was amazing in the dentist chair, needing a filling that was quite deep and beginning to abscess. Cue squeamish mama, and the onslaught of guilt.
have I been slack with his sugar intake? should I make them brush more than twice a day? i need to cut out refined sugar, for real this time. i hope the girls' teeth are okay.
And wishing I could take his place. 
I would gladly sit in the dentist chair if it meant they wouldn't have to.

He's had a rough couple of weeks my Joel-y. 
He'd been picked on in the playground a few days in a row by some big older kids.
The school dealt with it wonderfully (my husband, not so well: cue macho daddy, marching in the school grounds to find bullies. Luckily principal was sympathetic and kind about said husband taking matters into his own hands. Sigh. All while I was away for the weekend!).
On top of sitting tests for the National Assessment Program, this was all a bit too much for him.

It is all a lesson on relinquishing control. I hate this out of control feeling, the part of me that knows I can't protect my smalls, and make sure they are happy, safe, and successful.
I also know I can't instil into them the lie that success equals happiness, because that's all it is, a lie.
But I want them to be well-rounded little humans who enjoy life, who are likeable, and find school easy. I also know that this is impossible.
Life is going to happen to them.
I need to teach them to be resilient. That my love is not reliant on how well they do, or if they fail, or if they make mistakes, or if their behaviour is by the book. I love them regardless. They are loved and there is a place for them in their family where they are valued and cared for - irrespective of what is going on in their world.
I know I need to teach them to pray, to find that place they can draw strength and confidence from.
And let them learn. And give up control.
And I need to go to that same place to draw strength, and confidence - that they are loved and protected, without my control.

This is where my thoughts would lead our conversation today, if you were to tea with me.
Dark clouds have just come over, and the lights are on - there is something about this that just makes the day cosier.
I've curled up on the lounge, occasionally visited by Amie; she is not happy she has to play by herself today. She has found Indiecat, who is not a fan of the rain streaming down gutters and windows, and prefers to be harassed by her little person.

Are you a control freak? Do you have older children and have some wisdom for this parenting journey? Is it raining where you are? Share with me over a cuppa? Join in with a blogpost, or hashtag #teawithteacupstoo on IG, I would love to join you.

xx

4 comments:

  1. I would love to have tea with you and listen to your thoughts on control, parenting, mumma guilt and everything inbetween. Then as a mum of 4 teenagers I'd say, cut yourself some slack, some kids have strong teeth some don't even in the same family, eating the same food with the same oral hygiene habits.
    I'd say Naplan sucks, it's a ridiculous idea and is being used completely wrongly, the academic part of school is much less important than you realise, instil a curiosity for life, the world around them and human nature and then show them how to find the answers and they will go far in life.
    I'd say bullying is just awful and be thankful your husband is interested enough to act, even if it perhaps wasn't the best way to model handling the situation...that's ok.
    I'd say you are doing a fantastic job parenting your children, you are the perfect mother for them. Life and kids are very forgiving and resilient, allow them to be flexible to your humaness. I'd say letting go of that need to control and make things easy for our children is possibly the hardest and worst part of parenting, but without a doubt the most important thing we can do. Trust, yourself, your kids, in the goodness of others and never doubt.
    Not raining here right now. Time for tea for me then into bed.
    cheers Kate

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    1. Kate, your reply was like a breath of fresh air. THANK YOU for the reassurance that my focus is where it should be. That kids are forgiving and resilient, and that yes, actually I'm their mother for a reason. Thank you, thank you. xx

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  2. While I don't have older kids and I probably need this preached back at me a ton of times, I'm learning that in the midst of the hard times a lot of the stress I feel is placed on me by myself, maybe for worrying I'm not "doing it right" as a mom or whatever, compared to other moms. But the thing is is that we've all been there, or we're all here! And knowing that we're all going through the same things makes it seem a little bit easier. At least for me!

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    1. It really does... that we're all kind of flailing wildly, hoping that we are doing it right. And I really think if we're trying, we are definitely doing it right - mistakes and all. Thanks so much Meg, I do need to remember to breathe, and stop comparing myself, even if it's only with the ideal in my own mind! xx

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