The universe was definitely trying to tell me something today.
In the space of an hour, I got sent the above link THREE times!!!
Go on, have a read.
The post by David Vienna who blogs at The Daddy Complex has a pithy message for all parents: When parenting matters make you want to throw a toddler-like tantrum or curl up in the foetal position, just take a deep breath and Calm The F%#k Down (CTFD)!
While I’m averse to cursing out aloud (thank you, convent-education!), it was a timely reminder to take note of the CTFD message. B routinely tells me I’ll give myself a heart-attack if I don’t relax with the kids (as he blithely carries on with his PS2 game!).
So I thought I'd road-test the advice this evening.
Here's what transpired:
The kids were supposed to be eating their stir-fry noodles for dinner. Instead, they jabbered non-stop, their topics seemingly schizophrenic: Koala bears. Kettle bells. Karate. Knitting. Kisses. I think they covered every ‘K’ word in the dictionary.
‘CT*D!’ I told myself.
Then the petty squabbling started.
“You just sat on my craft and ruined it!”
“I didn’t mean to.”
“Well, you didn’t say ‘Sorry’.”
“I don’t need to say Sorry if it was an accident.”
“Yes, you do. Mummmmmmmy...”
‘CT*D!!’ I told myself.
They then proceed to dissect and dismiss every single vegetable I put on their plates.
"Why did you cut the carrots length-ways? I prefer them cut round."
"Mum, you know I don't eat red capsicum."
"Bok choi is too slimy."
"Why are they called 'snow peas'? They're not even white!"
‘CTFD!!!’ I told myself.
I think I lasted for about 18 minutes before I exploded.
I gave them the "there-are-millions-of-starving-children-in-India-who-would-love-to-eat-your-food" speech. Sheesh!
When did parenting get so complicated? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect parents? Why did we allow it to become a competitive sport with everyone vying for the Bestest Parent in the Whole Wide World prize?
Every decision we make is fraught with anxiety. We decide on something, then rethink our decision, then ask our 327 Facebook 'friends' if we've made the right decision...
|A dose of parenting prose at my local library|
Single child v/s siblings?
Breast- or bottle-feeding?
Should I be a SAHM or return to work?
Co-sleeping or control crying?
Free-range or helicopter parenting?
Public or private school?
Decisions! Decisions!! Decisions!!!
Here's my cliché-laden two cents' worth.
Be alert but not alarmed: Yes, it is your duty to be aware of what's going on in your child's life and make certain decisions for them, but don't go batty over the 'what-ifs' and 'maybes'.
Don't sweat the small stuff: Of course you will stuff up – probably at an inopportune moment. Go easy on yourself when you make a mistake and let go of the guilt. Take a step back and ask yourself, ‘How important is this in the grand scheme of things?’
Trust your instinct: You've got an edge over the plethora of parenting guides – it’s your instinct. So if something tells you things are not quite right, go with your gut instinct.
When all else fails, blame your partner! ; ).
What sort of person are you – calm and collected or full-on frantic? What do you do to CTFD?