A few weeks ago during the kids’ exams as we sat struggling with Math problems, I got a call from a friend/associate. He needed copies of some official documents – quite a bunch of them, actually.
If there’s anything that stresses me out more than math problems, it is paperwork. The mere sight of forms to be filled and documents to me signed sends me in all kinds of petrified panic.
As if those percentage problems weren’t bad enough I had to now, not only locate the entire bunch but also scan them/copy them and mail them. I went into a tizzy opening and closing drawers, rifling frantically through my wallet looking for IDs, bills and lease agreements. I found them all – except one. I was sure I had it as a soft copy in my inbox but despite several searches I couldn’t locate it.
As panic kicked in well and truly I ran all kinds of searches, cursing the wretched paper work, the idea of needing soft copies, at my cleanliness drive (during which I assumed I’d deleted the said document), at my lack of computer knowledge, at the man who invented computers and at the Husband (of course, always the Husband).
…. there appeared a cup of tea at my desktop. On a tray. Along with my evening biscuits.
“Mama,” said N, “I made tea for you.”
As I sat back on my revolving chair I felt the panic ebbing and began to feel really really stupid for over-reacting and for needing my ten-year-old to bring home the fact.
And I was grateful and a little at awed at how grown up N sounded. I was amazed at how she’d read my panic and did what she thought best to help. I realised I don’t say ‘thank you’ often enough for this daughter of mine.
After that tea, the situation didn’t seem as desperate at all. I called up the Husband (yeah the same one I’d been ranting at) and of course he had a copy of the document. Also, as I discovered the documents weren’t even as urgent as I’d imagined in my stupid state of mind.
Do you ever get panic attacks? You’ll know then, how overwhelming they are. It cannot possibly be good for the children to be witness to them. Once logical thinking returns I find myself feeling sorry for putting them through it all. It might not have anything to do with them (like in this case) however with just the three of us at home and nobody to diffuse the tension, the entire house seems to be on an edge till I cool down.
It’s not right, I know.
Unfortunately we cannot control ourselves all the time. Nor can we avoid the kids being part of the mess. So how do I teach the children to handle their stress if I cannot even handle mine? Sigh. Another one of those parenting toughies!
The only thing to do, is to learn from your slip-ups and to teach as you learn; to talk about it once you’re sane again, accept that you overreacted and discuss ways in which you could have handled it.
While I do all of that I continue to be grateful that the children are becoming sensitive to my stresses and hope they learn to extend the sensitivity to everyone around them.
Linking up with Nabanita’s #MommyTalks