That warm cup of tea

That warm cup of tea

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).

And then…..

…. 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

Mackenzie at Reflections from Me.

30 Replies to “That warm cup of tea”

  1. It was really very sweet of her to bring you that tea. Such a kind and sensitive soul she is.

    Also, don’t worry too much about the slip-ups. I don’t feel like I have any authority to comment on it, as I have had my fair share (and more), but I’ve learnt to give myself some grace. After all, we may be parents, but we are still human.

    P.S. It’s possibly going to rain comments for you, as I am binge reading your posts today to catch up. 🙂
    Shantala recently put up this amazing post…Half Girlfriend Review / Therapeutic Rant on Love & ConsentMy Profile

  2. Oh God, Tulika, this could have been so me! The mere thought of paperwork or filling up a form sends me into a tizzy. I’m ashamed to admit that I even make silly mistakes while filling out forms. Urgh! and, how I hate Math problems too.
    So sweet of N to bring that cup of tea. Parenting is a tough nut to crack but see how well you’re doing if your child can sense your trouble and also realize what will make you feel better, no?
    Loved this post, Tulika.
    Uma recently put up this amazing post…Of boosting the morale and coping with failureMy Profile

    1. Oh thank goodness, I thought I was the only one who could continue to be scared of paperwork despite doing it for years and years. I was certainly touched that N noticed my stress but I worry about transferring my anxieties to her. That is something I wouldn’t ever want.

  3. Did you thank N and give her a hug? 🙂 what she did was such a good thing. Girls truly are growing up if they can sense what bugs Mum the most and good your parenting is all right there.
    I panic but but not over things. Mostly changes or health. Or I’d like to assume that. Most of my documents are pretty much in place. 😉 Lovely post and made me think of my ginger chai 🙂
    Parul recently put up this amazing post…#WomenAtWork – A dog sitterMy Profile

  4. How very lovely and timely. We often worry about showing emotions like this in front of the children but then we wouldn’t want them to think we were robots either would we. Can’t win! Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond, Nicky
    Nicky Kentisbeer recently put up this amazing post…Tweens, Teens & Beyond Linky #7My Profile

  5. I am thoroughly disorganized. All those bills and receipts give me nightmares. Since I need proofs for both my taxes and husband’s, I try to maintain files but I know I slip up. The husband is so much better in maintaining documents. And sure I go into massive panic attacks for the most minor of things. I know what you mean when you say that the mood spills over to the kids. So very sweet of your girl, Tulika. Seriously, slowly they start becoming our friends and even parenting us. I remember when I had a horrible headache and the younger son made coffee and egg toast for me. It really melted my heart. They are so precious despite being nuisances so often. 😀

  6. Yep I fly off into panics all the time and the kids are great at keeping my feet on the ground. As long as they are happy and healthy everything else is just filling. Thanks so much for sharing your great post at #TweensTeensBeyond

  7. When kids start looking after you, you know you have done a great job bringing them up!! Pat yourself on your back and give yourself a break – you are human and panic is a big part of ourlife as we struggle to finish all of our work in 24 hours!!! 😉

  8. It’s amazing how loving gestures can make us realize what’s really important. I’m glad you found the document, but happier that your now-not-so-little girl made that sweet gesture!

  9. I went through a period a few years of suffering from terrible panic attacks, my husband was never quite sure how to handle it but my teens were amazing. It is easy to forget what they do for us sometimes. This is a lovely reminder. #mg
    Jo – Mother of Teenagers recently put up this amazing post…Tweens, Teens & Beyond #7My Profile

  10. Ahh so sweet of N. Give her a hug from me just for being her.
    I know what you mean about panic attacks and I hate anything that has to do with scanning, printing and emailing documents. And when I can’t find stuff, I end up getting angry with the husband. The problem with me is if there is any pending work, anything at all, I feel edgy and even become very irritable. Will need to work on it, I guess 🙂

    Love the look of your blog, Tulika 🙂

  11. Oh God, I did the exact similar rant at hubby yesterday and had to be calmed down.How sweet of your daughter to get the chai for you.Lovely post. #@mg

  12. Oh wow I could have almost written this post, my beautiful 10 year old daughter brought me cup of tea when I was stressing out recently. On a positive note we are obviously raising caring, thoughtful children, but I know what you mean, I try to show my stress less, but sometimes we can’t hide it all. I used to feel tally bad an beat myself up about this more, but know I just open up to them and admit sometimes we all have bad moments, or stressful moments and that mummy gets through it, that I am strong and tough and I will always be ok. I am glad your child is so caring too xx #mg

  13. I totally get it. It is the panic attacks, at times, which trigger the mood swings and make us give undue importance to otherwise menial jobs. Yeah, a cup of tea does help.

  14. Aww isn’t that the sweetest thing? Kids really know how to calm us down.

    Sigh, we each have our battles. I am mostly pretty organised so I don’t get as rattled as this when I have to find something but when it comes to Gy’s things missing and that too on the day before an exam, I freak out! Ugh, don’t ask. All my patience goes out the window and I am snapping irritably then. But we live and learn with each interaction.
    Shailaja V recently put up this amazing post…What daily blogging taught me: Building a habitMy Profile

    1. Yes I know. Good for you. I always end up scrambling for papers. Somehow I end up needing the electricity bill or the phone bill the moment I’ve junked them. Yeah, we do live and learn.

  15. Hi Tulika…that is so sweet…this reminded me, a couple of weeks ago I was stressed about a project deadline and was working and ranting like crazy…my daughter made a jam sandwich for me and brought it to my desk…I felt blessed, guilty, loved, horrible, etc etc all at one…may I add inspite of the sandwich having 2 tablespoons of jam…it is the best sandwich I have eaten….you are right while we need to take note and learn to handle stress…having children who are empathetic really helps…..

    1. Isn’t it just wonderful when they surprise you? I know exactly what you felt – blessed, guilty, loved.. my feelings too. Somedays they make every stress worthwhile and all you feel like doing is giving them one tight hug and big thank you.

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On my other blog: Beat About The Book

Such A Fun Age #BookReview #BookDiscussion

Such A Fun Age #BookReview #BookDiscussion

When Emira is wrongly accused of kidnapping her baby=sitting charge her relationship with the child’s mother takes a rather strange turn. A wonderfully layered book on race and class and privelege by Kiley Reid.