Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gripping Too Tight (And Other Nonsense)

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Gripping Too Tight And Other Nonsense

Righto - I think I have a problem. Actually, I KNOW I have a problem and it's much more about me than her but nonetheless, here it is.

Remember I said that Miss A was positively brimming with excitement at the prospect of commencing her first year of school?  Well the enthusiasm seems to have evaporated somewhat and my obsessive, everything-must-be-perfect personality is having trouble dealing. I'm not having trouble in a shouty, impatient mother kinda way (I reserve that part of my personality for other precious moments like when it takes what seems like ten minutes to climb into the car and fasten a godforsaken seat belt) but in a begging, "oh please please love school, it's so much fun" kinda way.

Miss A is reading! Hallelujah, she's reading! And, the, on, see, look, was - it's all happening, seemingly by magic. However, despite this newly gained skill and to my apparent horror, she just doesn't seem to give a brass razoo. Every time I congratulate her on how far she's come with her words (granted my ticker-tape-parade excitement for the word 'see' was probably a little over the top) she looks at me and says with a sigh and a yawn, "Mum, it's just reading." So I deflate like a two day old balloon. Yesterday, as she was ploughing successfully through a book (which seemed to contain a total of approximately six monosyllabic words) she slammed the book shut, sighed, and muttered under her breath, "This is nonsense". Ahh...pardon? Nonsense? Not a word I've ever heard ANYONE in our family utter at any point, but granted, she's never been one to hold back on the adjectives and so ensued the usual tailspin reaction inside my head. Oh no! She hates learning new things! She's going to fall behind! What will her teacher think if she refuses to read? What do I need to do RIGHT NOW to get her interested?! Yada yada yada.

Isn't it funny the things your own kids can teach you about yourself by exposing parts of your personality which once lay happily dormant and submerged like a psychological creature of the deep? I've learned many things about myself since becoming a parent. Apparently, I have no problem with eating food scraps off the plates of other family members (?!), I can watch a whole episode of 'Booh Bahs' even when there are no kids present, and I can secretly devour an entire block of chocolate with my head jammed inside the pantry like some bulimic ninja. But here's the one I need to pay some attention to; I have a tendency to twist myself inside out searching frantically (and unsuccessfully) for perfection, usually in a situation that I cannot control. How ridiculous - if the kid thinks reading is actually "nonsense", then that's how she feels about it and I should just accept it and either change the game plan or let it come in its own sweet time. Have a laugh at her exquisite use of the word "nonsense", even! I need to just let whatever incidental thing that I can't control just happen around me without any fuss, internal agony or bravado. Words to live by, right there.

So, with that in mind, (and as part of my quest for the Mother Of The Year title) I'm going to give taking a step back and letting go of my tight, panicky grip on uncontrollable situations a shot. That, and I'm giving up the whole food scraps thing. Eww.

What do you see about yourself that has reared its ugly head since you became a parent? Have you needed to make some personality adjustments of your own? (Please reassure me that I'm not alone in my dysfunctional perfectionism! Please!?)


  1. Soph, I find that this new method almost always works for me x

    1. Oh! That was totally written for me. I only wish I'd written it myself!! GAH! Thanks for the

  2. Yes taking a step back and not being a control freak is something I battle with, but I try VERY hard. I feel for my daughter, she cops it all and I'm sure her younger brothers won't face nearly as much 'control freakishness' as she has had. As long as we try right!!!!!!!!

  3. I am always so worried that my kids have no friends to play with. No idea why, but this year I am not asking them at all who they played with - they don't care, they are not looking for a soul mate just someone to swing on teh monkey bars with.