POP THE KETTLE ON - 3 MIN READ
Author: Datin Eileen Unwin - “Intention is more than wishful thinking; it’s wilful direction”
I wrote an article some years ago titled “When did motherhood and guilt become synonymous?”
Roll on 7 years and re-reading it, times may have changed but the parenting guilt still sits in raising children. One paragraph made me chuckle when I referenced Shane Watson's article in the British Sunday Times Style magazine titled ‘Ten True Things’ whereby point 3 states:
"Our gift for self flagellation. We might have thrown a party for 20 last night, cooked two courses and provided a personal burlesque show with fire shooting bra. But never mind that - why aren't we tidier and more organised? Other women spring out of bed and go running, why don't we? They read a book a week and are learning Spanish, have four children under five and report from war zones. We are never good enough!"
My sentiments exactly. We have the habit of beating ourselves up, perceiving, incorrectly, that every other parent we may not know, but enviously watch, juggling life and children so expertly has got it right. Quite honestly, we need to admit that we are all in the same boat making up the rules as we go along, hoping and praying for the best outcome. Throw in Covid-19, home schooling and no outlet of activities and sports, a constant roll out of meals to fuel the family, and we are genuinely expected to live in blissful happiness with no trace of anxiety or self doubt? These times have thrown a curve ball in parenting skills and yet we are left with a sour taste of guilt that we are STILL not doing enough.
The life we imagined for our children and the wishes we have as parents for them are damaged by the pandemic. We are hostage to witnessing a severe lack of social contact, excessive screen time and a mindless existence within walls that are closing in on us all. Family ties are loosened, most especially if those loved ones live afar, and the adventures we dream about seem a life time away. Travel is a circus act of jumping through endless hoops to find a warped destination with a lack of the freedom we are seeking.
So, to hold our hands up and surrender to staying at home, kicking back with a hot Tea bird cuppa is the only solution. There is nothing that a cup of tea cannot fix and if there is one thing we can learn from the past two years, let it be that the simple things matter. We will never get this time back as parents, we will never spend more quality, uninterrupted time with our children than now. However hard the mental challenges as an adult, our children will always need us more. Their understanding of the pandemic comes from a differing angle than us and quite simply their only requirement is to feel supported, loved and nurtured.
We can do little more than communicate these values, releasing the guilt we feel of the life they are missing out on but knowing that time is a healer. With time and patience comes change. They will return to school, reunite with friends, run wild, compete in sports, find joy in celebrations. Life will return and with it they will have learnt resilience, alternative communication skills and with boredom a sense of creativity may even evolve. In a vastly social whirl of a world, the loneliness and isolation they have endured will reinforce their emotional understanding of themselves and others. A compassionate human being is being discovered during this period of hibernation. As parents we need to trust the process, trust that our children will continue to be the best versions of themselves in whatever circumstances they are faced with whilst we endeavour to mirror their strength and resilience. Communication, love and understanding are the key ingredients to supporting each other during these trying times. A lack of pressure on exceeding our personal parenting expectations, a simple hug and popping the kettle on go a long way in survival.
Tea bird Teas are available to help give you the comfort and support you and your children need. Taking time to sit with your family and talk over a cup of herbal tea is the best therapy. Try Earl Grey & Orange, a delicious blend that appeals to all ages.