A family trip to the dentist last week has me spinning in the land of shoulds, rules and basic panic over the things I SHOULD be controlling! Little C has the start of a cavity. For Good Girl, this is devastating. Good Girls definitely don’t let their kids get cavities. What does this say about Good Girl’s mothering skills? She definitely doesn’t get an A. And Good Girl NEEDS an A like she needs air!
Ever since, I’ve been spiraling down a SHOULD vortex (shoulds can spread like the common cold) and last night I went to bed feeling awful. I was mean to my kids. I barely spoke to my dear husband. I laid in bed on the verge of tears.
A night of sleep has me feeling slightly refreshed and ready to face these shoulds a bit. Perhaps the box of Halloween goodies that just arrived is making it all the more apparent that I need to clear up this mental baggage. The Voice appears this morning as my girls plan what treat they will eat first. I’m in a mental tug-o-war. “It’s Halloween, let them have a treat.” “She has decay, she can’t eat sugar!” And so on. I’m not even in the room with my children. I’m up in a knock down drag out with The Voice. All over a box of chocolates. This has got to stop!
When Good Girl hears about a problem (aka the tooth decay), she immediately springs into action. She rushes about creating rules and action items. She researches to find anything she CAN control to try to eradicate the blemish! Only, when I’m doing all these things, it does not feel good. Because it’s based on fear and panic. It makes me tense, rigid, harsh, short-tempered. Not to mention it usually means adding a whole new dimension to my to-do list. (In this case, I should be feeding her all raw, organic dairy products, finding a dentist who will do some strange ozone treatment and cutting all grains from her diet, just to name a few.) I’m starting to realize that a mother who feels this way around her children all the time is probably worse than a little cavity.
I know I can go back to my basic question. . . “what do I WANT to do?” But I’m just not even sure I can get a clear answer right now. The waters are muddied quite a bit. The panic is overriding all sense. I know what I don’t want. I don’t want to be the mom who makes them feel weird for eating a freakin’ Halloween treat. I don’t want to hover over Little C all day trying to brush her teeth five million times. I don’t want to be stressed out over a little cavity. I want to have perspective, keep it in balance. I want to find a way to be at peace if she has decay and do what I can out of love to support her. At this point, this all seems like a tall order.
Maybe I’ll go have a piece of chocolate….