Thursday, July 13, 2006

boiling blood

Heard some awful news last night about a friend who has been working with us, and although I won't go into personal details, our hearts go out to him and hope that he has the courage to keep on keeping on.

It is eerie that what happened seems to have been pre-empted by a lot of what is going on in our own lives, what with my preoccupation with our health and lifestyle. It seems to bring home the point that you can not be too young to fall sick. Yesterday before I heard the news I was thinking to myself, gosh I will be forty in less than a decade and I still feel like I am fresh out of university - meaning I haven't yet felt that my life has really begun.

I remember years ago hearing my mum bemoaning the fact that she was turning forty, and how it seemed to me to be very important for her to hold on to her thirties. In reality, she was just having de-stressing I suppose, but I must have picked up on the underlying fear that everyone has about growing old. Now, I look at my parents who are over sixty, and think they are still young, both in mind and body. And when I heard about our friend being sick, I thought, he's way too young for that. Not that much older than me.

And I wonder whether we really have any control over the state of our health in the future. How much do genetics affect our life health, and how much is it about our environment, or what we eat? On the one hand, worrying about it all may be self-defeating, on the other, I can't stand to hear about people who know they may be inclined towards certain illnesses but won't do a thing about prevention because of the "it's in my genes, I can't help it" reasoning. Excuses and laziness. I think if you have been advised by your doctor to take care of yourself but you don't, or if you feel something is wrong with yourself and you don't try to find out what it is, you are washing your hands of your responsibility to take care of your body, health and spirit, which are all a gift.

I had a big screaming match with my eldest today before school. As I was preparing her lunch I asked her to get her brush and hair elastic ready so that I could do her hair when I finished. As she walked off she said something about having to do everything, which really made me blow my top. I shouted that she could prepare her lunch instead and I would find her hair things. Anger and frustration made me scream and she was crying that horrible, whingeing cry which both broke my heart and made me even angrier. I told her that if she liked, she could go to school without doing her hair, which I know she would not want at all. Then I told her that she could stop crying about doing everything because in reality, unless I insist, I am the one doing everything in the house.

She will be 7 in October. I felt like such a pathetic and cruel martyr saying those things, and she understood them well enough to feel awful about what I said. But I also felt very relieved that I told her and that she knew what I was doing for her. I know by local customs and standards I may seem selfish and too strict. But I think the sooner a child knows his or her place and responsibility within a family, then community, then the world, the sooner the child learns about being part of a working team. I have very little sympathy for mothers who sacrifice themselves for the family, so much so that they don't seem to exist unless they have a family. I also dislike children who are spoilt and expect emotional service of their parents in exchange for "being cute". It smacks of lazy parentage (eeyer, this Christina is sounding rather like a woman with an opinion).

So why "boiling blood"? Because of my anger this morning, which was partly about having my efforts questioned and partly about having been thinking about the futility of life (we're all going to die anyway, right?) and being angry with the attitudes I have been dealing with about care and responsibility. About knowing that hubby boo is under a lot of stress and yet wanting desperately to force him into taking better care of his health and stress levels. I tend to want to knock sense into people and I know all that really does is shut them down and not want to listen anymore. Patience is a virtue, but I can sense my virtue is all but running out!

Sometimes I laugh because I can see the nag and the harpy that I am turning into.

Maybe if I forget about the housework, get myself some stranger to pick up the kids so I don;t have to get out of bed or worry about time management, stop cooking or even shopping for the house, leave the mess on the floor with the warning that if it is still there tomorrow, it is going in the rubbish, don't make the bed, don't air the house, don't pay the bills and spend my day watching movies and insisting that hubby boo give me money to go shopping, my blood would stop boiling.

That would probably be because if that happened, it would be cold.

Looking for appreciation, warm applause and a word of thanks,



patrickteoh said...

Hi mamasan. It might seem strange that the first comment should come from me:-) But I totally understand what you are saying and I agree with you 100% about how kids should be taught their place and responsibilities. Yes we all seem to find reasons for not taking care of our health much too easily. I heard about our mutual friend. Perhaps that will provide the catalyst for some of us. Goodnight.

mamasan said...

I think it has provided the catalyst for some of us and there are some changes in habit going on. Thanks for your concern Patrick. Lovey C

edwin s said...

Chris, sometimes we lose it and the regret follows. I know it must've been hard seeing how your little one reacted to her usually loving mother. However, we must realize that we are only human and outbursts only help to strengthen and remind us of the direction we need to head to. Yes, a child must be taught so many things and as much as we try not to miss any of the important stuff, we will. It is their journey to continue from the foundation we have laid. You have been a wonderful parent. That much I have seen what with the huge plate you have.

And health, I have no idea of whom you speak, again we can only worry and be concerned but we are not responsible for someone else's choices. Just think about your own.

One step at a time. These are trying times. So try and see how wonderful a life you have been given. You don't know how much I envy and admire you.

love always.

Mimitchi said...

Hi Mamasan,

Please don't berate yourself over the yelling at Pwintheth. It was not only the right thing to do, it was a very reasonable way of communicating consideration for others, and doing one's bit to help Mummy who, literally does everything. I would have screamed similar things.

Only because I have had the joy of having my dear old mum as my mum who, in the same situation would have slapped me across the face 'one time' and said, " You say that again! You say that again!" followed by the cold shoulder for the rest of the day and no making-up hug, or explanation as to what i did wrong.

Once aged 10 or so, I helped her hang out the clothes on our Highland Towers verandah (it's still there - the verandah not the clothes) and she just slapped me and said, "You stupid one-ah huh? You got no brains one ah huh?" and proceeded to correct whatever I did wrong by doing it herself. The question is - what did I do wrong??? And if you don't tell me, how will I learn for the future? To this day I don't know what i did wrong. I know how to do it now, but not from learning from her.

But in a way, i do have mum to thank because she's made me determined to be a kinder, more informative, more loving mum. So I try harder and think more and try to read more as well..

As I type, my 5-yr old is sweeping the floor around me,not very well, to try to gain brownie points. (I yelled at her earlier for making a mess with her Art Attacks - we're constantly being attacked by her art)I guess with work and the little one, she's been a bit neglected. So I've given her a huge hug and a big thank-you kiss. My mum would have said, "don't be stupidlah - you donno how to sweep the floor lah - go and sleep!!"

The moral of the story is:
Your kids are so lucky to have you as their mum!! They could have gotten someone like mine...

mamasan said...

thank you all for your kind words! i'm feeling very stroked-the-right-way emotionally! being heard is one of the loveliest parts of having friends.

Anonymous said...

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mamasan said...

Thanks Anonymous, glad you dropped by. C


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