Extending grace and understanding

Sunday July 26 2020

Min Atek

Min Atek 

By Min Atek

We would wake up early. The previous night we would have set everything up. We usually left school at 7am and headed out. It was called day out, a Saturday when Senior 5 or Senior 6 students went home on their own. We would go and spend time with our families, go to town and do some shopping and then return to school by 6pm prompt.

When I think about it now, I realise we were being taught to be responsible and independent. For each of my days out, I would spend a considerable amount of time cleaning up my mother’s house. I have always had a knack for super clean places; in fact, disorganised places bother me a lot.

Fast forward, I like to have a clean environment. I demand cleanliness and orderliness from the children in all places and in all corners. I can’t stand a dirty car. I am particular about the way the bathroom and kitchen look and everywhere I live or work, I ensure cleanliness.
The Covid-19 situation has had all of us at home for an extended period. The fact that children are not going to school has compounded everything since we are all in each other’s space, which requires us to make serious adjustments. We have had to devise means by which to co-exist.

One of the key lessons as a picky parent is to extend grace and understanding. I have had to continually remind myself to be gracious in my expectations from the children by allowing them to grow into the place of responsibility as opposed to expecting perfect beings.
I’ve learnt to stop, to breathe and to relax, when work isn’t done the way I expected.
I’ve learnt to get down and demonstrate to a child how to do a specific chore. I’ve had to walk them through specifics and show them how to properly clean the toilet, how to lay one’s bed neatly, how to clean corners that are usually ignored, how to save leftover food and how to be efficient.

While at it, I’ve learnt to stop and let some things go. There are nights I’ve stayed up late cleaning, but there are also nights when I’ve learnt to be okay with a dirty bathroom and let the child sleep.
I told myself, it’s taken me years to get to where I am. In those years, I’ve made many mistakes and done things I’m not proud of. With that in mind, I’ve learnt to smile even in the daily mess of life.