I’ve always had control. Especially in my own home and with my family. I decide how often to mop the floors, when the kids’ temperature needs to be taken, and what kind of milk to buy. I decide how to sort the laundry and which stain remover to use. I decide what clothes the kids will wear, and how to get them dressed.
But having the kids’ grandparents living here means that I have to give up control over a lot of things. And that’s not easy. There are easy requests like buying whole milk instead of 2% and buckwheat instead of steel cut oats. But then there are harder things, like being told by my doc-father-in-law that my little girl needs to be covered up tight under a thick blanket – when I know that her fever will go down more quickly if she’s not covered.
There are also the trivialities that drive me nuts (and shouldn’t). Like my mother-in-law cleaning the bathroom differently than I would. Or putting the cups upright in the cupboard instead of upside down. Really, it’s nothing. It doesn’t matter at all. But it’s a control issue. And it’s hard to give up control – even on those little things. I find myself fighting against it, when I should be grateful that she’s cleaning the bathroom and putting cups away.
I think I fight against the trivialities so much because I’m already worn down by the bigger things – the interference against something I know my child’s pediatrician would advise. The problem is, a lot of those things are cultural. And when we talk to them about the reasons we do things the way we do, and the reasons our kids’ docs advise us that way, they’re happy to oblige. They’re intelligent people. Reasoning works, and they really do want to have more information. I think I just get tired of having my authority challenged. I’m not used to it, and I’m finding that it’s very humbling to give up control.
Humility is good. But like most good things, getting there hurts.