Hi Marina Magdalena here from the Mum Show!
When the “Tour de France” hit Yorkshire ,the Shire went CRAZY! Driving through the dales all you could see were villages smothered in spotty bunting, old bikes spray painted yellow and hung on walls, and welcome signs – lots of welcome signs! My already bike obsessed family couldn’t wait to get involved – and because I can literally make a celebration out of anything, (I even celebrate this fact about myself) I booked us tickets to a big stately home to watch the start of the race, opened by none other than William, Kate and Harry! It meant sitting on deck chairs to save our spots with 2 small children at 4am. It was ridiculous and hilarious, but the Magdalena’s had caught yellow Jersey fever.
So there we are – huddled in together, surrounded by 1000’s of people with a long road stretching before us and 1000’s more people lining the other side. We could see their expectant faces, eyes dancing with delight as any minute the Royals would drive down in huge Range Rovers followed by some of the worlds greatest cyclist. The atmosphere was buzzing and yet all that could be heard was a low chatter of excited conversation. I was thrilled with how my plan was coming together, until my Mum tapped me on the shoulder (yes, I even convinced my parents to come) and said, “Marina, you might want to deal with that…”
I looked down to see that my gorgeous three year old had chosen this precise moment to drop his pants and fire a perfectly arched wee to the 1000’s of spectators on the other side of the road. Thank the Lord he fell short of spraying anyone by literally millimetres. But everyone was watching. First him, then me, to see what I was going to do. But what can you do? There is no stopping a weeing toddler mid flow!?! And there was no other space for him to direct it. So I just had to stand there, awkwardly watching my child urinate the path that would soon be welcoming Royalty and athletes alike!
I remember at the time going bright red, getting this huge lump in my throat and feeling mortified that I was the mum letting her kid wee in the middle of the crowd. I felt every ounce of shame, I as good as wrote it on a tee shirt and wore it around for a few hours. But that’s crazy right – he was 3, you can’t have a toddler without a toilet story, and anyway, I wasn’t the one dropping my pants! The truth is, this day happened right in the middle of my “take it personally” season. Because for a while I remember wearing all of my children’s mis behaviours, turbulent emotions and struggles.
If my child was hard work for you today – I am SO Sorry! If my child was being grumpy – I am SO Sorry. If my child wouldn’t take turns on the slide – I am SO sorry! But the problem with all of my apologising and shame absorbing, was that I was missing what was really going on. I should have been saying, “My child was hard work today?…(turn to my kids) hey, sweetheart, have you had a hard day? Tell me all about it.” Because ultimately I am here to help my children navigate their challenges, not stick it on a shirt and own it for them! And the truth is, that is the kindest thing we can do for them.
My kids will mess up – and I don’t mean urinating on royalty, cause bless him he was 3! They will mess up and surprise me and face all kinds of challenges. But now, thanks to the grace of God, their Mum will be fine. They don’t need to worry about me falling to pieces or taking things personally. Instead, I can get on and do my job, which is simply drawing close and loving them through it!
The Mum Show airs on GOD TV on Mondays at 9pm. It is produced by the Promise Collective, founded by Marina Magdalena and features child therapist, Emma Browne and Life Church leader, Clare Hooper. Click to watch the Mum Show now on demand.