This week’s 365 post is a double. Back to School did a number on us this first week, and I never got to make my 365 post last week. Read on to find out why…
Today was not a great day.
We all made bad choices. We all acted selfishly. We all lost our temper with each other. In fact, I spent most of today counting down the minutes until bedtime. I definitely didn’t want to look for magic today with this project. No, today I was done. D.O.N.E.
I’ve neglected self care in the name of my to-do list, I gave up my upcoming “off” morning to help someone else, I said yes and took on more work when I was feeling overwhelmed. The big kids are struggling with the back-to-school routine. They are tired, not just physically but emotionally as well, from having to spend all day listening and following so many new directions and on their best behavior that by the time they get home, their wells are dry. Their cups are empty. Just like mine. And my youngest struggles with change, especially in routine. This week put her whole world upside down- and next week it’s going to happen again when she goes back to pre-k. She’s having accidents, she’s acting out, she’s been completely uncooperative.
But I realized something, as I paused tonight before cooking dinner. Really paused, in a way I haven’t done in a while. I noticed my youngest playing as I walked past, breezing from room to room, from one task to the next. She sat there, quietly (maybe for the first time all day) and in full concentration as she built a castle. Fully present in her moment. In control.
All this acting out is a desperate bid to feel in control of something. Anything. Even if it’s just being in control of getting in trouble. I went into this week knowing my older two were going to struggle as we adjusted. I knew they were going to come home with empty cups, and I made a mental note to try to be a little more understanding, a little more empathetic. (I’m not saying I’ve been successful, but I’m trying) What I didn’t do was factor in the stress my youngest would feel from this change. She doesn’t like feeling out of control. This is the kid who will fight you tooth and nail if you tell her it’s time to put on her shoes- to the point where I’ve buckled her into the carseat barefoot and brought shoes along to put on later- but if you change tactics and simply ask her which shoes she wants to wear instead, she will happily put them on herself. This is the kid who needs 15 extra minutes factored in before leaving the house because she needs to do it all herself; if you try to help she will dig in her heels and refuse to budge.
I knew the kids actually going to school this week were going to need some extra grace, but I didn’t realize everyone else would need it just as much.
Here’s the rest of the week- full stories are on instagram.