Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Soul Fever

I'm not sure why I didn't connect the dots sooner, but I suppose that's kind of the way it always is: Hindsight is 20/20 - even in parenting.

We've now entered Week 6 of our Summer Schedule and as I've mentioned before, Collin and I are still struggling a bit. Specifically, we're still trying to figure out how to fit a work-out into our day.  We were in such a good routine before this schedule change and so this has been disappointing. I anticipated the kids having some difficulty with the change, Keaton in particular since it meant no longer going to school three days a week and attending swim lessons and t-ball (each once a week.) But the first couple weeks went pretty well and he loves being at Busha's so I figured he just fell into this new routine seamlessly.

Then a few weeks in I started noticing meltdowns and him getting easily upset over what would usually be a small thing.  On top of that reports were coming home from Busha's of a "rough day".  Not what we like to see, we like Busha's reports of a "grrrrreat day!". But yet, I didn't connect the dots.

Maybe we're in a downward cycle with him, I thought. I've heard kids go through a cycle each year with good behavior prevailing for about six months followed by not so good behavior for six months. I've seen this hold true in the past with our kids.

Maybe it's me, maybe I'm not being a good enough mom, I wondered.

Maybe he's just a brat.  I hate to admit it, but yes every once in awhile this thought crosses my mind. (In Keaton's defense it crosses my mind with ALL of my children, not just him.)

Maybe, maybe, maybe...

And then last week I received an email from The Nourished Home, a parenting website, that was titled "What I do when my kids get sick" - I didn't have any sick children but I read it anyway.
  • suspend the normal routine,
  • slow down,
  • keep them close,
  • give them the nurturing and nourishment they need to recover, and
  • we'll return to the normal routine once they're better.
And then Laura asked:

Do you follow this same process of slowing down and suspending routine when your child is out of sorts, overwhelmed, or emotionally distressed?

And everything started to click.  Keaton wasn't sick, not physically, but he was, as Laura described "emotionally off kilter" he had a Soul Fever.

I mentioned to Amanda that I thought I needed to stay home with the boys this weekend and she responded, in regards to Keaton, that yes, he is a homebody.  

I never thought of him that way before but instantly more things were clicking.  The comments following our trip Up North about it being good to be home, him constantly declaring his love for our new house (and his hope that this one won't also burn down), his constant questioning that we aren't going to leave this house, right Mom?

Home is such a secure place, especially for children, and we hadn't been spending enough time here.  Our new schedule took us out of the house on three different occasions during the week, weekends, like summer weekends tend to do, were quickly filled with activities. 

Suddenly, I was connecting the dots.

So I canceled all of our plans.  We slowed down. We spent the weekend at home. We read books, made pancakes, did art, and played outside.

As I sent the kids off yesterday morning I held my breath, hoping it had helped.  Upon their arrival home I received my confirmation - it had been a grrrrreat day!

For now I breath a sigh of relief but I know I need to be ever vigilant in watching for the signs creep up again because a Soul Fever, it needs just as much love and care as a physical fever.  


Tracy Over said...

Hope it gets better for you all.

Em said...

Where's the "Like" button? This post really hit home for me...a Soul Fever, indeed. Nice work putting together the pieces on this one, Mama. I am going to tuck this away for my own reference, for sure!

Amy said...

This is really good to know...we are often always on the go, I prefer it that way, but never thought about how it would affect my daughters behaviors, interesting!

CLAREW said...

AMEN!I'm sure it was a contagious one at that. Aaron and I talk about it all the time too, how we try to pack in all these fun plans when they are just so happy at home (which warms my heart. Hope you had a great weekend!!!!

Kristal said...

Thank you for a great reminder!