Friday, 6 September 2013

Too Much Fun Can Be Bad For Your Sanity

The last few weeks we have had far too many of these kinds of incidents happening, both at home and when out and about. Skye has seemed highly strung, anxious and difficult. Constantly. It has made the whole family feel tense and frustrated and honestly it has not been fun to live with. It had reached the point where I was wondering if this was more than just a phase, I was beginning to wonder if there was some kind of behavioural issue we needed to identify.

Really I just needed some kind of validation it wasn't my crap parenting. 

I wanted to be able to say "It's not me, it's you". 

Going on holidays... so hard.
I mean really what is Skye's problem? She gets to do a lot of fun things. In between Preschool and swimming lessons and weekly visits from my mum there are regular play dates with friends and trips to the beach, we make play dough and cookies, we read stories and dance along with Giggle and Hoot.

Living the dream if you ask me.

Catching big fish... so hard.
But sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. 

All this fun business was just so... busy. 

The daily outings and seeing people had become the norm, the expectation. It was addictive too, the more we did, the more Skye wanted to do, and the less grateful she became. No matter how much we did, it was never enough. 

I was just so tired.

Tired of making plans.

Tired of taking two small children and all of their "stuff" out every day.

Tired of hearing cries for more, longer, better.


Then it dawned on me. If I was this tired, surely Skye was tired too? 

She is 3 for crying out loud. Why is she the one deciding how much she can cope with? 

That's MY job!

I had to regain control of the situation and give all of us the downtime we needed. It wasn't doing Hayden any favours being ferried around and pulled in and out of the car all the time either. So last Monday I cleared the calendar and made it a home day. The kids played, I cleaned, we hung out in the sunshine whilst I pegged out the washing, BOTH kids had a proper afternoon sleep and there was a whole lot less whining and tantrums.

It was boring and it was exactly what we needed. 

Skye doing herself a mischief on Tuesday night meant there would be no swimming on Wednesday either which gave us another chance to spend the day at home. I had thought about calling some friends and making a play date but quickly thought better of it. Even though Skye was calmer, Hayden was still being a right little twerp what with all the teething he has been doing and I just wasn't up to dealing with his grizzling somewhere I couldn't just knock him out put him to bed when I needed to. 

Teething baby... so shitty.
So once again, we spent the day doing very little and I think we all benefited from the total mundanity. 

Of course I still had to pull rank on a couple of things, (I wasn't trying to turn her into a robot!), but there was far less aggression and anxiety and power struggles. There was a lot more use of manners, a lot more listening and most importantly, we enjoyed each others company far more than I think we have in weeks!

It was a valuable lesson both Skye and myself. Our days don't need to be filled with activities, in fact, trying to have at least one day a week to catch up on sleep and each other (and the laundry!) can help set a more positive tone for the whole week. At the risk of sounding like a wanker, it was great to be able to focus my attention just on Skye and Hayden and really see where they are both at right now. I feel like I miss a little bit of the detail when I am so distracted by all of the constant "doing" and it was a relief to shut it all out for a while.

No one ever died of boredom, but sometimes there is such as thing as too much fun.

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