Do I risk putting my kids in an environment that will cause them stress? Not when they are already having a hard day.
Today I was so bummed to have to stay home from church and a family party. Two of our little ones woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I had just bought a new outfit the day before and was eager to wear it.
Yes I could rush them through their mornings, throw them into their class at church, and then go through nap time and into a late lunch and throw crowds into the mix and you will have some anxiety induced, tired eyed, overstimulated meltdowns. Hmmm, sound like a good idea? Part of me wanted to risk it and tell myself there was a slight chance it could go well. The reasonable side of me decided with our already busy week ahead that maybe I should protect my children and myself from the stress.
I feel in constant battle with the question how far do I push them when they are having a rough day? There are appointments I just can't avoid and then the days when all is well and the sensory struggles sneak up on me. On them really.
After my husband left with half the kids I had a few at home and we ate lunch at the dining room table. It was quiet and I think we all needed it. It was much less stressful to handle the fits at home in our typical environment than out in public.
Once they were down for naps I was able to have quiet time. Wow, I hardly do that! Sitting in bed, reflecting, writing, and having time with God I realized how little I pay attention to my own cues. How important it is that I am able to digest my own responses to the stress of the world in a way that I can give myself breaks and keep a steady pace.
Today's battle, not fought, but won. We chose to not go out into battle when they were clearly having a hard morning but rather rest and gather and get some much needed down time. Before we decided to stay put I was wrestling with the idea- would I regret going? Once I am out running around for the day...would there come a time when I would wish I stayed home and listened to the prompts from my kids? Yes, most likely. But the other question that brought more peace- would I regret staying home and giving my kids the environment they need? No. Absolutely not. Well, there it was. The decision was clear.