We are well into the school year and the rhythm is starting to catch on. We are all finding our stride and starting to understand what this year will entail for all of us. I find myself falling into bed at night tired, and looking forward to the one day a week I can sleep in and enjoy some “me time”.
New rhythms take time to get used to! Whether it’s kids back in school, a new job or just a change in how we can do things (insert everchanging Covid restrictions here), change can be exhausting. Foster kids are constantly adapting to changing routines that include bio-family visits, therapy, assessments and respite. It rarely stays the same for long.
Everyone adapts differently and sometimes you don’t even realize you are stressed until you fall apart over something small.
I broke up an escalating disagreement in the basement the other day. One wanted to watch TV, the other wanted to play guitar. They both wanted to sit on the couch. “Can’t you strum quieter?” was the first shot fired.
The strumming got louder.
“Can’t you practice in your room?”
The strumming got louder.
The TV volume got louder.
THE STRUMMING GOT LOUDER
THE TV GOT LOUDER
Some words were exchanged!!
I headed down stairs to referee. They both looked at me defiantly. I wasn’t mad at them. I knew they were stressed even if they didn’t. They just needed me to step in the middle.
Then the TV was turned down and the guitar player left the room to practice elsewhere! Simply settled. No need to make it into something so big.
They just needed some help to deescalate things. Neither were willing to back down until an outside source stepped in and called for change.
Sometimes life is like that. We take a stand on something and we’re not sure why… so we come up with a bunch of reasons that make it sound like we’re justified… and it escalates. Then we don’t know how to change the trajectory we’re on. We are afraid we will look foolish or cowardly if we back down.
Vaccination comes to mind. Whatever your reason for avoiding it was… maybe you just need permission to change directions. It’s okay.
The two kids in my basement had just been asked to have a tough conversation. The past was brought up and the future was discussed. They had to talk about the OtherMother and they were stressed. They just didn’t recognize it until they took it out on each other. They are learning that it’s okay to back down and change. It’s okay to be stressed about something and there are ways to deal with that stress that isn’t lashing out at other people.
My choir teacher used to say he would rather have a person start out boldly in the wrong place than a bunch of people who timidly wait for others and then follow. I think it is true in more places than choral arrangements. Thank you if you were one of those people who took a stand on what you felt was right in the midst of the pandemic. I commend you for being willing. I also want to tell you it’s okay to change. You don’t have to defend your actions to anyone. Be a brave enough person to change your stand and do things different. It’s okay.
We were able to let our kids know there won’t be a change for them anytime soon. They will stay with us. Happiness. Peace. The path to get to this point was tough on them. They will be okay.
In the midst of the mess