Family First Friday #3

It has been a crazy week at our house!!  Tuesday we took little Spike, Spike to the doctor with an acute asthma attack.  We didn’t end up going to the hospital, but we had lots and lots of medications and a follow up visit the next day.  The best part of the drama is that one of the medications they want him to take makes him puke, because the taste is just that nasty.  After I tasted it, I understood why he vomits after taking it.  So we had to figure out how to get him to take it and not vomit.  Can you say chocolate ice cream, anyone?  Of course, because he is allergic to milk, it had to be dairy free and cost an arm and a leg at the local hippy-mart, but we found some tasty stuff.  It worked for two doses and now he won’t even eat the ice cream, even though he knows it is ‘yummy’.  I guess he has associated his yummy with that nasty medicine.  Maybe he will never eat chocolate ice cream again….?  But I am really tired of washing clothing with vomit all over them, his and mine, and cleaning up the carpets, floors, chairs, etc….

He is still struggling to breathe, but it is better.  I am still not sure what his triggers were, though we did rearrange the furniture in the family room the day before his attack.  Maybe that was it.

Speedy came home and shared a new found insight.  He said, “Mom, I have decided it is really great that we come from such a big family where we all like each other and enjoy spending time together.  I have met so many people in the last week who come from smaller families and cannot stand their parents or their siblings.  They just don’t ever want to be around them.  It is so sad.”

I had to agree with him.  I love hanging out with my family!!  We have a blast and I really like my people!!  But I am pretty sure that just because we come from a large family doesn’t necessarily correlate with liking each other.  We have put a lot of time and effort into our relationships.  (And for those of my children who periodically have an attitude about one or more of those relationships, I plan ample opportunities for them to practice improving those relationships!  One of the boys, I actually told that if he didn’t learn to get along with a particular brother, he would have mission companions just like him, and he did……..but their relationship is better now.)

An example of how we periodically manage sibling relationships
They were actually happy in this photo and wanting to help one another.

Yesterday I spent most of the day helping little, little people.  A family in our area had their third baby yesterday so her two little ones were at my house for the labor and delivery.  Wow!!  I forgot how fast a house can be destroyed by a few little ones.  While you are cleaning up one mess, they are making a new one.  Of course, Spike, Spike did not think it was very cool that there were other little people here taking up my time.  For about 1/2 an hour, I added two more littles to the group…that was crazy!!  Anyway, all went well and everyone ended up being OK and having their needs met, and they were picked up before the missionaries arrived for dinner.

Here is a thought for stress management:  When you are feeling rather stretched to your limit, take a few minutes to free write on a piece of paper.  Just write anything that comes to your mind, or any feelings that you have.  Don’t worry about trying to make sense of them or to write something coherent.  Just write and write and write until you feel like you have put it all out there on the paper.  As you look it over, you will probably realize some new things about yourself, maybe some feelings you are having that you didn’t realize were there.

Make some choices.  Chances are there are a few things on the paper you can do something about.  Make a plan to manage those things or a time to make a plan (for instance, on Monday, I will figure out how to manage [blank]).  Chances are, there are also things on the list that you have no control over.  Turn those over to God or give the responsibility for them back to the person who they belong to (i.e. if you are worried about your grown daughter’s health and she has to be the one to make the doctor’s appointment, stop stressing about it and let her do it.  If she chooses not to, that is her choice and her responsibility.  Let go of that stress.  You don’t need to carry it around.)

Take a deep breath and change the things you have some control over, and let the rest go.  Easier said than done, but with practice, you’ll get better at it.  Just looking at this post, I can help my children to have better relationships with one another, but I cannot always control whether or not my baby is going to have an asthma attack (unless it happened because I rearranged the furniture….).  But I can control my response to his asthma attack and if I am going to follow the prescribed regimen for his condition.

I had better go now.  There are a few things on today’s list, that I do have control over and need to tend to 🙂  Have a great week!!  And remember, family first, always!

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