A phrase I often dread having to say – “sorry we can not make it today my kids need a day at home to relax.” As a mom of 2 kids with sensory processing disorder this is often followed by me crossing all my fingers and toes and hoping that I have not upset another mom and hopefully not lost another mommy friend.
In the first 2.5 years of my daughter’s life this actually happened a lot. We did not know that she had spd but we did know that for whatever reason she needed lots of downtime at home. I learnt early on that she would not eat or sleep when out, she hated strangers holding her and do not get me started on her reaction to a group of noisy babies. Yes I ended up losing a bunch of friends as they felt I was just being over protective and anxious. But then they did not believe me when I said she would only sleep for 25 minutes at a go before waking up distressed, they did not sit in doctors rooms after doctors rooms after doctors rooms hoping to get an answer and never actually getting one. I felt like such a failure.
But now we know. We understand that she has spd and that even as a baby she hated the feeling of milk going down her little throat, that she listened to every little sound when we went out and could not filter anything out so understandably she would get overwhelmed at a drop of a hat.
Now even though I know and understand this I still hate having to cancel plans. I am lucky, I now have other mommy friends with kids with spd and they understand. I can not put into words the comfort when one of these lovely ladies messages me back saying – “we know, we understand, been there, don’t stress we will reschedule.” Thank you ladies!
The truth is home days are vital for my two. Sometimes it is because we have just crammed too much in and they start complaining that their ears are hurting from all the noise or my son is permanently covering his eyes while we are out.
But this week it is a bit different. The kids spent most of the weekend with their dad at home playing but I was not here. I was out for most of Friday and Saturday and that one simple change has resulted in total sensory meltdown. I am normally with them day in and day out. When they start battling with being overloaded I am the first one they turn to. I am their comfort and their security. Please do not get me wrong their dad is amasing he really is, but he works so he is just not here as constantly as I am. As my daughter’s occupational therapist explained to me a few years ago – when a child finds her/his world overwhelming they crave routine as a way of dealing with all the uncertainty – this definitely applies to us.
So yes today we are having a home day, today we will read, paint, bake and play in our garden, we will have lots of fun but it will be in the security of their home and with me so they can relax and unwind. And tomorrow we will be ready to face the busy world again.
Just in case you are a mommy with young kids with spd can I please encourage you and say that as my two are getting older they are getting better at managing their spd and we are getting out more and more and not having as many home days as 2 years ago. In fact around 3 years ago we often would go out one day stay at home the next day. Now we only do one day at week at home and that is really for my youngest and even then we often end up going to a little coffee shop near us or to a local farm around the corner.