30 July 2015

Not Fine Friday...The Dreaded Hormones

The Dreaded Hormones

Maybe I was supposed to know this was going to happen.  Maybe I was supposed to be prepared, but when your independent, free-spirit, happy go lucky child starts crying all the time, having separation anxiety, and begins taking naps again, it's hard to explain the shock I felt.

Julia will be 8 in December.  I know this girl like the back of my hand.  We are together all of the time.  She is your typical extrovert.  She is sweet, loud, funny, and always the life of the party.  She can make it sunny during a thunder storm.  But the past 2 weeks she has been different.

It all started at a girl birthday spa party.  We had a long week at Vacation Bible School and one of Julia's closest homeschool friend's Olivia (her mom Bianca was one of my close child hood friends) and I knew Julia was tired.  The party started at 5:00...Julia was so excited!  She got dressed up (even though it was a pajama party) she brought her sleeping bag, and her American Girl doll Rebecca.  The girls were going to get facials, manicures, pedicures, eat dinner and then watch the newest AG doll movie.  At 8:30 my cell rang...Bianca was so surprised because she is used to Julia being bubbly and by that time Julia was weepy, "I miss my mom, I want to go home, please call my mom to come get me."  Not a problem we live 3 minutes away and I planned on picking her up by 9:30/10 anyway.

But what surprised me was that she said she missed me.  We were together the whole day.  I asked if she had fun and she did, so why on earth would she want to leave the party before the movie started?  Anyway I let it go...and then came Sunday...

Sunday is family day.  Always.  No exceptions.  We went to church.  We cleaned the church afterwards, and then we headed to the Lambertson's house to swim in the pool and eat dinner.  John and I planned to go out on a date Sunday evening and my sister Sara was coming to babysit.  All day Julia kept asking us, "But why do you have to go on a date?"  "Why mom? We are supposed to be together all day?"  I explained that we would be together all day and then at night John and I were going on our date case closed.  She asked at least 3 more times throughout the day and kept harping on it, and really making us feel guilty that we wanted a date.  "I miss you mom, why are you going?"

I don't get it.  I'm a stay at home mom.  I see her all day long.  All. Day. Long.  I'm always home.  We are always together! John and I really needed to get out and have a date and be together and she was making me feel so bad about it.

So my sister comes over and Julia barely says hi to her.  And Aunt Sara is literally her favorite person in the world.  Julia! Aunt Sara is here!  Say hello!  Come over here.  She walks out of the room!  Then I called her back in and she sat down at the breakfast nook and we had a chat...then the tears came..."Why do you have to go?  It's dark out!  You should be home.  How close is the restaurant?  How long will you be gone?  Will you kiss me when you get home?"  Hysterically crying!

That's when I had my Aha (God) moment.  This girl is changing...it has to be hormonal because nothing else has changed.  So I sat her down and we chatted.  I explained that what she was feeling was completely normal.  I explained that girls have these hormones in their body that make them happy or sad or confused sometimes at the weirdest moments.  (The movie Inside/Out really helped)  I explained that it was ok to be nervous or upset but that everything was ok, Aunt Sara was going to be with them, and that bedtime would be the same routine as always and that we wouldn't be long.  I told her that as she grows these hormones might make her feel sad or anxious and that it would be good to talk about it.  So she cried some more and explained how lately she just doesn't want to be away from me, especially at night, that she feels safer at home, and that she just wants to know we are going to be close.

The hard part of being a good parent is knowing when to push your child and when to just comfort and coddle.  We hugged it out and then we went out.

Sara said she went to be fine, so that was good, then Wednesday night happened...

This past Wednesday, the Dimares wanted to take the big kids to Six Flags Great Adventure.  This would be their first time and Mark was so excited to go.  They were supposed to go last year but RoRo had a birth to tend to and had to cancel.  I could tell Julia didn't want to go...who doesn't want to go to six flags?  I kept telling her about the rides, the cotton candy, showed her pics online...nothing I said made her want to go.  "Mom I just want to be with you."  "Mom it's going to be dark."  "I have a head ache."  "My stomach hurts."  Finally at 5:00 I lost it.  "Julia, you are going!  You are not sick, you are going to have fun, and you need to tell yourself I am going to have a good time, I am going to have a good attitude."  At 6pm when the Dimares came to pick them up...she was hysterically crying.  

I was so tempted to keep her home, but I knew the minute Mark got home she would regret her decision and be jealous she didn't go.  So my gut told me to push her to go.  Oh, I felt horrible.  My kid is hysterically crying and I am making her go to Great Adventure.


Roe texted me about 5 minutes later and said the tears stopped and she was totally fine.

When they finally got home at 10pm Julia ran in and said, "Mom, we had a GREAT time!"  Oh, what a relief.  It felt good to know that she came out of it and allowed herself to have fun even in the midst of her anxiety.  Lots of prayer has been over this child lately.

I knew having daughters would be rough with all of the emotions and hormones but I didn't know it would happen so soon.  I keep feeling like I have no idea what to do with this kid.  During the week she cried at VBS on Monday and Tuesday, so we took Wednesday and Thursday off and just stayed closer to home.  She was crying in the bathroom at crossroads church both days...and no one knows why.  I think because she wanted me to hurry up and pick her up.  

I've talked to several moms with older daughters and they confirmed that third grade is the year of coming of age in a way.  Girls become more aware of life and death.  They start realizing that people you love sometimes die or get sick.  They start to understand the world in a bigger way and from a different perspective and things that they normally enjoyed doing now may seem scary or overwhelming.

So I am taking it day by day.  Today was a good day for the most part.  But that's because we were home all day in her comfort zone. Tomorrow we venture out into the world.  Sometimes the world is a scary place.  I keep reminding Julia to pray during those moments.  And I tell her to ask God to give her peace.

The thing is when your child is suffering, you suffer.  When they are struggling, you struggle.  It's my job as a mom to make life wonderful for her and it kills me to see her so sad, and nervous, and  sensitive.  I just want her to be okay.  I want her to be happy go lucky again and to not worry so much.

And to think...we haven't even hit puberty...


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