Monday, April 6, 2015

The Benefits of Our Less-Stressed Household

On March 13, the weekly #gtchat on Twitter was about homework.  If you haven't checked out #gtchat yet, please, please do! It's held every Friday night, 7E/6C/5M/4P, and it's a wonderful conversation. Anyway. I somehow managed to come out of a conversation about eliminating homework... with homework. I'm not sure if that takes talent or idiocy, and for the sake of my sanity, I'm choosing not to explore that any further than I have.  All it took was one tweet.

One single, simple tweet, and *POOF* homework. What did I say?

That's what I said. That was it. And from that came the homework, wherein I now get to speak at length about the benefits of a less-stressed household. Granted, the context was around homework, and how having less-to-none will reduce stress in the home, but the end result was still the same.

You see, it's been a strange inversion here at our Mooselandia home. We're suddenly having more good days than bad ones. There hasn't been a day in recent memory where I've wanted to hide under my desk and cry. It's been... peaceful. I know the reason, I know it full well. While I expected the changes for Mad Natter, what I didn't expect was how it would impact the rest of us as well.

For starters, I'm able to get out of bed in the mornings without a fight. Yes, some of that is due to correcting my iron levels, but it's also partly because I'm not actively dreading the day ahead of us. I'm able to take time to kick back and relax. If I need a moment, I can take one. I don't have to worry about what's happening in the living room if I close the door to pee. I can go out during the week with Mad Natter in tow, and not have to worry about his darting out into the street, or taking off after something he thought he saw half a block back. I'm able to cook without worrying about tripping over a rampaging ball of energy, I'm able to clean - at all - without having to wonder if he's going to slip in any drips before I can get them cleared up... I'm able to shower. During the morning hours. Like a real person. I don't have to get up before the sun, or shower immediately before bed. I couldn't do that before, because Mad Natter couldn't be left unsupervised for more than about two minutes, much less the ten to fifteen it takes to get a quick shower in. It's incredible. Freeing. And my doctor tells me I should expect to see some weight loss, too, as the cortisol levels in my blood start dropping due to the lack of continual stress.

For Skeeve, he doesn't dread coming home from work. He's able to get up in the morning and honestly be sad he's leaving us - not that he's leaving the bed (that too, but still), but that he won't be home with Mad Natter and with me. He looks forward to coming home not just to not be at work anymore (who likes going to work all day, honestly?), but to see us at the end of the day. He has more energy for the things he wants to do, which means he is able to meet his introvert needs more quickly, which leaves him more time to do the work he needs to get done, and more time to sleep. Slowly, we're digging out of a chore-vortex we didn't even hope to get out of before. He's cheerful, and more himself than he has been in a long time. It's almost astonishing.

Mad Natter, as far as he's concerned, can think again, and that's the big difference. However, he's also a much sunnier child, a much more imaginative, creative, sweet, affectionate child. He comes into The Big Bed in the mornings and snuggles until it's a decent hour to wake up. We have cuddles, and he pretends to be a baby animal, and we start our day together smiling and  happy. We have very few struggles over schoolwork, over meal times, over what's in his cup in the morning. He stops every now and again to come give me a hug - just because.

We're all functioning better as a unit, and we're all remembering that we really do actually like each other. It's been a huge shift, and I'm working on enjoying it (instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop).