Intentional Change

As a SAHM with a child who sometimes has behavioral challenges, it’s easy to get into a rut, especially after a bad day. Yesterday was one of those days. It started off positively and I felt good that I was able to coerce a friend—another SAHM who needed to get some work done on her home business—to let me watch her little boy, who is about a year younger than my younger daughter. He was the perfect gentleman guest; it was my daughter who had issues with sharing that later (mostly after he left) turned into an hour-long scream fest. If you have kids on the SCD who experience behavioral challenges you know how anxiety provoking the flip from Dr. Jekyl, to Ms. Hyde can be. This tantrum, which included aggression and belligerence, did not last nearly as long as they used to before the implementation of the SCD. And I do think that my daughter’s behavior has regressed since she had the stomach flu last week. However, my inability to successfully navigate the tantrum, and my exceptionally slow recovery from it, has led me to make some changes in our schedule today.

First, I should say that my girls are home for Spring Break, and that it has gotten unseasonably cold and rainy, so going outside is not really an option. I should also say that we homeschooled a few years ago and will be coming back to that next year, so I often approach our days in an educational way—even during Spring Break :).

The first challenge we’ve had in the last few days is that my younger daughter is eating about eight or nine times a day, including three breakfasts. Of course, kids with malabsorption disorders often eat more frequently, and larger amounts than their peers. However, I think that she’s making up for all of the weight she lost last week during the stomach flu. Keeping up with her non-stop demands for food, and her pickiness about what I offer, has been a little stressful.

So, this morning I made her a much larger breakfast than usual, all protein, which isn’t unusual for her on this diet. Regardless of what I offer her, she most often chooses the protein and ignores the carbs, no matter how hard we try to get her to eat.

Then, at breakfast, the girls and I discussed today’s schedule and activities. We decided that after breakfast and morning chores, first I would do some activities with my younger daughter, while my older daughter had some time to herself. Then, we would switch. This is a real blessing for me, because I’ve been trying—quite unsuccessfully—to find time to work on this blog for weeks.

The key for my younger daughter to stay engaged is that all attention be on her. No criticism please. I know what works for her; and I know what doesn’t. I know what works for her at school; and I know what works for her at home. And if I want to have any hope of spending time on a house project, blog writing, paying the bills, cleaning, etc., she needs to have a significant amount of one-on-one time first. And sometimes in the middle of whatever it is I’m doing :).

So, we decided that we would do flower related activities. Based on the fact that she loves to pick flowers from our garden and take them apart, this is what we did: We assembled flowers by using straws for the stems, colored tissue paper for the leaves and petals, and yarn for the roots. Since she has some minor issues with fine motor skills, tearing and rolling the tissue paper was good for her. I put two-sided tape on the straws, she stuck on the leaves and petals, and we tied the yarn onto the bottom for the roots. Beautiful? No. But she had a great time and was excited to give the flower to her sister after we finished all of our activities.

After making the “flower,” I let her cut pictures of flowers and vegetables/fruits out of gardening catalogs to paste into a small book that I put together out of white construction paper and brass clips. Again, using the scissors was great for her fine motor control. Then I wrote the names of each item under its picture. Now she and her sister are upstairs using that book and paper dolls that they made to play school.

Granted, it’s early in the day, and life changes from one minute to the next. But in this moment, I am thankful for a successful morning, especially when as a SAHM, it’s hard to feel a sense of accomplishment. Thanks for letting me share this with you. And I hope you’ll share how your intentional changes create success for you and your family.


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About LivingLaVidaMama

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Formerly, I've worked in publishing and been a medical student. Currently, I'm a freelance writer and copy editor, and full-time mom with two exceptional daughters. LivingLaVidaMama focuses on intentional frugality and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that has dramatically improved my younger daughter's autistic-like symptoms. Contact me at MadForWriting at