The stress factor.

Stress is a part of our every day lives.

When you have a sick child stress can reach a whole new level.

I am stressed at the moment.

I know I am really  worried when insomnia comes to pay me a visit. Wipes it’s muddy feet on my doormat and sets about to stay for a while.

Not my favourite thing about stress because after a few nights, I tend to turn into this snarky, snarly zombie mother, that I don’t like very much and, it seems, neither do the other family members.

I know this because of the wide berth they give me…

Oh boy.

In my defence, all my kids and my husband have little…quirks when it comes to handling stressful situations

Immy cries.

This is a kid who is mature beyond her years and stoic to the end but when it all gets too much –  she howls.

At anything.

Snail on the lavendar patch?

Sob about it. Snails don’t like salt.

No wait, that’s leeches.

That’s okay, we don’t like leeches  either, they are sniffle worthy too.

Socks don’t match?

Tears make it easier to find the wayward pair, apparently.

Maddy cleans.

If ever I need a clean home for whatever reason, all I need to do is create some stress (joking, friends, joking) and my floors, bathroom and kitchen will be spotless.

I can hear some of you asking why this is a bad thing…

She starts her cleaning frenzy early.

Really early


when others don’t join in her OCD scrubbing whirlwind she gets even more stressed.

It’s a vicious circle.

Actually, she is the child I gage the stress factor for the whole family. She really doesn’t cope at all and I think this stems from the times her own twin was in the hospital and she was left with Grandma. She busied herself back then and so it is her fallback to clean now.

There you go, I’m a psychologist on top of everything else!

Who’d have guessed?

AJ becomes clingy.

Mal regresses in his behavious.

Lily withdraws and I’m lucky if I can get a sentence out of her.

Noah (being almost 3) looks for reassurance and suddenly requires a human teddy bear to be able to sleep.

Dave (my husband) is actually alot like Lily and withdraws into himself, which is fine, except when I am stressed I like to talk things through.

No wonder I am viewed as the crazy woman when I am seen to be muttering to myself or the closest inanimate object.

Little Ivy has this thing we call ‘the mantra’. It is a monotone chant of “errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” over and over again. Sometimes there will be words in there…

“Errrrrrr errrrrr errrrrrit’smybirthday,happybirthday,it’smybirthdaysooooooooon. Errrrrrrrrrrr” 

 you get the picture. Often she will do this while rubbing a feather boa through her hands. It’s weird but it’s her coping mechanism.

It’s just her thing and, like everyone elses little stress quirks, we have learned to live with them.

Aside from not sleeping (and apparently my sarcasm switch turns up a notch and I like to use the word, apparently) I eat.

Yep but not just anything.

I eat cheese Twisties.

I crave them.

The number of times cheese Twisties have saved my sanity this year, I’m not sure but I know my now elusive waistline does not thank me.

The thing I have found is that, even though we cope in our own way, and I feel like the crazy family while times are hard, when the stressor is gone and we are all together again we have this great way of debriefing as a family that brings everything back normal.

We call it the ‘laying low like a lizard’ phase, where we don’t do or say much. We just sit around on the big rock bed and soak up the sun and each other’s company

and we laugh.


It’s what works.

I know, there are lots of healthy ways to deal with stress, I have done many courses and seminars in relaxation but it seems we revert to our natural instincts, no matter our good intentions. At the end of the day, what seems important, is that we are all in this together and help each other to get through the tough times.

Even if we are fit for the looney bin by the end of it!

So, how do you cope with stress?

What do you do to relieve it?


Also writing about life with seven little Australians at Three Ring Circus







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