When my five-year-old is giving me a hard time I turn to the bottle. Not of the boozy kind, but my essential oils.
He's had a rough nine months. His gramps died and I travelled solo to the UK for two weeks, leaving him with his (very capable) dad trying to explain what had happened.
Then we decided to up sticks and move to the other side of the world, away from the world he knew and loved to somewhere strange and unfamiliar.
Where people speak differently, where there are more people and where he gets funny looks for running around barefoot.
On top of that he's started school five months earlier than we ever expected and had to cope with all that entails - making friends, standing out for having long hair, being the only kid aged under 10 who rides a bike to school.
So it's not surprising he has had his emotional ups and downs too.
When I first started using essential oils it was purely for me and my emotional and physical health.
I used the calming oils to help me sleep, the grounding blend for stress (a great one for funerals), the protective blend to help keep me well on all of the long haul travel that followed.
I used the soothing blend and rub to help with my marathon training and enjoyed long post-run soaks in white fir and geranium.
It made sense that I try to help my son with them and I'm so glad I did.
When down a Pinterest rabbit hole I found a blend suggested for when kids had a sore spot or had scraped their skin. They called it Soothe and Ease. You simply rolled it on the place that hurt.
It was a mix of lavender, melaleuca (tea tree) and white fir with fractionated coconut oil to dilute.
I made it and fell in love with it myself (white fir is one of my favourites).
It's my son's special oil. He has it on his bedside table and reaches for it when he's upset.
When I gave it to him I told him it was his special oil, that he could use it whenever he wanted and that it would help him whenever he felt sad, upset and in need of a cuddle (never instead of a cuddle because I believe physical contact is also a healer).
I encouraged him to use it even when he was happy to form good memories of the smell.
And use it he has.
There was one time when he was so wound up that he couldn't stop himself from crying.
He was a mess for about 15 minutes and I wouldn't have been surprised had child protection services shown at our door. I can't remember what started him off but knowing him, it was probably because we didn't give him his favourite spoon.
He was purple from holding his breath so long in between screams.
And so I found his oil and rolled it on his chest and back. You could have almost flicked a switch in him.
Less than five minutes later he was back to his normal happy self, no recollection of being a monster.
It was one of the first things to get packed in his hand luggage when we moved to the UK.
He's used it on the plane, when sleeping in a strange bed, when he's been emotionally upset (usually over a book or toy we left behind) or physically hurt - he banged his head at school and came home asking to use his oil.
He has used more than just his rollerbottle.
Lavender or the calming blend at night on his pillow or in the bath, lemon to smell from the bottle, whatever oil I've chosen to wear as scent he has inhaled.
I wish more mums could experience what we have, there would be less frazzledness at school drop offs I'm sure.
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