Opening Your Arms to Change …

And How to Stay Sane in the Midst of It 

 

Article By Judy Mosley


Life can change at any moment. Sometimes you get a break.  You can know when something important is headed your way.  Other times, change can knock the wind out of you before you had a chance to get out of bed.

 

The biggest change that our family is working through is learning how to live with a new person in the house.  Our little Katie came into this world on July 22, with chocolate colored hair and big blue eyes.  We knew that bringing her home would transform the dynamics of each person in the family. We just didn’t know how much.

 

There’s more work, obviously.  A little less sleep for the grownups.  But … we’ve noticed that our (now) middle child has had more difficulty accepting this new change/new person that’s entered our world.  It’s made all of us rethink how we are going to make it through the day. 

 

All of us are learning to:

 

1. Accept that change has come.

There’s no turning back.  There’s nothing we can do to make things the way they used to be … not that I’d want them to in this case in the least.  But it’s taken some maturity on my part not to expect things to happen the way that I want them to because of the added interruptions that one more tiny person can make.  Being calm in the midst of chaos has been an important key in doing what’s required of me to do in the moment.

 

2. Be willing to change our minds.

After seeing the new behaviors my middle child was adding to her repertoire, I realized that I (and my husband) needed to respond to her differently.  We needed to throw some old tactics out and open our imaginations for new ones.  That included talking to her differently, and making sure that we spend time with her, since she is no longer the baby in the family.

 

It’s very surprising how enterprising you become once you take out other options when they no longer work for your current situation.

 

3. Take care of ourselves.

For me, that means being honest, 24/7 when I am talking to my husband about how I am feeling.  It means taking care of my most important need whenever the opportunity presents itself.  It could be anything from taking a shower, to eating, to staring at the wall for a few minutes.

 

Letting your mind float for a while can set a lot of things straight, if you let yourself sit there and be in the moment.

 

4. Take the chance and try to do things normally.

When my husband first went back to work, I was scared.  I really didn’t know if I could make it through the day without someone or something getting damaged.  But he had to work and I needed to see that I could do what I needed to do as a mother.

 

And we made it.  Evening still came.  My husband came home and I eventually made it into bed.  Today, I took the kids grocery shopping.  I wanted my other two children to see that we could still do things together.  It just meant that there was another person along for the ride.

 

Sometimes, we need to witness our own resilience in our current situations to realize that we are stronger than we had at first believed.

 

5. Let go of expectations.

Being home is wonderful, but being a mother of three is hard.  It hasn’t been an easy shift to make as a family.  Even now, there are toys and dishes everywhere that I wish would disappear once I turn my face away from the computer screen.

 

I know that for a while, things won’t be normal, or perfect, or even peaceful. But I also know that they can still be joyful.  

 

With every day that we walk through, we will learn that things are okay, even though they may not feel like it at the time.  And how we feel right now is not how we may feel in the next moment.  It really is a gift that time continues to move forward … and when we let go of how we think things should be going or how we should be feeling … we can see our life in the light of truth.

 

And we can still have joy in the midst of it all.

 

“When I was a young man, I didn’t think about having a family.  My wife and I were too poor to have babies.  Then all of a sudden, one came along and scared the hell out of us because we had no money. Once the baby arrives, you make do somehow.  You fall in love with the baby and life adjusts itself. You find you don’t need as much money as you thought.  When that happens, you can ask the questions that should have come before the baby.”
-Ray Bradbury

 

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Posted on 4 August, 2009 in Finance & Family, Parenting
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