Its been almost three years since we went from a family of four to a family of seven overnight, so I feel that I have the authority as a mom to explain why transitions are the worst. Transitions are the worst because:
1. Transitions feel ENDLESS.
There is something about a transition that feels like the things are going to be in limbo forever. It seems like nothing is ever going to seem normal again because the adjustment is so hard. From transitioning a child into your home in foster care to transitioning your kids to a summer schedule – all transitions feel like the season will never end.
I often feel like my anticipation of the transition is often more difficult than the actual transition because I am so worried about the unknown. Something in me just wants to know how hard it is going to be so that I can be prepared. Like somehow knowing how little sleep I am going to get will help or something (Insert eye roll emoji). It won’t help. There is no way to know how long it will take to adjust. We just need to take it a day at a time.
2. Transitions provide opportunities for growth.
Growth. Ew. Like a kid whose body is growing faster than their self-awareness, this can be super awkward. You know what often comes with growing? Growing pains. Stretch marks. It is not always easy. Growth usually makes us uncomfortable because we are introduced to something new in our lives.
Some of my mom heroes have lost a child, are caring for a child with an illness, or loving a child that seems hard to love. We are impressed by people who are enduring a transition or hard time with grace, thoughtfulness, and love. The strongest mom you know is probably going through something impossible. With growth comes character.
3. Transitions are overwhelming.
So. Much. New. Information. A new job or moving come to mind when I think of overwhelming seasons. The times in life when it all seems like too much. Sometimes it feels like the world is closing in because the change makes everything seem so big and heavy.
So, what can we do when we feel overwhelmed? Breathe. Stop. Ask trusted friends for help. Outsource things you don’t need to be worrying about. Take each day an hour at a time. Reassess what you need from your partner.
4. It feels like you have to make decisions you are not ready to make.
I don’t know about y’all, but I am figuring out this whole mom-ing thing as I go. Sure, I read a book here or there. Any advice from other moms I admire are priceless gems to me. But, overall – I am totally winging this thing. So when transitions happen, it is easy to feel incapable of making the right decisions. The pressure (where does that even come from) feels like too much.
So talk it out with your spouse. Get some good solid advice from your mom or an awesome mom you know. Know that you don’t have to do it alone. Find people you trust to be your village. Attend a support group, get involved in your church, or meet up with some moms from our Community & Connection Facebook Group. Know that you aren’t alone. You do not have to try to be the hero. Instead try surrounding yourself with some.
5. We have to be the mom.
Too many days we forget the burden we carry being the mom. We have to keep our act together. The kids’ struggles become ours. Our fears on how they may feel, how to help them, and what they need take over our needs. We are the ones getting up early to be sure everything gets done. Sometimes we fall asleep reading to our kids because we can barely keep our eyes open another minute.
Yes, trying to be the adult can feel like too much. But most days knowing that I am all the only mom these kids have helps me rise to the occasion. Being depended on can be seen as an obstacle or a motivation. Choose to let it motivate you. To work hard. To show up. To not give up. Remember it is all worth it.