My latest post – a few months ago….I know. My latest post was focused on how to navigate huge transitions with a large family. Newsflash!!! Transition rarely goes as planned! Tips, and pointers that helped us (albeit temporarily) navigate a move from Michigan to Utah.
Well, let me just say….things don’t always go as planned.
We aren’t even in Utah anymore! How’s that for planning that transition?!?
Here are a few things we didn’t – and really couldn’t – plan for:
- Kids having anxiety about a new school
- Mom struggling with meds (or lack of meds) and needing adjustments for anxiety, ADHD and depression.
- Dad finding a job that was mediocre
- Dad finding a new job in Idaho – requiring more transitions
- Hating where you live, moving out, hating where you live again and struggling to go from day to day just to survive until one final move – out of state – back to Idaho where we call home.
Now, you could say some of these could have been planned for. I knew my youngest school age child would struggle with school, but I didn’t expect him to need Mom or Dad every day to stay 20 minutes until he’d settled. I also could have planned for needing med adjustments, but I honestly thought just moving out of Michigan would solve all my problems, including my mental health struggles. BOY WAS I WRONG.
So what can you do when things don’t go as planned?
How do you navigate change then when facing what seem like monumental challenges? I don’t actually know because I don’t feel like I’ve done a great job. I do know a few things that I believe will help though:
- Take time for yourself.
- Make sure you validate the feelings of your kids.
- Give yourself grace. It’s not all going to go smoothly every day and that’s ok.
- Seek help if you’re really struggling. I did not do this, and I feel like my mental health took a huge blow and I struggled much more than I needed to. As we have settled into life in Idaho – I have sought help and began counseling. While I sought counseling for a number of reasons, it has been immensely helpful in finding myself again, and working to be my best self for me, for my husband and for my kids.
- Help others, serve, reach out and seek to lift others. For some, you may be struggling too much to help others, but for others maybe this is what will be the biggest help. Serving others can lift your own spirit immensely.
It is possible to have a positive outcome despite unplanned challenges.
I feel as I sit here and reflect on the last 10 months since we left Michigan I’m left with a number of feelings. Would I change things? Probably. Am I happy with these changes? Absolutely. Had we not moved to Utah, we’d not moved back to Idaho where we want to be. Have our kids struggled? Absolutely – particularly our oldest two. However, after having been in Idaho for just a short 3 months I am happy to report that everyone loves it here. Everyone is excited about new friends they’ve made, they love their schools (for the most part) and we all look forward to spending time doing things we loved when we lived here previously. Kids are resilient, and as long as you keep the line of communication open with them, transitions don’t have to be the end of the world for them. And if it’s you that struggle the most with transition, seek help, support and self-care. It’s so important for Mom and Dad to be healthy and in a good place mentally before helping their kids navigate those big emotions that come with huge life changes.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I’ve learned things aren’t going to go as smoothly through a huge transition as I would like all the time. Let me just share this with you, so if you’re ever in need of help making transitions with your kids or family maybe you won’t make some of the same mistakes we did!