Theme for April: Change
Things don’t stay the same. When my kids were babies I couldn’t wait for the first time each one slept through the night, said the first word, or took the first step. Now I find myself holding my breath each time a new phase in my kids’ lives enters my world. Wondering what that will mean. (Of course it is all about me.) From no longer needing my hand to cross the street to borrowing the car keys. From moving into a big kid bed to moving into a college dorm. Change. Different. Inevitable.
When we brought our oldest child to college there was a mixture of excitement, anticipation, and fear. Did Tom and I equip her with the practical life skills she will need? Will she make good friends? Will she be able to hold firm to her faith and values without daily, physical family support? What will happen when she’s tempted by… well…temptation? When will this hole in my heart and lump in my throat go away?
We have moved three of our four kids to college. The wounded heart reopens and the lump returns with each departure. The questions and uncertainty resurface. (While writing this tears are stinging my eyes and I’m asking, “Where are the tissues?”) Change in life’s circumstances requires an altered response.
A friend of mine has sent her two boys off to school. With a few tears and a wave she readjusts then redecorates. Her boys’ bedrooms now function as a workout room and guest room. She knew the rooms at my home still look the same (only neater than when occupied daily).
What I am learning is each family deals with change differently. Some slowly, others rapidly. Neither way is wrong. But no matter a new normal changes day to day living. So whether your child is going to be going off to Kindergarten or to college next year, adjustment will be part of the menu.
Parenting Tip: The best tip I could pass along is to make sure you have a life too- a life that doesn’t only revolve around your kids. Spend time with your spouse and friends. Continue to build those relationships and grow your faith as you raise your children.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.