As parents, we are often aware of how moving from one activity to another, or one stage in life to another can be really hard for our kids. We may give them lots of support in these times of transition and loads of extra love.
BUT WHAT ABOUT OURSELVES?
Transition periods can be hard for EVERYONE. Not just children. But when we grow up we forget about the impact these points can have on us. And we sure as hell don’t give ourselves the extra love and support we need in those times.
The thing is though that as an adult, and especially as a parent, we often go through MORE transitions in a shorter period of time.
Recognizing these moments for what they are will allow for easier transitions. This means less stress and less fighting!
So, how do you ease these transitions when they come up?
Here are 3 small strategies that go a LONG way when moving through a transitional period.
This is HUGE. Knowing when you are about to transition or if you are in a transition and giving yourself the space to move SLOWER and not faster, will more often than not, be all that you need.
A favorite artist of mine once said, “Rushing is violence.” That stuck with me and has such truth. If we are making a conscious decision to just move slower, it will go a long way.
I like to practice moving slower by walking from place to place at a slower pace, or paying attention to my breath and taking long, slow, intentional breaths.
Catch yourself in the moment
Let’s be real...You’re going to fail. You’re going to have a moment this week when you don’t pay enough attention to how you feel or what you need and you’re just in “GO MODE”. Then something will happen when you are moving from one part of your day to another and you’ll get short tempered and things will feel hard. Sometimes, it's too hard. That’s just being human and it’s ok.
What I like to do is learn from these moments. It’s the best thing we can do for ourselves. To take advantage of these moments of humanity, learn from them and try better next time.
When this happens for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- What transition you were going through? (What thing were you moving from and what were you moving to.)
- How did you feel going INTO the transition?
- What triggered you to loose patience or “snap”?
- Where could you have stepped in sooner?
Food & Water
Eating healthy throughout the day and staying hydrated goes SUCH a long way. When we are nourished and our bodies are taking care of, we simply have more in us to give.
One example of this for me….
I used to go pick up my kids from school and was miserable and short tempered. I would rush from work to school, often not having eaten or drank water and would arrive at pickup completely empty. We’d get home and I would yell pretty instantly.
Now, I didn’t realize this was happening at first. At first, I said things like…
”My kids are driving me nuts.”
“After school sucks.”
“Kids at pick up are the worst.”
I took no responsibility over my own control of the situation.
Now, after school DOES suck and kids at pick up ARE the worst sometimes, but I am responsible for ME.
So, I thought about it as the week went on. I tapped into my body before school each day and I thought about how my body was feeling. (That’s always my starting place when things go wrong)
I realized that it wasn’t that I needed more coffee. (Why do I always think that’s the answer?)
I needed more water. I needed a healthy lunch. Then I was fueled and setting myself up to be my best self.
Did I still yell sometimes, yes. Did pickup still suck sometimes, yes.
But it wasn’t because I was depleted. I was doing everything I could for me in that moment and even if my kids were still a shitshow, I had set myself up as much as I could to deal with them compassionately and patiently. And I got to model that for them, which over time goes a long way.
This parenting thing is tough.
We deserve all the love and support we want as parents and need to practice not cutting ourselves short. It’s not selfish. You’re not talking up too much time for you. And you need support to do it.
These things are what will ripple out and change your day and your connection to yourself, kids & community.
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