Momming Well through Change and Transitions

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Oh, mama …

It’s hard to transition into a new season, amiright? 

Whether you are getting married, preparing to grow your family, headed back into the workforce, or heading towards an empty nest or retirement … change is HARD, whether you want it and are excited about the new season or not.

 

 

Why Life Transitions Are So Hard

 

Life transitions are hard for the same reason everything else in life is hard: Your mind tells you stories about why this or that should or shouldn’t be happening and refuses to accept the present … the right now. 

For example …

Let’s say you’ve felt a deep pull toward selling your house and moving to a new city. You know deep in your bones that this move is absolutely the right move for you. You quit your job, put your house on the market, sell all of your furniture, and get on the road.

Once you get to your new destination, though, things may not go as planned. The job you thought you had lined up falls through. You don’t make friends right away. Your kids are struggling to make new friends, and you have trouble finding a new place to live. To top it all off … your new mattress isn’t as comfortable as your old one. 

And while all this stuff is happening, your mind is going to start chattering away.

“You should have just stayed put.”

“Your friends were right, you were crazy to make a move like this- especially because of the kids.”

“You’ll never fit in here.”

But just because a life transition isn’t going smoothly doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right choice for you. There are things you can do in order to make these changes go a little easier. 

 
 

Don’t Listen to the Stories Your Mind is Telling You

 

The next time your mind starts saying things like “you’ll never feel normal again,” “you shouldn’t have done this,” or “I can’t believe you thought this was a good idea,” say to it: “Thanks so much for trying to help. You’re doing a good job, but you can rest now. I’m going to let my heart take the lead on this one.”

And then? Come back to the present moment and just do the next right thing. You do not, I repeat, DO NOT need to have it all figured out right now. You can’t, and you’re not supposed to.

These negative thoughts are just not helpful. Say that to those thoughts and then ask yourself: “What would be helpful for me to do right now? Then, take one action that is going to take you in a positive direction in order to break the negative cycle.

 

 

Feel the Feelings

 

When you resist the feelings, good or bad ( … but probably bad) that come with a life transition, you’re only pushing against what’s real, what’s happening now. Go to a quiet place where you can be alone.  Take some deep breaths. Close your eyes. While trying to keep your mind as still as possible, let emotions fill your body physically.

If you notice your head taking over and piling on, ask it to stop. Go back into your body and really, really experience what the emotions feel like in your body. Heartbreak may actually cause your chest area to ache. Fears may make your stomach feel like it’s full of snakes. The important thing here is to really, really observe and feel these feelings.

You know what will happen next? The feelings will dissipate, most likely within about 90 seconds. This doesn’t mean they’ll be gone forever, but it does mean you’ve gone through one layer of processing them and lived to tell the tale. And now your mind knows you can do it, and when the feelings come up again, you can simply sit with them and watch them pass by. You can do this.

 

Adorable little girl with mom enjoy fall day in autumn park outdoors

 

 

Life Cycles are Necessary

 

Once you accept whatever is happening now (see a theme?) and acknowledge that life is a series of ups and downs, it will make you feel better— it really will. Tell yourself that whatever happens, you are fine. Transitions are part of life, and they can feel bumpy and messy. Just let them feel messy and bumpy and let go of the pressure to make it perfect. Cry, scream, yell, do whatever you need to do to get it all out!

 

 

Find your New Normal

 

Once you’ve accepted what is and started to process your feelings, you must find your new normal. This isn’t some epic search– it’s more of an allowing. Allowing a new routine to unfold. Allowing yourself to feel vulnerable, to try new things. It’s also accepting that things will not go back to the way they were, but believing you’ll find your way. Put that mind of yours to good use and have it tell you things like, “I’ll figure this out,” “I’m going to figure out my new normal eventually,” or “I can do this.” One day you’ll wake up and realize that you have, indeed, transitioned into a new life and a new way of living.

 

 

You’re Never Done, and You Can’t Get it Wrong

 

Life is much more peaceful if you can expand your worldview from “I’m messing it all up, and life is passing me by” to “What if I’m here as this human at this time just to experience things and play?”

What if you believed you were here to learn and there’s no such thing as “done,” and you can’t really mess anything up? Doesn’t that make you feel more relaxed and confident? Take a look at the pressures you’re putting on yourself to do this life change the “right” way. What stories do you have about it? What do you think you have to get out of it in order to be successful?

You can do this. You can let a new life unfold for you in the most gentle way possible, as long as you get your mind out of the way and accept things the way they are.

Friend, I’ve been there and fought it just like you. I fought it H A R D … and it wasn’t until I took these steps to grieve the transition and grow through it that I was finally able to be content and even thrive through the rough stuff. It is possible, and I want this for you.

 

Has this been a struggle for you? Leave me a comment below about your thoughts and how you will use any of these tips to help you grow through this. You are so worth it … and your family is, too.

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