What if your whole life has been stable and then change happens? Because it does that, you know. It happens. It doesn’t matter if you lived in the same house, went to the same schools, and had the same friends since you were born. Eventually you move out, whether it’s to pursue your education or a career, or just to spread your wings out on your own. Without hesitation, change happens.
You can either be ready for it, and meet it at the door when it comes knocking, or you can cower in the farthest room of the house and hope that it doesn’t notice you curled up in that dark closet.
And, if you’re a parent, how you handle change will be the guide for your children.
In my young years, there was not a lot of change that came from my parents. We were a pretty stable family, doing the same thing day in and day out. That was a good thing for the most part. Outside of my home life, things got changed up a bit. And as I got older, I created change in my own life. But without guidance, it was all very terrifying.
When I was 9, I was devastated when my best friend moved to Vancouver. I thought my life was over. She was gone. I cried for what seemed like weeks, but was probably only a few days.
After graduating from high school, I didn’t go away to school because the thought of leaving home terrified me. I never once considered the benefits, the fun, the new experiences that going away would provide. So, I stayed at home and went to school locally. When I finished school, I felt a little more like spreading my wings. All my friends had their own apartments and I was still living with my parents. I may not have been happy about the change of scenery, but I disliked being mocked by my friends because I still lived with my mom and dad. So, I got my own place.
I remember visiting my parents one night after I moved out. I went into my old room and lay down on the bed, wondering why I had left, wishing I could turn back the clock.
Now that I’m older and have experienced countless changes in my life, I look back on it all and realize that all of it was good. There were some painful-in-the-moment emotions related to changes, but they soon settled themselves and the change became the new normal until the next change.
And with kids, there is so much change. The first year at home with a baby was life changing, the next two years with a toddler in daycare and all the scheduling and changing and reorganizing that went along with that—that was another big adjustment. Then the second baby and the absence from work again, home with two kids, then school for the first one and daycare for the second one and back to work for me. Then a different daycare in a different neighbourhood, a different school for a different program, a second job for me, contract changes for my husband, and so on and so on. And it keeps changing. Every day, every week, every year is different. And each time I have faced these changes, I have been terrified for about a split second (in the grand scheme of things), then I remind myself that this is not the first time I have had life turn upside down on me and I’ve gotten through it with barely a scratch. And this won’t be the last time.
Change is good, right?