Today’s blog is for all of us riding the seas of change this week and those whose seas are particularly choppy right now. Calm seas are on their way.
A change is as good as a rest.
Is it? Is it really? Has anyone actually found this to be true?
Because in my experience a change is rarely restful. Unless it’s a holiday. I’m talking about major life events here, not changing your socks. A few examples. Moving house. Possibly one of the most stressful things you can do. Nothing restful about that. Having children. Say no more. Said children starting school. Goodbye chilled mornings lazing around in your PJs.
This week has been all about change as Beaver has her first days at school. New routine. New friends. New mums. It has NOT been restful.
I have worried about things like how long it will take Beaver to eat a bowl of cornflakes and how to create the optimum environment in order for her to do this as quickly as possible. No TV. Lots of gentle encouragement (nagging). In case you’re wondering. Because these things matter now that we have to be out of the house five days a week.
This week has also been our wake-up call that change is to be the only constant in our lives from hereon in. That as soon as we get settled, the next phase will be upon us.
I’m not altogether comfortable with this reality.
Perhaps Daddy Pig is right when he says I don’t handle change very well. But then again, he might as well be the one who coined this curious phrase. Because whilst I am ‘doing’ all the change, he is very likely having a rest.
There is no magic solution to navigating change. You just have to get on with it. And get used to it. Obviously. A million people will tell you ‘it will all be ok, in the end.’ Well, we all have enough life experience to know that. We’re not stupid. We’re in denial.
And denial is ok. It’s our protection mechanism. Because we don’t have to instantly embrace change with open arms just because it’s happening. Especially if we didn’t even invite it in. Sometimes, change is as welcome as a gatecrasher at a party. And a really drunk one at that. So it’s fine to have reservations, nostalgic moments and complete and utter fear about what lies ahead.
But it’s also worth remembering that no situation is perfect, even the one you’ve just left behind. With change will come benefits. Ones like suddenly having six straight hours without a four year old asking you where that kitten is. ‘You know Mummy, the one that came with the basket.’ The one that only YOU know EXACTLY where it is. Never mind that you can’t keep track of two real cats.
And, if after all that, you’re still struggling with the idea of change, sleep on it. Preferably for a minimum of eight hours. Ideally ten. Even if this means going to bed at 7.00 PM. Because a good night’s sleep makes everything seem better.
A change is good WITH a rest.
That’s what it should say.
Surviving Motherhood Tip#11 – how to settle your child at school
- Go easy on the Paparazzi. Too many pictures can be overwhelming. It’s a first day at school. Not a movie premiere.
- If your child cries at drop-off, try not to join in the sobbing hysteria. Not only is this counter-productive. It’s also a bit embarrassing. Believe me.
- Don’t be late on day one of pick-up. Likewise, don’t sit outside the school gates for the entire time. Just in case.
- Don’t make friends for them. Even if they look lonely. They’ll find their own way. This is where their true independence starts… we’d better get used to it.