Things are changing quickly at my house. My 11-year-old is preparing to begin middle school at a new building with new classmates, my husband has started a new job as owner and operator of our own family business, Bryce is transitioning to a big boy bed in a brand new bedroom, and I am 26 weeks pregnant with our third child! Life is a whirlwind of change.
Everyone is finding their own way to deal with the changes happening so quickly around our house. And even though everyone’s coping technique is as unique as them, we are dealing with all the changes together.
Although Ethan said he thinks he might get lost in his new, bigger school, he’s most concerned about figuring out how to open his locker. (It’s funny, because I remember that being a huge fear of mine when I first had a combination locker!) We purchased him a combination lock to practice so that when he begins school he can feel confident in his ability to open his locker when he needs it open!
Owning and operating a business has been a huge change for all of us to learn to cope with. Geoff is working longer hours, Ethan is spending the summer learning the ropes of the new business and helping out wherever her can, I am learning to deal with having very little control over something that is affecting us hugely—financially, mentally, and time wise—and Bryce is figuring out how to adapt to spending extra time at the new building during the occasional Saturday there: playing, eating, and even napping in a whole new environment.
Transitioning to the new bed and bedroom has honestly been one of the more trying changes for everyone. We began by just transitioning Bryce to a toddler bed (his same crib and crib sheet— just with one side of the crib off). We all worked together to change the bed and talked about how he was going to sleep in his big boy bed. He excitedly laid down that first night and fell straight to sleep (just like he had been doing in his crib for months). I was excited and thought that all of my research and preparation for the change really paid off. Boy, was I wrong. The next month yielded a nightly combination of tears, screams, and cries. We often consoled him and reminded him it was time for bed. Between the cries and the consoling, he would spend time dumping out tubs of toys, or emptying dresser drawers. The night usually ended with Bryce falling asleep on his floor by the gate we had to put in his doorway to stop him from visiting us in the living room, repeatedly. We maintained his nighttime routine and continued to support him through the monumental change that he was going through. The dedication paid off and he adjusted to the toddler bed and his new found independence in about a month. Only then, we threw on another twist. We moved him to share a bedroom with his big brother. This change went much smoother. It included a new bed, new sheets, and a whole new room. I think understanding he had support from his parents and brother helped this big change to be smoother. Plus, he really likes his new sports sheets!
Expecting a new child is obviously a monumental change that will rock the whole household. We have been working on preparing for the change by talking often of the baby and letting Bryce meet and interact with other babies. We have been reading books to him and encouraging him play with baby dolls. As my belly grows and the house shifts and rearranges for the arrival of the new addition to our family, I know his little mind is having trouble fully understanding what is happening. I can only hope and pray that Bryce feels as comfortable and confident as Ethan does this time around with the arrival of another little one. (Last time Ethan found out we were expecting, he cried and was upset about the news—I think a part of him felt like we wouldn’t have time for him anymore). I hope that Bryce will see that mom and dad have enough love for all their children. I hope Ethan will support him in coming to that realization, just like he had to.
Change is constant. Some change is easy, some change more difficult. All changes, big or small, affect us in some way and everyone adjusts to change differently. Learning to support each other— yes, even the smallest of children are affected by change—individually is key. Try to understand where the concern or fear is coming from. Offer a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on when it is needed. Celebrate when the change is worth celebrating. Most of all, as change happens, embrace it as a family. It makes it a little easier when you know you have others supporting you, through good or bad, 110 percent!