Children & Change: What our kids can teach us about resilience and fun
Well, hopefully, we’re moving. We’re putting our house on the market.
I told my husband last night that I’m scared of not knowing exactly what is to come. I’m sad that this part of our life is ending, but also excited to see what this new phase brings us.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen. What our next house is going to look like, if it will be set up the way I want, or whether we will have to adjust any expectations we are trying not to have. While my overwhelming feeling is excitement for what is to come, part of me grieves the loss of all the time that has passed.
This almost 100 year old home makes me crazy with its quirks: no dishwasher, having the refrigerator in the laundry room instead of the kitchen, and just a weird overall layout. But through all the frustrating parts of this home, there are more good memories than bad.
My husband had bought this house and moved in 5 days after we had our first date. We had our first kiss there. We did our first home improvement project there. We came home to this house from our honeymoon. We brought our two beautiful babies home here.
My mixed feelings about leaving this home and moving into another feel very similar to how I experience each development stage with my children. I once told someone I think that, within every stage of our child’s lives, there are easy parts and hard parts. They were appalled that I would say there were parts of parenting that I did not enjoy, but I think realistically it is hard to love everything all the time.
It seems that just as we begin to figure out and enjoy where we are at with things a new phase starts, throws us off track, and we have to readjust. This is where we adults have trouble sometimes. We resist change. We have trouble going with the flow. We struggle with communicating what we feel about new changes, or maybe we don’t even feel like we have a right to complain.
Our children seem to be a lot more resilient to these changes. Why is that?
Children live more in the moment. If they like something, they let us know. If they don’t, they let us know. No hard feelings. It is what it is.
Children have more fun. They love to play. They love to spend time with their parents. They love to laugh. They love to sing and dance. They love what they love as long as its fun to them.
They’re not afraid to express their feelings. If they’re sad, happy, angry or scared. We usually know. It’s good to take in their feelings, acknowledge them, support them, and then they can more easily move on.
So, why can’t we be like that? Why don’t we just accept that things are different, whether we like it or not?
It’s impressive to watch children rebound in the moment. Time to leave the playground? “But, Mom, we’re having fun!” They react. They make their upset known. And, then they move on to the next thing, because there’s always something interesting and new around the corner. And, because they have you around, they know that in this moment, they’re okay. And that’s good enough for them.
We really could learn a lot about managing change from our kids. Life is full of fun moments, but it also has its scary and not so fun moments too. But, in the end, we will all be alright.
So, this time, with this big change on the horizon, I’m taking a cue from my kids. I’m going to surrender to the change and find the fun in it. I’m going to cherish the memories we’ve already made because there’s fun in that too. And I’m going to trust that we’ll all be alright, because we have each other and that’s what really matters.
If you are having trouble adjusting to a major life change, or even just the almost daily changes that can come with parenthood, contact Catherine O'Brien to learn about how to receive the support you need.