I hate transitions. Yep — the Mom that steers clear of the word “hate” because it is an “ugly word” absolutely dislikes (to the fullest) having to transition between things.
You know how your toddler gets when it’s time to stop them from partaking in an activity they are fully engaged in, only to move on to something that they surely aren’t going to enjoy as much, and then they freak the “f” out? That’s how I get too.
What kind of transitions make my blood boil and typically lead to my husband wanting to jump ship, at least for the day? I’ll share…
The morning “get into the car” transition. You all must struggle with this one too, right? What I’m talking about here is that moment when you have to wrangle all members of the family and get them out the door, fully-clothed, shoes on the right feet, backpacks & lunch boxes in hand, ready to catch the boogers that drip when your child unexpectedly sneezes on themselves, without letting the baby fall down the front porch steps as she tries to sprint to the street — and oh yea, do it all with your lukewarm coffee in hand. Exhausted yet? Well, it’s only 7:30am…
What makes this transition so stressful? How about that fictitious deadline of the school bell, which if you miss, means that you will surely be ostracized and looked poorly upon by your child’s teacher and school administrators. “What kind of mother can’t get her kiddos to school on time each day?” How about the mother who is about to lose her sh*t because she’s tried for forty minutes to convince her eldest that all socks (well, most) have seams, and that her life is not ruined because mommy only had her navy shorts ready and not her khaki ones.
The new baby transition. After I had my first child, a precious baby girl, I wondered what in the world people were smoking when they said how challenging babies and kids can be. My oldest was such a good, well-behaved, smart, well-mannered little lady, that I figured I could for sure handle a second child. Boy, was I wrong! Going from one to two children blew my freakin’ mind, and was so much harder than I could have ever expected. Preparing for, dealing with, and catering to one child is astonishingly way different than dealing with two.
What makes this transition so stressful? Let’s start with the fact that if your first child is a girl and your second is a boy, Lord help you. For real, boys are just a whole different ballgame. What else makes this transition stressful is the occasional sibling jealousy from your older child towards your youngest, which will absolutely lead to you putting yourself on a guilt trip for even wanting and having a second child after your A-caliber 1st born graced you with their presence. And oh yea, breastfeeding and pumping while you have a toddler — please just send me to an asylum so I can do it there, as it would likely be more peaceful and productive without a lunatic toddler running around, screaming for my attention.
The date night transition. I have such a hard time turning off “Mommy” and back on “Nicole” when my husband and I go out. It’s like I have word vomit, and the only thing that comes out are my kid’s names. It’s embarrassing.
What makes this transition so stressful? The fact that I torture myself (and sadly my husband) for days prior to our night out, vocally worrying about everything from how our outing might affect the children’s bedtime, to whether or not our children are going to behave for their babysitters, or where we will go on our date, and if that will be making the most of our night — the list just goes on. I literally go back and forth between feeling really giddy and excited at the idea of drinking adult beverages and stuffing my face, to extreme guilt and anxiety over what a bad mom I am for looking forward to and taking a night away from our kids.
The bedtime transition. I’ve shared how “Friday Night Mommy” can be a real witch. Well, ‘Every Night Bedtime Mommy’ ain’t such a peach either.
What makes this transition so stressful? That some nights it practically takes all of my energy and patience to sing, soothe, and rock my littlest (often times for up to an hour) so that she will fall asleep in my arms, only to rise the moment I lay her down in her bed. Repeat that a few more times, and then once finished join my hubby and the older two upstairs for book time, followed by another session of pretend sleeping for Mommy.
These are just a few transitions that make me want to lay on the floor, scream, and kick my legs. But of course, I am a respectable adult (or so I like everyone to think) and cannot do such a thing. So, if you are anything like me and you struggle with transitions just as much as your children, take that as a cue to cut your children some freakin’ slack. We all know that “adulting” is hard but so is “childing,” so give your children and yourself a darn break.