Written by contributor Emily McClements of Live Renewed.
We’re nearing the end of summer and heading into fall, and that always seems to be a transition time for lots of families. Our family has already been through a lot of transition over the past few months. From finishing one job and starting another, to spending ten days on vacation (which is a good kind of transition!), and my daughter starting preschool this fall, we’ve have a lot on our hands and on our minds these past few months!
Although I won’t claim that our transitions went completely smoothly– we’ve definitely hit some major bumps in the road– there were some things that really helped us through our transitions, and other things that as I look back I wish I’d done better.
So whether you’re in the midst of transition right now, or looking forward to a busy time in the future, here are some ideas for helping ease your family through times of transition.
1. Meal Plan
Transition times are crazy and stressful enough without coming up on dinner time and having no idea what you’re going to eat. Meal planning helps a busy family do the dinner thing as smoothly as possible, saving your time, sanity and money – when you don’t have to run through the drive through because it’s 7pm and you’re all starving and have no idea what to eat.
During our transition, I’ve gone through periods where I haven’t meal planned at all, and times that I’ve done really well with meal planning, and the times that I meal planned were definitely more peaceful for my family and less stressful for me.
2. Daily PlanningPhoto by Simple Mom
Going through times of transition can throw you way off of your normal routine and schedule. Rather than trying to stick with something that doesn’t work or fit with your life any longer, instead try to focus on making a day-to-day plan and schedule.
Whether doing it the night before, or every morning, planning out your schedule and most important things that you need to get done each day will help you to stay on top of stuff and as productive as possible.
I love the Daily Docket from Tsh at Simple Mom, and also the Daily To-Do List from Mandi at Life…Your Way, (both are offered as free printables), and I’ve used both at different times. This time of transition has been extremely busy for us, so I really like Tsh’s idea of choosing three MITs, or Most Important Things, for each day. There have been days that I was just trying to survive, but the MITs helped to keep me on track with what was most important for me to get done.
3. Routine Cleaning
The reality is that you’re probably not going to be be able to keep a perfectly clean house during busy seasons, at least that’s the reality for me. But, on the other hand, having a somewhat tidy and up-kept home helps to decrease stress and anxiety during these busy times.
I’ve definitely relaxed on my cleaning routine these past few months, but I still have my daily seven things that I try to get done each day, which help to keep me from loosing my mind, and my keys, and keep my home running as smoothly as it can. Figuring out what your most important cleaning tasks are, and letting the rest go, can go a long way to making it through the transition times.Photo by Emily @ Live Renewed
4. Family Time
Sometimes when families are in transition it can seem like everyone is going in a different direction all day long and that you don’t really get the chance to connect. No matter how busy you might be, scheduling in some regular and purposeful family time is so important for keeping your family bond strong during these times.
We just got back from a ten day family vacation and it was so great to take some time away together to relax, play, spend time with extended family, and just enjoy ourselves and each other away from the stress that had become our daily grind. It also helped us to recharge and come back ready to take on our upcoming transitions together.
You don’t have to take a family vacation in the middle of a transition, in fact you might not realistically be able to, but you can make sure that you have specific time together as a family, to reconnect and recharge, on a regular basis.
5. Remembering it’s Just a Season
There have been times over the past few months that I have just barely kept my head above water, and while I really dislike being so crazy and busy, I had to keep reminding myself that it was just for a short period of time, and that the season would pass.
It’s sometimes hard to remember when we’re in the thick of it, but most seasons in life are just that, seasons, and they will come to an end. Somehow recognizing and reminding myself of that helped me to make it through.
And now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My daughter starts school in just a few weeks and that is our next transition to hurdle, but soon our days of transition will become a thing of the past, as we look forward to getting into a fairly regular and easy routine pretty quickly. (I hope!)
What do you find most helps your family to weather times of transition?