Growing a Family in Uncertain Times
As we say goodbye to summer and hello to Fall, I personally find myself excited about the end of the year. The Sugarman family has undergone a year of change, as we painfully said goodbye to two of our four beloved animals, recently moved, and now focus all of our energy on welcoming a second boy to the family at the end of November!
Preparing to grow our family during the time of COVID brought a lot of hesitation, worry and the need to plan. With so much change happening at once, it is easy to feel as if things are spinning out of control. The following tips have helped me find balance with large life changes during this time of uncertainty.
- Make a plan. If you know change is on the horizon, don’t procrastinate. Prepare now. Change is less stressful when you have a contingency plan in place.
- Find a different angle. Break negative thought patterns. Recognize negative thoughts as they come because once they’re identified, you’re better equipped to shift them to emphasize the positive. For example, instead of, “How am I going to manage my work responsibilities with two kids?” the thought can be tweaked to, “I managed this before, and I will do it again. I am more than competent.”
- Take a “time-in.” With today’s jam-packed schedules, most people don’t take time to process what they’re losing before beginning a new chapter. Rather than ignore feelings with distractions, give your thoughts a voice. Write in a journal, talk with a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist.
- Maintain structure and routine. If you have little ones, then you already know how crucial structure and routine are. Structure is comforting, so the more you can maintain your routine in the midst of change, the better off you’ll be.
- Find comfort in your blessings. Incorporate stress-relieving and enjoyable activities into your day. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s comforting to you — and healthy. Whether you just received a difficult diagnosis or you’re about to grow your family, count your blessings out loud or keep a gratitude journal. Something we do often is share what we’re grateful for from the day at the dinner table.
Change, especially when it is personal and within your own family, can be scary. It doesn’t have to be, though, as long as you plan and get your frame of mind right. I find great comfort and clarity through the love of family, and we can’t wait to meet our “Danny Boy” this November.