Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Out With the Old, In With the New

Right now, our family is going through a lot of changes. We had a big garage sale last weekend and got rid of a ton of things we're not using anymore—including the black sweater and most of the baby stuff, since my youngest is one now and hardly a baby anymore. 

We recently got the exciting news that we're going to be on the home reno TV show "Leave it to Bryan". We've been scrambling to get organized and arrange childcare in time for the filming, and our property looks like a demolition zone.

And, in just two weeks, my youngest will be starting daycare and I'll be going back to work.

As parents, we spend a lot of time creating and enforcing rules and routines for our children. Mealtimes, play times, bedtimes...their little lives are governed by these daily routines. So when they need to adjust to new circumstances, we worry. What if my baby hates her daycare? What if my eldest is too young to stay at her grandmother's house for a week? What if, what if, what if.... 

The funny thing is, kids have an amazing ability to roll with the punches. It's the parents who find it hard to change.

After my first mat leave was over, I remember dropping my eldest daughter off at daycare for the first time. When she saw that I was actually leaving her there, her little face crumpled and she started to wail. I beat it out of there and barely made it out of the room before bursting into tears. 

For the next few days, every time I dropped her off, she'd cry. I felt horribly guilty for leaving her—until a kindly staff member said to me, "You know, she only cries for about five minutes after you leave and then she's fine." Huh. As it turned out, she wasn't pining for me all day. And soon, there were nothing but smiles when I left for the day. That actually hurt a little...for me, that is.

Sure, my baby is probably going to be upset when I drop her off at daycare for the first time. But it won't be long before she adjusts to this new reality—probably faster than I'll adjust to our crazy new routine of dropoffs and pickups, full-time work and scrambling to fit some fun into the evenings.

Change can be scary, because it means letting go of what you know and embracing uncertainty. It often means moving out of your comfort zone in search of something new, different, better. But whether you like it or not, change is inevitable—and in parenting, it's the only constant.

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