Transitions: Processing Life’s Big Changes


The last two years have been full of interruptions and changes – all across the world. There is no question about it. Some of the interruptions in life are inconvenient and painful, while some may have been devastating and life-altering. No matter where you are within the scope of life, you have been going through and you will go through transitions.

One of the largest transitions you will encounter is what brought you to this blog- you became a mom! You are a mom or a mom-to-be –whether biological, foster, or an adoptive mom. Congratulations! You may have been mentally preparing for this transition for a while but when you are in the thick of it, it can be very difficult and sometimes chaotic despite your best efforts.

Families and transitions: A little boy, pictured with his parents, holding his mother's hands

Each life stage change has a beginning, middle, and end that we all can use as markers for exploring how to process this change in our lives for the better. Although the following list is not comprehensive, here are a few ways you can engage in the transitions of your life.

How Do I Feel?

If transition was thrusted upon you, this one may be harder to figure out due to the nature of shock and adjustment to the change. If it was planned, you may have had an opportunity to think through how it would impact you and what emotions may come with it. Take some time to take inventory of how you are feeling and what feelings may be coming next. You may even be exhausted from emotions you have already had during the beginning of the change. Until you allow yourself to feel your feelings and/or name the feelings, you will not be able to adequately express what the moment of change has done to you.

What Is Really Happening?

After we take inventory of how we feel, it is also important to be careful not to allow our feelings to cloud our judgment and reality. Many of us have had life-shaping experiences that have caused us to view the world in a specific way while also impacting our response to transitions. To be hopeful, you must find a way to see the bright side or silver lining even around the darkest of clouds. Navigating change means you have to figure out what is really going on.

Change is inevitable, but how we think and respond to it sets the course for how we persevere through it and what next season looks like.

Who Can I Trust? 

Transitions always involve a person. Whether it is a boss who lets you go, a loved one who is no longer here, or a relocating for life or career, there is no doubt an agent of change in your life. Painful change can cause us to reevaluate who we really can count on in times of crisis. If you know your “ride or dies,” congratulations. You already have one of the most important parts of change navigation, support. When you reexamine the people in your life, be careful to not burn bridges over a broken heart or cut people out of your life because it’s easier to move on than face forgiveness. Know your inner circle, your “tribe” and lean on them in reasonable and specific ways so they can help you practically in your transition.

What Do I Need To Do? 

Moms, this question is already hard-wired into our brain. When we make choices, we are not just making choices for ourselves, we are making them for our family. It is the beauty of selflessness that comes with motherhood. Although others may be depending on you, clearly communicate what you need during this time and share what you are thinking about for the future. If your children are old enough to process your thoughts with you, invite them in. One of the strongest ways to build relationships with your children is by showing them that you are human and you are willing to be transparent with them. Showing vulnerability does not make you weak. It shows them you are real and that they can be real with you.

This is a quick guide to help you bring your thoughts into focus as you figure out what has happened, what you are going through, and how you want to move forward so that the transition becomes a transformation in your life!