The Madness of Anticipating Transitions

‘The first year goes so fast’

‘Just wait until they are in Kindergarten’

‘oh! You’ll see when they are teenagers’

‘You blink and your kids are in college’

How often do you hear these statements from well-meaning Moms remind you how quickly it goes, and how nothing with your children stays the same. As practical human beings, we know this. But there is so much focus for you, dear mama, on the madness of anticipating these transitions. Instantly we are taught that the moment is here and gone and that nothing we can do can alter that truth.

These blips of transition are what make up our moments of Motherhood. But if we are so busy anticipating these transitions and the quickness of it all, we condition ourselves to miss the most important parts.

Now as the diligent women we are, we try so hard to prepare the best we can. We read the blogs and the books. We talk to our friends, our parents. We begin to brace ourselves so that we can know what to expect.

And you know what? We never out prepare the emotional shift that happens as each transition occurs. So much of what we plan out in our heads never comes to cross. So much of what we think we’ll need or how we think we’ll react never gets tested.

So what about all that time spent anticipating transitions? Is it really for not?

As I sit here days away from expecting my third child, I know that it is. I have spent countless moments during this pregnancy anticipating the arrival of my third born. I have wondered how my other children will react. I have played out countless scenarios in my head of how my children will respond toward the baby’s birth. I have focused time (lots of time) on how hectic this transition will be for me. I have played out 100s of scenarios in my head that will never occur in my real life – but I have convinced myself I needed to ‘prepare.’ And so I anticipate the complete unknown.

Has society convinced me that if I don’t prepare mentally, I will fail as a Mom? That if I don’t know the sex of my baby that I can’t welcome them into this world? Or if I don’t anticipate losing my mind I will be blindsided if I have moments that I do?

Why can’t I just sit back and take each moment of transition as it comes?

What brings me back every time I notice my thoughts spiral into my impending anticipation is remembering that this self-created head space is just not real. The only thing that matters is the moment I am in with each of my children is how I respond in THAT MOMENT ONLY. The only thing that is real is the love I have for my kids and that I truly aim to do my best.

It doesn’t’ matter how many friends I consult on their transition to 3 children or how many times I google ‘when will the baby be born. The only thing that gets me through each transition is being present for them.

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