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5 Strategies To Help Your Family Through Times of Transitions

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 Planning

Photo 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?

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14 Comments

  1. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    I love this. It’s finally dawned on me this summer that when we are going through a busy time at home, I need to fight the urge to skip cleaning the house because I “don’t have time.”

    I feel so much calmer and together when the house is neat and clean (reasonably so, we’re not going to be in a magazine or anything like that!) The time I spend on this pays me back exponentially in my sense of peace and well-being, and I really think it makes a difference for my kids, too.

    Planning and perspective are also so important to me. When I’m overwhelmed, I just want to go, go, go–but I accomplish so much more when I sit down and plan ahead first, whether it’s meals or the daily to-dos.

  2. Stephanie - Green Stay at Home Mom

    I love it when I’m good about my daily cleaning routine, although we had a recent kitchen disaster that messed up all my routines. I’m finally getting back to it all, and it feels good.

  3. Tiffany

    Great ideas, Emily. We moved three months ago and I took the liberty of not meal planning “since we just moved” and our grocery budget blew through the roof! Now that I’ve got my meal planning and cleaning routine down, things seem a little more normal. Thanks for the reminder that to keep things normal, you have to do some normal things!!

  4. Jo

    Thank you for the tips. We moved couple of month ago, and we’re getting there (fixing everything, and feeling at home)

  5. Sarah L.

    So timely for me … we are going through a difficult transition right now (living with my in-laws until we can get moved into our new house and hubs is heading back to school to teach after a crazy summer), and all five tips are very helpful ideas to keep things running as *normally* as possible. Thanks for the post!

  6. Anna

    I love the way you organize! it’s amazing, I’ll take it to my family with no doubt!

  7. Isabel Singh

    I totally with you Anna. I first saw the organized part on her post. And i love the daily planning outcome. It is very inspiring thought!

  8. Kyle Anderson

    I really appreciate this article that you have shared with us, we all know that the most important things in life is family and the relationship, as i read this article it proves that live life into the fullest.

  9. Vicki Wilson

    This is a good list to help a family go through a transition. At home routine cleaning is not a problem since the kids are big enough to do household chores. I only made sure that they do what is assigned to them and simultaneously teaching them how to be a responsible person. What I found difficult is planning the meal in a very tight budget. There was a time I forgot to plan a dinner that everyone becomes crazy it turned out to be my nightmare. Lesson learned now I made sure I have a planned meal for the week.

  10. Erin

    Definitely the best way to prepare for transition, this can save my family from a lot of troubles 🙂

  11. Virginia Nelson

    Perfect way to achieve good family relationship, by this transition family is like a strong hold, once they bond perfectly no one can destroy them. i really appreciate this idea you have shared.

  12. Ron

    It is very good to have these strategies to help your family in going through transitions. I guess that it is very important to have a very good plan and have a nice bonding time with your family.

  13. Jerry

    Such a perfect way to have fun with your family, developing your bond and helps to know your family member better. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Hizon S.

    Hi Miss Emily!
    I so love your example. I admire the strength you have modeled upon us on what a family really is.
    That is what family is for. In times of hardships, a family must help out and solve the problem as one. In times of happiness, a family shares its blessings with each member. A family cannot leave one behind, each individual must act as it is imperative instinct we humans are, to help one as a unit.
    The basic unit in a society lies in the family.
    I remember a saying here:
    “A family that prays together, stays together.”
    Happy Blogging!
    Hizon 🙂

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