Awwww... come one! You knew it was coming, didn'tcha?
Actually, comings and goings are very appropriate subjects for a blog about surviving large families. Or more specifically, transitions.
Why is it transitions are so hard? Let me answer that with another question. If the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, why do we constantly head off on tangents, especially when timing is crucial? Does this happen in your house too? You know you have to get out the door at a certain time to make it to point B, but despite having roused everyone early so as to assure more than adequate time to prepare, one or several someones hold up the show. Maybe it's a last minute item that needs retrieving, personal grooming to be completed, or more often than not, just plain ol' attitude.
Living this far out, we try to pack as many errands and appointments into every trip to town as we can. Sometimes this means a lot of waiting around. And even though I might not need to be at the chiropractor till 2:00, we may have to leave the house at 11:00 to drop this one here, that one there, and pick up something for so-and-so in between. It can get pretty complicated, and everyone looks to Momster to keep it all straight. Most of the time I do, but usually not too gracefully.
While we've struggled with transitions over the years, we've never really come up with a solid strategy for managing them well. Hopefully, that is about to change. I'm about to implement a new family policy. It may be a little challenging at first (especially for me!) but in the long run it just might be brilliant. It's called Three To Get Ready. Here's how it works:
Every time we approach a transition, whether from one activity to another or switching time zones, if EACH family member would only follow these three simple steps, improved flow will happen.
1) Think about who else (other than self) this transition is affecting.
2) Do everything possible to not hinder them.
3) When you can, do everything possible to help them.
Pretty simple. Some might call it mindfulness, respect, and charity. I like to call it real love rather than lip service.
And since getting ready is what this whole life is about, isn't it about time we take transitions seriously?