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Growing a Family: A Survival Guide

Transitions in life can be incredibly daunting, even if the transition is one you purposely chose and eagerly anticipated. Growing a family is a major transition, and each new baby or phase or stage requires the compassion for self and others that allows for (many) dropped balls.

It’s true that a few of those balls will shatter, but most balls will only bounce ― providing lessons in perspective and priorities. What we’ve learned through messy experience is that anything goes when it comes to getting through stressful life transitions.

Skip folding the laundry. Ask for or hire help. Pause the workouts. Lean into PBS Kids. Decide that yogurt qualifies as an acceptable dinner. Turn a blind eye to the crumbs that carpet your car. Drop your preschooler off in his pajamas; he doesn’t care. Reevaluate whatever it is you previously thought you’d never do and conclude that exhaustion is a compelling reason to lower your self-imposed standards. Keep going ― living on caffeine and a prayer ― and let non-essentials slide. (You’ll be in excellent company with every other parent who’s ever lived.)

We’ve collected a few key survival skills from our team, ways we’ve simplified the overwhelming to make space for joy and thriving:

Makenzie says: “Find a go-to meal that is easy for the days you don’t want to cook.”

Mare says: “Give yourself grace for failings... because they are certain.”  

Eliesa says: “Two words: grocery delivery (or pickup).”

Cassie says: “Freezer meals.”

Hadley says: “Dry shampoo is my link to reality.”

What are your parenting hacks or survival skills for transitions? We want to hear!

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