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  • Writer's pictureTina Huggins

Another new normal…

My grandson started attending childcare several weeks ago as his mother began her new job. She and I have been readjusting our morning and evening routines now that she is out the door early in the morning.

As adults, new normals have become a way of life from our college days of freedom and flexibility…to structure and independence with the first job…partnership with give and take in a marriage. A new baby completely upsets everyone’s apple cart from parents…to siblings…to grandparents! It takes a family…extended family…and often outside support to come together and help everyone adjust to a new normal. The ebb and flow of life requires flexibility… tweaking… and readjusting to change. Change isn’t always fun…it can be down right hard…frustrating and scary!

Our first day with Colton (my grandson) in childcare began with the expected tears…out stretched arms and outburst of loud crying. Turn

quickly and don’t look back…is my modus operandi! Out the door in the car praying that the crying has ceased…returning in the afternoon to discover he had quickly quit…so it was actually more for affect than actual discomfort! He had a wonderful fun day of play…he ate things he had never eaten…played well…and taken a nap (though briefer than the one at home). So I’m thinking…ok…home we go, where life will be joyful in normal surroundings. Well, not at our house…what happened…it was as if the wheels fell off the bus…nothing tasted good…temper tantrums never seen before…where did our sweet Colton go!

For the whole first week…we struggled…what was going on…everyone was on edge…my daughter feeling the pangs of withdrawal from her son, torn at having to leave him in childcare all day long, the exhaustion of Colton coming home unable or not wanting to eat and collapsing in his little bed to immediately fall asleep.

I spent my quiet time praying for comfort in our household and the ability for my daughter and I to adjust to this new normal in our life….when it suddenly hit me…just like a V-8! Somehow, I had not put Colton in the same need category as my daughter and myself…shame on me!

I recalled reading an article about why adults resist change…three thoughts came to mind:

1. Fear of the unknown…Colton wasn’t familiar with the new surroundings. Though, he usually adjusted to an hour drop-off care. This was very different!

2. Lack of trust…Colton now had unfamiliar people taking care of him

3. Timing…adults resist change that is sudden and unexpected so why not Colton?  They say: Timing is everything – for any baby or child to go from being home all day to suddenly being away all day is a BIG change.

I understood what he went through at childcare, but couldn’t understand why he was so frustrated when he got home…. Colton had been easy going and receptive to going places, I just wasn’t prepared for his reaction when he arrived home. My grandson did the only thing he knew to do…reject his New Normal at home…and cry in the safety of the ones who love him most.

New Normals start at birth don’t they…a baby verbalizes with a cry…as adults we rant, sometimes cry, overeat, under eat, and often complain about how hard change is!

Several weeks have past…we still see a whimper when Colton is dropped off and a big smile when he is picked up….the home coming has stabilized and the new routine is beginning to smooth out. From an early age…change comes into our life.

Why does it seem to get harder to embrace a New Normal as an adult? Whether it is personal or professional we often go kicking and screaming…wanting to remain in our comfort zone. What would happen if we just let go from the get go?

My life has changed dramatically in the past year…home and career. I liked my life before…why, why, why did it all have to change?

It’s easier too stay the same, rather than jump into change which is unknown.  One thing that I find catapults me into change is looking at my past in order to dream about my future. When I reflect on my past and how I chose (sometimes reluctantly) to embrace a new challenge or experience, I can see what resulted. More often than not, that New Normal or Change  provided incredible personal or professional growth that moved me into another opportunity I never thought possible.

A leap of faith…definitely! Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. What New Normal are you facing today?

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