What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

changeLike many others in the Northeast, I am elated that the harsh winter has finally released its tight grip and signs of spring are around the corner. There’s much to look forward to – spring flowers, warmer weather, and of course, longer days.

I’ve actually already had a taste of the longer days this past week. Due to the launch of a new system at my company, I’ve spent quite a few hours on the job which has been something my kids have not experienced in recent years.

Like any good mother, I told them about the impending change in routine and what it would mean, secured their meals, and arranged school pickups and drop-offs. They were well prepared – on the ‘outside’ that is.

What they were not prepared for was not seeing their mom when they woke up and sometimes not seeing me again until it was time for bed.

While we kept in touch with intermittent texts during the day, it was the nights that held the most, shall I say…plot twists?

On the first night, I was greeted with open arms, kisses, and non-stop jabbering about their day. In fact, I could barely get in the door and get my coat off! It brought me back to the days of daycare pickups when my toddler children would come running to me in excitement. This was not something I expected from teen-aged children!

My daughter prepared the meal for her and her brother, homework was either in progress or completed, and…despite texts to the contrary, they had both taken showers! (If you are a parent of a teenage boy – you know this is monumental!)

The second night was slightly different. While I was still welcomed home with eagerness and assigned duties were completed, there was a decrease in the excitement. The ‘newness’ had worn off.

The third night – well – let’s just say that my kids had had enough of me working late. They didn’t understand nor did they want to accept that all I wanted to do was put on my PJs and crawl into my bed the minute I arrived home. They had papers for me to sign, weekend activities to be made, and upcoming birthday parties to plan. For me, it was all I could to put a piece of cheese on a cracker and prepare the coffee for the next morning.

Night four – total meltdown. The tone of the daily texts was markedly different. No more hugs and kisses upon my arrival, and dinner? I don’t even want to talk about the reaction to the dinner choice.

Change is hard for many people. At first the novelty can be exhilarating, but shortly after, when you realize “it is what it is”, you are faced with having to adjust. How we handle any change, and more importantly, how we handle it in front of our children, either teaches them to fear change or welcome it.

The serenity prayer comes to me now:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Teaching our children to embrace change builds resilience, character, and strength. We may not have power or control over the changes in our lives, but we do have the ability to control our reaction to it.

Those reactions, good or bad, are the life lessons we are teaching our children. Make them good ones.

Jen’s Gem: Teach your children to be resilient.


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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024