My son recently asked me, “How are you doing, mom?” He and I had been sharing updates. His question was partially prompted by the fact that I’ve been helping babysit my new grandson, his nephew. It is a joy and a priority — and it is a lot of work. My grandson is 20 pounds of excited adorableness. Other than rediscovering that I’m truly no longer in my 30s anymore (hello, tired body!), I’m still trying to figure out that new routine. It’s another transitional phase that is stretching me and my hours.
I’m working through “the how” of each day. How do I still incorporate essential habits, like working out and eating healthy, and work, while flexing to help my daughter, her hubby, and baby—and my husband?
I’m sure you can relate to the everchanging “routine,” especially with the last several years it seems like we’re going from one “transitional phase” to the next.
Change is Routine, So Find Your Team.
While the stressors of change are inevitable (sometimes good, sometimes bad), it’s the team of people around you who will help you through transitions. As a culture we throw around the words “community” and “family” a lot but what does it look like in our real lives?
We need a team of people and we’re needed on other people’s teams. These teams might change or only be for a season. You might be the helpful sister or dad or friend … or professional … who brings in support in a practical way. A great example is that my daughter needs me on her team. We need community and family to help raise our children. I am part of her team. My husband is on my team as we play tag while watching our grandson. He steps in when I need a break or need to do something. We make a great team!
“Teamwork also introduces more opportunities to celebrate and be encouraged about the work that’s being accomplished. Team members may have different tasks and milestones to reach, but any progress made toward their common goal can be cause for celebration. These shared wins often unite teams even more and propel them forward.”
Sure, I found this description on a job-search website, and yet it shows how teamwork, which is for every group, family, company, etc., enables us to share the load of real-life tasks. We all have different skills and different amounts of availability and flex in our schedules. When we think of ourselves of being on teams, we realize we need to find friends and family who are willing and able to help — and be willing to receive help, too.
Be intentional about collaborating with others during seasons of change. You’ll also increase the likelihood that you’ll keep up those important healthy habits, like sleeping and working out.
How to Use Teamwork during Transition
- Share errands and split tasks, like grocery shopping or yard work. For example, if your mom or friend is willing and able to do your grocery shopping, so you can get in a workout or do laundry or make important phone calls, take her up on that offer. Perhaps the neighbor’s teen would like to rake leaves for some extra cash or take in your cans for recycle and keep the change. Now the leaves and the cans are gone and done!
- Take turns doing carpool with friends from school or work. If you’re rotating the kid-pick-up with friends, use that extra hour to 30 minutes to squeeze in a quick workout or start dinner.
- Prep and share dinner. Host a dinner-and-game night, where each family brings extras so everyone can have leftovers!
- Workout with your kids/grandkids. If you have little ones, try “mommy-and-me” workouts that includes baby curl-ups and overhead press and dancing. For older kids, keep up or start those evening walks, bike rides, or (thinking of our clutter conversation last month) make up a clutter pick-up game.
- Bring in more people to fill out your team and repurpose your time. A friend was recently telling me about her aging in-laws and how they need more support. The family has already hired a cleaning company, and now they’re planning to add some home care services. It’s true for all of us; there are phases where we might need to bring in more support, including professional help. If your budget allows (or you can request these as practical Christmas gifts), drop off laundry at a laundry service; order meals from a service like CookUnity.com, deliver groceries through www.Instacart.com, or schedule a yard service to take care of the numerous leaves. (I have used Instacart many times when I just need some time savers!)
Bottom line: be on a team to help you prioritize and stay sane and flexible. If you need more ideas for “staying calm and carrying on,” give me a ring!