Understanding Big Changes in Life: How They Connect to Being a Parent

Understanding Big Changes in Life: How They Connect to Being a Parent

Elaine Cavazos, LCSW-S, PMH-C

Big changes in our lives can make us feel a lot of different things. These changes can affect our minds, hearts, and bodies. For parents, these big changes can be even tougher because they have to take care of themselves and their kids. Here are three big changes that can happen and what they can mean for families:

Moving to a New Place

  1. Moving to a new house or city is a huge deal. It can make you feel excited but also a bit scared. For parents, it's even more of a big deal because they have to make sure their kids feel okay too. Kids might need to go to a new school, make new friends, and get used to a new house. Parents can help by getting ready for the move and talking a lot with their kids about what's happening.

Changing Jobs

  1. Starting a new job, losing a job, or getting a different job can change a lot in a family. Parents might worry about money or not having enough time to spend with their kids. Talking about these changes and keeping a regular routine can help everyone feel better.

Changes at Home

  1. Big changes like having a new baby, getting married, or parents splitting up can make life different for everyone in the family. A new baby might mean less sleep, and getting married might bring new people into the family. If parents split up, it can be sad and confusing. It's important for parents to be there for their kids and help them understand what's happening.

Sometimes, All These Changes Happen at Once!

Sometimes, lots of changes happen all at once. Even if the changes are happy ones, like getting a new job or having a baby, it can still be really hard. It can make you feel worried or sad. When lots of changes happen close together, it can be overwhelming.

Feeling like you need extra help for your feelings during big changes is totally normal. Mental health professionals can help you figure out what big changes are making you stressed and help you deal with them. At RPC, we help people identify and navigate these life stressors. We know that big life changes and changes in your body can mix together and make you feel upset during times that should be happy. We're here to help you understand and get through these tough times.

If you want to learn a bit more about life stressors and how they are impacting you, there’s a tool called the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory that helps people see how stressed they might be from big changes in their life. It lists 43 big life changes and gives points for each one based on how stressful it is. You can add up your points to see how much stress you might be feeling. If you score over 300 points, it might mean you're dealing with a lot of stress.

Parents can use this tool to understand how these big changes might affect them and their kids. By talking about what's happening, getting ready for changes, and supporting each other, families can handle these big moments better. This can make the family stronger and teach everyone how to deal with tough times.

Remember, even though big changes can be hard, they also help us grow and can bring families closer together. If you want to try the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory or learn more about it, you can visit websites like the American Institute of Stress or Verywell Mind for more information.