As adults we are used to change. We leave a job, graduate from school, move houses or apartments, cities or towns. We are so accustomed to change because we have experienced it throughout our entire life span. The burning question is, when we go through a change how does it affect our children.
My son is 3 years old right now and most children at that age can not express the anxieties they feel when they are going through a dramatic change. Most children at his age are welcoming a new brother or sister or moving from preschool to kindergarten. Unfortunately I have introduced my little guy to a new kind of change, a temporary living circumstance. I accepted a contract for a live-in personal support worker position. It is a 5 month contract and it involves Ben and I to reside with my client and his 2 children aged 3 and 6. It is great for Ben to have kids around but he has not known anything other then living with just his mama. It has been just him and I in our own place since he was 4 months old. He is not used to having a whole other family under the same roof and he has been reacting to it in ways that are hidden to the blind eye. He seems like his normal self. He is happy, playing, laughing and is loving every moment of having live in play mates but he is showing some signs of what I think is anxiety. He complains 6-10 times a day of a stomach ache and has been showing a few different behavioural issues that are new for him.
Although this is just a temporary living situation I cant help but feel guilty for putting him through this. I know that he is missing his familiar settings, his cat (who is currently at my nanas) and his furniture and bunk beds. He can not verbalize this to me as I dont believe he is even fully aware that he is in fact missing these things but his actions are speaking to me in ways his words may not be able to.
We are taking things one day at a time and although I see he is adjusting better then I had thought he would, like i said it is showing in other ways. I know that people come into these circumstances all the time as a single parent. Moving back in with their parents, sharing accommodations or even having a roommate. Its all normal things to go through when you are single and looking for alternative ways to save money and provide for your child. Although our circumstances are a bit unique I just keep reminding myself that we will come out better in the end. I will be getting paid and living rent free, saving all my money so that we can one day buy a place to call our own. I am doing this for Ben, it may affect him in the short term but I know in the long run it is better for us both.
Id love to hear others experiences on transition. Please comment below.
- Staci SMFS