Preparing for Transition

Our household has been in a state of transition lately – with my son ending first grade and my daughter home from her first year of college. I find myself in a place of happiness she is finally back home, but also struggling and fumbling through being a parent to a young adult.

This past year I have grown as a person but especially as a mom. Having my oldest move on to college and my youngest start first grade has been an experience I have a hard time describing. When kids are young we become accustomed to hearing “Mommy, can you do this for me…” many times a day. As childhood progresses, there is less of parents doing and more of stepping back to support. Sometimes, I do still hear her ask me to help, but I have so many more thoughts racing through my mind on how I should answer.

What happens when it isn’t childhood your kids are progressing through anymore, but rather adulthood? Determining my response to that question- plus many other conversations – becomes difficult. I feel my relationship with my daughter is in such a peculiar transition. We are feeling out how much we can each push and pull and I am learning how to step back even further but still remain a support when needed.

Some days it is just downright overwhelming. Every stage of childhood can be scary, I suppose because it is an unknown. I also don’t think it is any easier the second time around, even having gone through the experience of motherhood for 19 years. I often find myself unprepared in raising my son, though I definitely have more clarity around what matters most and not at all. What I have learned is Life is synonymous with change. Thriving in our lives is all about finding the courage to accept and live through the many transitions. When we resist the change there is most certainly friction. The harder we jam our heels into the ground trying to stop it, the more painful and lengthy the process is. So how do you learn to live in transition? Here are a few steps I can recommend based on my experience in parenthood…

You can also check out this infographic as a reminder of the four steps here.

Emily Marko is a Visual Problem Solver who works with clients to solve problems using visual representations of complex ideas. She has been using visuals to help others capture ideas, build action plans and share stories for 15 years.  You can find out more at