Living in different households comes with different dynamics and routines. I never really thought about transition days at the beginning of my stepmom journey. We prepared for Braylon to come home or for him to leave but as he’s getting older transitions are going to look a bit different for everyone.
As for me and my husband, we have been more in-tune with what works best for my stepson. Making sure we have everything we need for him to return as well as time for each other and individually. I use the time away to get refreshed for the week. I also get extra time to spend with my husband which is always appreciated.
Braylon is now at an age where he is aware of our schedule so he knows when he’s going to and from each home. When he comes back we give a few reminders of household expectations and our daily routines. Reminders are helpful for him because he thrives off consistency. When Bray was younger there wasn’t a need for transition preparation like we do now at age 6. He wasn’t aware of schedules or able to communicate as well as he can now. We adapt to what he needs each time he returns home.
Here are a few things we do to make transition day run smoothly in our home. Hopefully, these tips will help bring some relief to your next transition day!
- Self Care: Taking care of yourself positively impacts your children. Use the time away from your kid(s) to have uninterrupted adult time. Go on a date w/ your spouse. Catch up on your favorite shows. Get an extra workout in that you may have missed during the week. You’ll be refreshed and ready for your kids to return.
- Activities: Plan an activity that you know you and your kids enjoy doing together. Braylon enjoys STEM projects, Arts & Crafts, and cooking; we usually incorporate one of these activities when he comes back home.
- Time: Give your kids some space and time to settle in. Everyone needs to get back into the household routines and norms. Allow them the opportunity to transition naturally and on their own time. It may take a few minutes or even hours to transition back into your household dynamics.
- Communication: Talk with your kiddos! Make sure they know they are loved and missed when each time the kids are leaving and given the same comfort when they return. Encourage time for kids to express themselves and room to learn how to communicate what they need.