New Arrivals

Last Tuesday, June 14th at 8:17pm, my fourth son Ford Neil Savage was born. Obviously, we are happy and proud parents and obviously my wife looks awesome 5 minutes after delivery!

However, this brings up a very pertinent issue in most families and organizations, how do you handle new arrivals? With every positive change you gain something and you lose something. As we are entering into this “new arrival” phase in our family, I thought I would be good to share some advice in handling this sort of change.

1. Change happens. There is no avoiding it. When things are healthy they grow and change. For instance, a business that is healthy will experience success and face pressure to deliver in an environment of greater demand. In a family a new member (in our case) or something such as moving will create unique pressure points and stress that can frustrate everyone. Because things are good, we usually don’t see the need to adjust, after all everything is healthy. This is where we need a good dose of reality – change happens. It must continue to be healthy.

2. Change hurts. There is always pain involved in adjusting to changes. Every change represents a gain and a loss. It is important to grieve your losses. In our family we are grieving the loss of sleep! A new child brings tons of new issues that disrupt the way things were. We celebrate the gain of a beautiful baby boy but also watch as our other children are all dealing with the addition in their own way. One of my children is still very uncomfortable around the baby. He is grieving the loss of his understood place in the family. This is also true in the marketplace. A growing business means expanding the workforce or changing someone’s job description. There is always pain involved. Sometimes a personal weakness is exposed that reveals further changes that must be made. I love what Henry Cloud says, “hurt doesn’t mean harm.” Sometimes it’s the process of “hurting” that allows us to absorb the change and move past our weaknesses and continue growing. Through the process, be sure to acknowledge that changes cause a little pain.

During this season in our family I see at least four painful issues we must address…

  • We must address our daily routine. Moving from 3 kids to 4 is a bigger jump than it sounds. Our daily routine has little room for disorganization or disarray.
  • We must up our hustle. With an infant around it is easy to give our attention to him and forget that we have three other heathens running around. My wife and I must up our hustle to be the good parents all of our children need.
  • We must acknowledge fatigue, impatience and errors. We aren’t sleeping as much as we’d like and our judgment and patience suffers. Therefore we must admit when we need help and when we’re wrong.
  • We must not forsake life-giving disciplines. We need to spend time with God, we need to eat well and exercise, we need to stay connected in our marriage and with friends and we need rest. When one of these suffers you can feel it! When all suffer you are on the brink of burnout. Each of these steps involves some pain, but like we’ve always heard, “no pain, no gain!”

3. Change heals. Like most parents, it’s always hard to predict how you will feel about a child you don’t even know yet. Like most parents, I chose to love my son long before he was born, because that’s what good dads do. But I would catch myself wondering if I would love him like I do my other boys. The truth is this “new arrival” will soon no longer be new. He will be a part of our family like everyone else. And if we handle this season of “new arrival” well we will reach the day that we cannot imagine life any differently. This is the goal of handling change. We must be patient and gentle in the process but we must commit to the necessity of change in our lives. Deep down no one wants their family, marriage, or career to be in the same place a year from now. Yet, we tend to resist change. One day you will see with clarity that the changes you embrace and endure now become the foundations of health in the future.  

I pray this will help you handle the "new arrivals" in your life. Please post your comments here.

Posted by Andy Savage at 2:19 PM
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