Preparing for the worst always feels like a miserable thing to do, but if we’re honest with ourselves we have to face the truth: sometimes bad things happen, no matter how hard you try to avoid them, and bad times can be extremely difficult to deal with. Here are some things you can do to make some tough situations easier on your family and on your loved ones.
There really isn’t anything that’s harder to deal with than bereavement. Whether it comes as a shock or you’ve been expecting it, death always feels more sudden than you’d like, and terribly final too. Dealing with the loss of family members like your parents and grandparents is something that will never completely come to an end – grief isn’t something that you’re magically better from one day, it’s a journey that you need to take by yourself.
It can be easy to isolate yourself from your loved ones if you’re dealing with grief but it’s important to keep them, particularly your partner in the loop – particularly if you just need a little time by yourself. Telling someone that you don’t feel able to talk is a lot better than simply not talking to them.
Remember that although grief doesn’t get magically easier, it does become easier to bear – the sharp shock of suddenly remembering will become duller over time. It’s a good idea to go to talk to a grief counsellor to know how to best deal with your feelings. Making memory boxes is also a good decision for a lot of people.
Having problems with money isn’t always your fault, although you may blame yourself for it. The fact is that you can’t prepare for everything that might happen to you, and sometimes companies fold and there are surprise redundancies. Even if your financial problems are down to something you did like a poor investment or credit card debt, you need to tackle them head on.
Make sure that you make a family budget that you stick to firmly, and be entirely honest with yourself – those Starbucks coffees will add up quickly, even if you don’t think that they cost very much! Compare energy prices at different companies to make sure that you’re getting a good deal, and if you need to, you can always switch providers. Make sure that you cut out non-essentials – if you love the gym, remember that there are different ways to get fit like hiking, running, biking and swimming. Use the great outdoors for inspiration instead of trekking along to a sweaty gym to get fit – you’ll be glad you did it in the end, and not just for the money you’ll save.
Even if you have the tightest and closest relationship in the world, marriages can fail, and it’s important to know what you should do when that happens. First of all, it’s time to prioritise your kids – they’re the ones who need to witness that their parents can still be civil to each other. You need to make sure that they maintain a good relationship with their father, even if you’re mad at the situation that you’re in, or whatever he’s done to you. Making sure that they have regular positive contact with their father and with your former in-laws is something that your kids will always be grateful that you’ve done.
Make sure that you protect yourself – hire a good divorce lawyer and make sure that you get everything that your Ex promises you down in writing. Don’t trust him too much because he might go back on any overly generous promises he’s made once your financial circumstances become more clear. Finally, get off social media for the time being. Looking at what he’s doing absolutely won’t help you feel better – you need to take some time to grieve for the end of your relationship before emerging, butterfly-like, into the world again.
Moving house is generally seen as a positive thing, even though it can be one of the most stressful things that you can go through. The best way to make your move as uncomplicated as possible is to be organised – get packing as early as you can because even that won’t be quite early enough! Hire movers to help you keep your stuff safe and packed well, and make sure that you pack a box that you’ll open on the first night that you move into your new home. In that box, pack what you’ll need for that first night like a change of clothes, nightwear, clean sheets, food for dinner and breakfast along with plates and cups, takeout menus for the local area, and toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, face cloths, and body wash so that you can wash all the dust and sweat of moving off yourself.
Children may be a little disconcerted by moving, so make sure that you drive past their new school or even go on a tour of it so they know where they’ll be going every day. Try also to keep their routines as normal as possible so they don’t get too disconcerted by any new changes.
If sickness hits your family, remember that it’s always good to have a cushion of savings in place, so make sure that you save a small percentage of money every month in the case of anything that renders you or a family member unable to work and make money. If your friends offer you help, take it – ask them to do specific things like laundry, make frozen meals, babysit your kids, and do the school run for you. Make sure that you keep the sick person as busy as possible with puzzle and sudoku books, and any electronic devices like iPads. Remember to be either your own advocate or your family member’s advocate by finding out everything you can about the illness and making sure that the doctors keep you informed. However, don’t research too much – there’s no point in frightening yourself.
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