Isn’t it fun when you’re about to move from one house to another and you’re trying to pack and your kids are whining and crying and behaving, well, like kids?
No wonder moving is one of the top ten stressors of life, up there with divorce and unemployment. Yep, it’s no picnic, but if you gottta go, you gotta go. And if you perform tightrope baby steps during the process, you’ll still have one or two wits left by the time the Movers arrive.
How do I know “so much” about this subject? Hmm, let’s see: by the time I graduated high school my family of origin (FOA) had moved about a dozen times. It was during a time when a divorced mother (mine) practically had the letter “D” in red on her shirt. So she schlepped four, sometimes five, of us from one address to another, just a few steps before the “Eviction Notice.”
And you thought your childhood was rough. After I was married we moved about five times before kids and only once after. It was important to me that my kids have the experience of a single school system. The opposite of what I had gone through. Of course, they had their own problems to work out, but that’s another column. Or three. Or seven...
This sage wisdom is about moving with smaller fry. If they’re pre-verbal, no explanation is necessary. You’re off the hook! Good timing!
If you’re a Navy wife, your kids will have been born with a tiny backpack so it’s no biggie to trade locales. But if you’re a regular ole Type A mom from the city or the ‘burbs, and if your kids are talking and asking too many questions, you’ll have lotsa ‘splaining to do. Just be prepared, like a Boy Scout.
If the moving happens before a school year starts, more the better. In fact, PLEASE do this for your kids. They will not know how important this is. They’ll feel bad enough missing their friends, imagine how humiliating it would be for them to be “the new kid” in school at the same time? Might as well drop them at school with a “Kick Me” sign already on their backs.
So. Now that you’ve wisely waited until summer to plan your move, what to do with the under ten crowd? If you can stand your neighbors, why not plan for a block “farewell” party so your kids will have that to remember (and you’ll no doubt tape it for posterity) as a positive.
Or have a small group of his real friends (not everyone from his class) over for a good-bye party and make it fun. Maybe have each friend talk into a mic about his friendship. They’ll goof around and it will be fun later, when they think they’ll never have friends again. It’s a good tool for getting over that hump. Trust me on that.
When you start packing (does anyone really let movers pack their stuff?) make sure your kids each have their own “comfort” box to be opened immediately upon arrival at the new abode. This box should contain: the favorite stuffed animal/toy at the time; favorite blanky (if they’re wee ones) or even a favorite Gameboy. Whatever. As long as they know what’s the most important stuff they want to see ASAP when they get to the new strange house.
Natch, if it’s THE most important toy/thing it will ride with its owner. We’re talking the other stuff.
When you get to the new place and you don’t hear the kids crying (that comes later) you will be so relieved you won’t even notice how the movers’ bill suddenly cost $3,000 more than it should have. Maybe you should pack your own comfort box, too. Husbands are usually deemed the “handler of the bill problem” while you pretend to worry about the kids.
That settled, your kids (and you) will need time to discover your new environs.
Oh, by the way, my husband and I are about to move from Long Eyeland to Tucson, Arizona. Stay tuned.