Moving in general is stressful. Moving with a tiny human adds at least three times more stress. Take it from me. I'm a seasoned mover with a move a year in the last decade! I'm not with the military, and I didn't even realize until I started typing this how much I've moved!
Since graduating from college, I guess one could say I've been trying to find my perfect place to settle in the world. The last half of this decade of moving turned my blood nomadic, so much so I couldn't see an end to van life. With my baby boy now 15 months and demanding more space (honestly, all three of us need just a little more), it may just be time to ground our wheels. Here are some tips that got me through 10 moves in 10 years.
You Don't Owe Anyone An Explanation
When you tell anyone you're planning on moving or that you've just moved, you will be asked why repeatedly. When you're moving with kids, it's the same deal, but the why when kids are involved is delicate.
You may be praised for moving to help your child(ren), but you can quickly be condemned for disrupting their environment. Though people generally mean well, they forget almost all parents don't move for fun. Our kids are the first people we consider when we move. There's a lot to examine surrounding taking our children out of their stable routine into a few weeks (sometimes months) of some chaos.
We all have to roll with life's never ending turbulence. Moving isn't all different from when something unforeseen occurs. The difference and benefit of moving is we know something disruptive will happen. This means we can be preventative.
Come up with something to tell people if you don't want to get deep into explaining yourself.
Plan & Organize
If you can plan ahead of time, you absolutely should. Disassembling your life, figuring out what to keep, transferring your belongings, and organizing them anew is no task to procrastinate. But let's face it: putting it off will happen because you have daily things to do while planning this future thing. Instead, focus more on organizing.
Create a timeline of to-dos based on each room. Each week you can tackle one room at a time. Whether you're working with a little or a lot of time, you can do each room in stages. Start with a surface glance at what you don't want to keep. Next, pack away what you won't need before you move. Then do an in-depth analysis of what you need to let go of. Yes, it's time to clean that attic, basement, or garage. You know you shouldn't have put it off over the years, but you did, and now you get to finally clear up some old stuff.
If your kiddo is old enough, remind them every chance you get they're moving. Adjust their routine, no matter the age, a little every day or per week to match what you believe the new schedule will be like if you can.
Please don't forget to use help if you can get it!
Gratitude: Things Will Go Wrong
Planning is excellent, but you must stay flexible because something will go wrong. My last two moves involved car troubles that delayed me, created worry, disrupted my child's sleep cycle, and affected my already slimming budget.
How did I deal with it? By remembering there's a lesson in the "wrong." My car issues were a blatant reminder to slow down. It felt like the universe/God was telling me this new adventure needed to be taken slowly because it will be as expected but with many twists spiraling in what will feel like the opposite direction. Gratitude in the form of looking for the lessons will get you through any quicksand deep moments.
Still, you're human, and burying your frustrations will only lead to an outburst of emotions. So yes, take a breather in any form that alleviates pressure. I needed a lot of beach days and naps to handle my kid's sleep disruptions.
Be Present at the Start & End
At the beginning and end of a move, it can be a challenge to enjoy the transition. Most of my moves were so rushed near the end I didn't get to take a few minutes to reminisce. The beginnings were mostly filled with trying to get organized quickly so I could start work that I didn't get to pause the now, feel the excitement, and see the potential of what would be.
Allow yourself, if able, to spend the last few days in your old spot reliving inspired moments. Ask your child what they'll miss, what they loved, and what they learned about themselves. In your new place, take the first week to embrace the potential your new home has to offer. Everyone in the family should make at least one short and long term goal. These are ideas you can revisit when the going inevitably gets challenging.
It's tough not to get lost in nostalgia or future possibilities. I've looked back with regret enough times to know I took a few of my moves for granted. Gratitude and staying present truly helped create a clear path to move ahead.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.