Moving home is stressful even at the best of times, and adding children to the mix can make it doubly so. The excitement that builds in the little ones as they move from one home to another can be infectious – remember, that while the change may be big for you, to them it is enormous. Change equates instability in children, if not properly managed and attended to. Here is a look at the process immediately surrounding the day of the move.
Don’t Do It Alone
We’ve all been there before; everything is packed away except for the essentials for that night and the next morning. The boxes are taped up, labelled depending on content and location, and the only things left are the beds, a change of clothes each, and possibly a few bowls or plates for breakfast.
The best thing you could possibly do for yourself is hire removalists. The best ones will openly communicate with you to make your move a seamless as possible. They may even be open to accepting a floor-plan from you, meaning correctly-labelled boxes will be placed in the right room with little to no direction from you! Any help you can get with the physical side of things is going to make it incrementally easier to get it all done. Which brings us to the next point…
Moving House Involves Emotional Labour
No matter how smoothly it’s going, moving into a new home is stressful. This is doubly so for the kids. The amount of time you lived in the last place may have been only a few years to you, but to them it means moving from somewhere they have been for most of if not their entire lives.
One way to alleviate this is to hire a babysitter for a few hours. This is especially important for single parents, or anyone who is filling the “adult” role alone. If you can’t find or afford a sitter, that’s fine. You can still make it a little easier for the kids – and yourself. Remember to regularly check in with them. See how they’re coping, give them a chance to vent their frustrations, or express their excitement. Not only will this keep you aware of how they are them, but it will also give you a chance to check in with yourself. Make sure you’re aware of what you need, as well as them.
Think About Comfort
One thing you can do is have each of the kids pack a box of things that they want to have easy access to. Snacks, toys, books, leaving this process largely up to the little ones will help them feel like they have a little more control over a situation which can feel big and threatening.
It sounds simple, but make sure you set up beds first, especially if you have much younger kids. Sleep is important for managing stress. If you have older kids, you can give them some responsibility for their siblings. Helping your little sister decide where to put her things in her new room will help distract them while you get some of the essentials done.
Lastly, plan dinner. It sounds odd, but food can be forgotten in the mad rush from place to place. If it’s in your budget, it might be worth ordering something delivered. While it may seem easier to go out for dinner, eating in the new space will make it feel like home a lot faster. If you can re-establish domestic routine quickly, everyone will benefit. If you are going to cook, keep it simple, and remember that nutrition is even more important after a big day.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of things to do. The key thing is to remember that the magnitude of this change is exponentially larger for your little ones. That said, they may surprise you in that way that only children can. You could be at your wit’s end, and look up to see your kids making a cup of tea, or moving the smaller furniture for you. Who knows? It’s all very exciting…