Some Hints for Moving with Kids
Boxes, packing, closings, unpacking, and settling in. Moving is never easy especially if you have little ones moving with you.
A new job, an expanding family, or building your dream house. There are many reasons why people relocate to a new home. Moving can be exciting but it can also be one of the most stressful things in your life, especially if moving with young kids.
Whether moving from one side of town to the other or from another state or country, here are some hints and advice for you if moving with little ones.
Expect stress: Joanna Wrona moved from Montreal, Canada, to Shrewsbury about seven months ago. She had a 19-month-old son and was five months pregnant.
A long distance move such as Wrona’s can be quite overwhelming because you are moving away from your immediate support system that was in place made of family and friends. However, due to job relocations, this is also common.
Wrona said that she is just “starting to adjust. Having children is making it easier to get out and meet people.”
One of the biggest obstacles Wrona found was selling their house in Canada. “The buyers brought a lot of drama to the process,” she said. “Being five months pregnant at the time, the stress of this actually made me physically unwell and I was extremely relieved once I had signed on the dotted line and I knew everything had gone through.”
Natalie Beyranevand, who moved into a newly built house with a 22 month old son within Northborough, had a six month delay because the building took longer than it was supposed to. “Luckily, we didn’t sell our old house before we moved,” she said.
Some things are beyond your control such as snowstorms on your move date and last minute closing date changes. Concentrating on the end result might help. Knowing you will have a bigger house and yard, nicer neighborhood, or more privacy in the end can help you focus on the positive of the move.
Jennifer Savoie who moved with an 18-month-old daughter and was also five months pregnant at the time with her son was building a new house. “I tried not to get too worked up about anything as I was five months pregnant and wanted to have a healthy pregnancy.”
Savoie admits that she had so much on her plate at the time of her move and was challenged to get it all done. She was saving up days off for maternity leave so she had to make the most out of her evenings and weekends for work on the move. “I was pregnant, working full-time, getting packed, unpacked, and settled into a new home while getting ready for a newborn and needed to pay attention to my little one.”
Reassure kids: Although most kids are very adaptable to change, it is still a change that should be communicated to them.
Wrona told her son that they were going on a big adventure together as a family. They were in it together.
Savoie was sure to explain to her daughter prior to the move about the new house and how she would have her own room with lavender walls.
Another suggestion is to bring your kids to see the house prior to the move if possible.
Getting the kids excited for the change is key, as is their age. It is sometimes more difficult for older kids with more connections to friends to find that excitement.
Julie Anderson, mom of three children ages 7, 5 and 2, moved to Northborough from Westborough. “My kids were pretty excited for the move,” she said, “but my older son was a little nervous about starting a new school in the middle of the school year. Since we just did a local move, we still saw old friends for a while until he got settled and made new friends.” Reassurance was key.
Ask and accept help: “Get help! Lots of help!” Elizabeth Almeida recently moved from a rental apartment in Northborough to Westford and had that advice for others who need to coordinate a move and have young kids. “Accept everyone’s offers.”
Almeida hired a sitter the week of the move and was lucky enough to have a great friend available to come for ten days to unpack and set up the new house. In addition to having a toddler son and an infant daughter, Almeida was in the process of starting a new business.
Wrona agrees. “If help is offered, accept it. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.”
Plan ahead: Another area that Almeida advised on is to be sure to plan ahead for meals. “After two weeks of cheese sandwiches, my husband had had enough and insisted we take time for a real meal.”
If you are moving long distance, like Wrona did, she advised that once you arrive at your final destination that you “go to a library, playgroup, house of worship, look up local newcomers and mother and child groups. They are valuable sources of information and support in terms of activities for yourself and your children, as well as helpful about the new area.”
Beyranevand suggested that you “get more boxes than you think you’ll need and to start packing early.” With kids, getting uninterrupted packing time is sometimes more difficult than you think.
Keep kids busy: Entertaining the kids while you pack, unpack and settle into the new house can be another full job. Wrona and Almeida both agree that the empty boxes make wonderful toys for the kids and can keep them quite busy while you are working.
“In our old house," said Wrona, "I tried to make sure there was always one room where my son could play with both toys that were familiar to him and an empty box or two as everyone knows that boxes are the best toys. I brought two or three favorite toys with us in the suitcase so that he had access to them at the new house immediately until we managed to get to and unpack the rest of his toys. And of course, boxes that had been unpacked became racing cars, forts, you name it!”
Although there are always people, things and conveniences you will miss from your former location, once settled into your new neighborhood, take advantage of the many things Northborough and the surrounding areas have to offer families.
Savoie said she grew up in this area and loves the area. "We have the space we needed as a family," she said. "We have more privacy and trees are surrounding us rather than houses right next to us. Looking out the window and seeing nature is very calming."