Brett and I are apart of a supper club that meets once a month on a rotating house basis. It’s been one of the most enriching life experiences during our season of small children, when the sleepless nights and lack of adult conversation is pressing in on the daily routine. Our first-born kiddos are within months in age, which is certainly what brought our group together, but the constant struggle to raise children and stay sane is the glue that binds us.
At last month’s supper club, in light of our recent move from the Fairmount Fousquare, we got into discussion about how to move well with young kids. I’ll be honest, moving is never easy but it’s especially challenging when the extra hands can’t carry boxes. Being in the construction business, we know families move for all kinds of reasons, but we’ve learned over the years that when expectations are set too high, it can be downright painful. So, speaking from hard learned experience, here are our tips for moving well with a young family:
1. Be honest with the kids. As soon as we opened our house to a potential buyer, we started talking about the process, preparing everyone in the family for what moving would look and feel like. There were times when our 3 year old would say I don’t want to move and times when he would ask for his new bedroom to be painted red. I keep asking if by "red' he means a soft blue/gray, but he’s not budging.
2. Accept the emotions. It’s a transition and even the most wonderful transitions can be full of feelings (i.e. marriage, having a baby, getting a promotion, etc). Be thankful for where you came from, be present in the transition process and celebrate where you end up. If you need to cry, go right ahead.
3. Say no. I knew our move from the Fairmount Foursquare would be a difficult one (see: kids that can’t carry boxes). So, I embraced the word “no.” I told everyone around me that we would be out of pocket for a week while we packed and moved. We missed out on a few parties, ate out one too many meals and wore the same clothes more than once. It was total freedom and by the time we got settled into the new place we were completely over each other and ready for a home cooked meal with friends.
4. Give yourself a deadline. If you’ve finally moved into the house you’ve been building or renovating, unpack those boxes and put things away. Layout the furniture and hang up your artwork. Try something, live it and then change it if necessary. If you are in temporary housing, same rule applies, setup shop so your family can fully function. Don’t strive for perfect; the journey is the best part.