Moving is hard. From collecting boxes to pack up your entire house to finally settling into a new home, it’s all time consuming and not fun. Moving with kids? Even more interesting.The challenge of moving on top of just motherhood in general is no joke!
We recently moved into a new home and community as a family of 5 so the last few months have been eventful for us. I’m very thankful that we made it through the actual moving process and are now working on settling into our new normal. I’ve moved quite a bit in my life, as a kid we lived in many houses and a handful of different towns and I even moved a decent distance away from home to attend college. So in theory moving isn’t a new thing to me. But this last move I felt myself noticing different things and I think that is because of my kids, mainly my 5 year old daughter. Kids have a way of showing you some of the most simple and basic things that as adults we can overlook. Let me explain. Here are some things my 5 year old taught me in our recent move.
1. Tears will come at unexpected times.
No matter how old you are, when moving there are lots of emotions. Excitement, sadness, fear, and anticipation can all exist together. So sometimes the need to cry can hit at an unexpected moment. I noticed this with my oldest daughter who is 5. She is old enough to recognize some of those hard feelings, and in the past months that might mean she just needs to cry. It could be before bed or when she has a memory of some of her old friends or familiar places. I haven’t always been able to predict when these waves of big feelings will hit her. One night she was so upset and couldn’t stop crying because she remembered that last summer we dropped a piece to our picnic set under our deck and we never were able to get it out. She was so upset over something so small! That small thing may have been what set her off, but it probably was also related to all the other big feelings she was dealing with. It caught me off guard, but I held her and just let her cry.
I can relate because I’ve had similar moments in the past months as well. I shed tears while packing up a random box, emptying a garbage can, or even just looking for paperwork in the unpacking process. It wasn’t always at convenient or expected times when I felt the waves of emotions hit. Tears have come, and may continue to come, and I can’t always understand the timing. But it’s OK.
2. It’s OK to miss people and places.
Moving often means new people, new places, new roads, new house, new everything! The first few weeks especially my daughter would make observations on all the newness around us. She noticed differences in everything from how our new house was laid out different, or how the grocery store looked weird, and how they didn’t see familiar faces at the park. Those are all things I was working on adjusting to as well. I missed the old familiarity just as much as my daughter did.
So I started to acknowledge her feelings and even relate to them instead of just try to brush them off. I’d say things like, “I miss our old grocery store too, it was nice knowing where everything was.” Or when my daughter would say she missed a certain friend, I’d start relating to her feelings and say that I missed some of my friends too. Eventually the newness of this place will wear off and we will all adjust to the differences. But in the meantime, there isn’t anything wrong with noticing how things have changed and even missing some of the old things from our last home.
3. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.
My daughter is a people person! She can sometimes be quiet around adults, but around kids she is 100% comfortable. Large group or small group it doesn’t matter, she will make a friend. Since moving I have noticed this trait even more. The other day we were playing at a nearby park and one girl about her age showed up. Without even hesitating my daughter said, “Well, I’ve got to make new friends sometime. I’ll go say hi.” I was so proud of her courage and how she wasn’t afraid to make the first move to make a friend.
As adults it can be easy to feel like it’s on other people to introduce themselves or befriend us, but why? Just because I’m in a new environment doesn’t mean I have to just sit and wait on other people. I can initiate a conversation at the park or at the library. As my 5 year old said, “I’ve got to make new friends sometime!” Why not take a step to try?
Overall, I’d say we are adjusting to well in this moving process. Truly feeling at home in a new environment takes more than a few months, but I know we are well on our way to making this new place home. And in the meantime, I’m going to be reminding myself of the simple lessons my daughter taught me in our move.