What happens when you face a crossroads that impacts the whole family? Many sleepless nights and concern for the family well-being come crashing down. I’m a worrier by nature. Toss in the complete shuffling of the family universe and you have one crazy mom juggling a million questions with doubt. Here are just a few of the many thoughts that come at night:
- Am I making the right decision?
- How are the children going to adapt to new surroundings and finding new friends?
- Where are we going to live?
- Are we going to be able to find a good school system?
- What activities can we quickly get the kids into so they’re enjoying the groups they miss?
Then there are the logistics of it all:
- With one entering high school, how do I get him set up with classes?
- Summer reading programs need for their classes?!
- Immunization records, physicals, testing scores to place?
- Apartment hunting. Will the house sell quickly enough for us to buy?
- Doctors, dentists, vets, and more.
Coming from a military background, my husband and I have moved often, but when moving with a pre-teen and teen, this is a whole new level of responsibility. Before we had no worries about school districts going to a small town and all. Now, it’s more than just a school. It’s about setting up an environment for our older children to thrive, live a life where mistakes get made, but they don’t hurt themselves, and find the right friends that will influence who they become in life.
In preparing the kids for the move, we’ve done the following:
- Make sure we listen.
- Help share our early plans on how the move will go.
- Answer their questions as they think about what’s coming.
- Share websites of the location and videos.
Here are a few sites that have helped us plan the move for the kids:
- Moving? 10 Tips to Help Family Adjust. The first line on this site reminded me exactly of our children. One had no questions and seems completely unaffected. One is asking many questions and very sad, and the 5-year-old understand a little, but not fully.
- Moving: Helping Children Cope. Shares important developmental stages and impact moving has on them.
- Helping Kids Cope With Moving. We plan on not moving the kids til after school and their scheduled camps, so we may be split as a family for a few months, but we think that it’ll be best for them to feel closure and have time with their friends before the final move.
I’m excited about the new job opportunity that will set our new family adventure. In my heart, I believe it’s the right time for the move, but it does disrupt a life in which we were comfortable and doing well. We have some work ahead of us with many more nights of uncertainty, challenges, and moving blues, but in a year, I believe we’ll all be settled down into a new routine with new friends and reuniting with old friends. So much to look forward to, but so much to let go!
What decisions have you made that create those terrifying sleepless nights? What did you learn about your family or yourself?