Moving With a Child

Many parents go through the process of moving with children. From the initial plan to move right until moving day there are many experiences that parents go through and have to be prepared for before they move to their next home.

Parents have to prepare their children for the move, what to do if the kids have to say good bye to their friends. Many parents have to pack their children’s rooms up, often times with protests of packing precious toys. Children sometimes have sleepless nights over the stress of moving.

Parents also have to look for a home, prepare their current home for selling. They have to find a house near good schools and in an area that is conducive for their family’s lifestyle. Do you pull your children out of school or move during the summer vacation? There are so many pros and cons to each decision and what is right for one family is not necessarily right for the other family. Next to divorce and death, many attest that moving is one of the most stressful times of a person’s life.

We wanted to make sure that if you are planning a move that you get the best advice possible. Also, we want to make sure that the person giving you that advice is not talking down to you as the reader, but speaking in the context of one parent to another.

Our Blogger of the Year, Melanie from Momma Braga is the perfect choice. Yes, were biased, she is our blogger of the year! But she is also knowledgeable about this subject. She has recently moved with her little toddler into a house and has the inside scoop about moving. She talks to you more as a friend and yet has the insight and advice of an expert. She keeps it real and that is what we pride this website on, honesty.

Melanie found herself recently transitioning into her first home. She has a full time job, has a globally celebrated blog (check out Momma Braga everyone!) and put up her home recently for sale and found another one.

What makes Melanie’s situation so unique and helpful to others is she lives in a city where the market has gone crazy. People pay top dollar for a house (great for selling) but also require top dollar for buying a house (not so good). Melanie managed to manage her family, her social life, her career and her blog and get the house of her dreams. But it did not come easy, it took work.

How do you say good-bye to a house with so many memories? For many parents, they brought their children home for the first time in their houses, they had pets and family members live there. They had visitors, ups and downs, love and tears. A house may be four walls but it carries so many memories. Melanie shares her insight about all of these things as she has just gone through it herself.

When you are reading about Momma Braga and the Momma Braga brand you can guarantee that you’re going to get honesty. It’s one of the many reasons why we chose her as our Blogger of the Year.

Melanie sat down with The Baby Spot to explain her side of moving, her insight on typical concerns about moving with children and more. Feel free to leave any questions, insights or more to Melanie in the comment section below and be sure to visit her at her Momma Braga website.

We begin with some basic questions and let Melanie share her professional advice as well as some inside stories and insights about her recent move in one of the craziest markets around the globe.

Do children feel stress during a move?

I think we all feel stress during a move and especially more as a child as they may not necessarily understand what is happening and why. It can be unsettling for a child to see all their toys and clothes being packed away so their sense of “normalcy” fades. It is important to acknowledge their feelings and to keep communication open with them during the process.

What are some of the actions you have witnessed with your daughter that show that she is recognizing these big changes?

Nikki is a curious toddler who has entered the questioning everything phase. During the process of buying, selling and moving, she asked a lot of questions. One of her most important questions (in her eyes which is understandable) was where was all her toys going. Every day when I picked her up after work, she asked, “oh my goodness! Where are my toys going?” My response each time was that the toys were making their way to the new home and they will be waiting for her there. This response was suffice for her but we did see that she felt displaced as her environment around her was changing quickly. This did affect her moods as she was cranky often and we can’t blame her as it was a lot of change that was happening.

What are some tips parents can do to make their children as comfortable with a move as possible?

Here are my four top tips from my own personal experience:

  1. Talk with your child and have them be an active part of the move from the very beginning. If possible let them see what homes you are seeing and the areas that you are looking to move to. This will set the foundation for the changes that are about to take place.
  2. When you have found your new place, take your child on the neighbourhood tour. We visited our new area often to get Nikki comfortable with the area and for her to see the house physically.
  3. Keep routines as best as possible. We tried to keep Nikki on her usual routines and activities during the process to help keep some of normalcy in tack.
  4. Stay positive. This can always be difficult to do when we are all adjusting to a big change such as a move. We always kept our conversations about the move positive and talked about how exciting it will be to meet new friends. Nikki loves the idea of making new friends at her toddler age so it worked for us. It is all about a new adventure and this one can be embraced as a family.

Once the child has moved into their new place, how can parents make the new home as comfortable as possible?

The first thing to do before undertaking the home unpacking, organizing and possibly renovating is to have your child’s room ready for them. This way they have their safe place ready for them to settle into. This was priority for us as we wanted to make sure she was comfortable in her new home. Once she saw her room set up and all those wonderful toys that were “travelling” that long distance all finally arrived. 😉

I would also suggest to keep routines in tack. Therefore, if your child has a set time to sleep and eat, try to keep it. It will make those butterflies in their stomach settle quickly in the new home.

How do you explain a move to younger children like a toddler who will notice the change but may not be able to fully communicate with their parents about the change?

I was surprised to see how much Nikki was understanding at almost three years of age. Some toddlers may not be able to fully communicate but they have an amazing sense of understanding. Keep it basic and simple. What we did was we asked ourselves first as parents, why are we moving? Our answer was for more space to enjoy ourselves as a family. This was such a simple answer and that is exactly what we told our daughter. “We are saying bye to our condo to go to a bigger house to have a lot more fun.” We also were repetitive to ensure that she was getting the message.

On moving day, where should a child be?

For us, we were fortunate to have my mom watch our daughter as we couldn’t do everything that we needed to with her running around everywhere. It wouldn’t be fair to her or to us. If you are able to find someone to care for your child while you move then that is ideal. However, don’t feel bad if you don’t have someone to watch your child and make them part of the moving day. I heard the phrase, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” when I moved and I think it is fitting. You have time to move in and don’t feel rushed or feel that your child will make the process slower. Take it as an opportunity for them to get to know the new home and settle. If you have a toddler, you can find them a safe spot where they can play with some of their favorite toys while you move in your items. If your child is a bit older then have them participate in the move by unpacking one of their room boxes. That would be my recommendation.

How can moving day be less stressful for the child and the parents?

It’s an adventure and look at it like that. Make it sound REALLY exciting (I mean Disney World exciting) and you can do it! Know that it takes time to move (I am still moving in and it’s been six weeks) and don’t put any expectations on how “it should go.” I have learned that there is no good way of moving as something always happens. Make the best of it and roll. Don’t plan on cooking and after everything is in the home, order some dinner.

There is no right answer on how to make moving day less stressful as it is a stressful change and I can’t lie about that. But it’s how we make the best of it that will help your child and parents.

Before I end this latest edition of “Talk with Momma Braga,” I have to mention to all the moms and dads to not forget about themselves during the moving process. This was one of my biggest challenges that I faced during the move.

I spent a lot of my time ensuring that my husband and daughter where emotionally prepared for the move and they adjusted very well. However, I forgot about myself and had the hardest time adjusting. My first week was a very emotional one for me as I broke down a few times crying.

The emotions were a two-part process as the first was the good-bye to our condo of eight years which was our very first home as a married couple; the home that we adopted our cat Lily and the home that we lost her in; the home that we experienced the loss of a miscarriage; the home that our daughter spent the first two and half years of her life in; it was our home filled with the ups and downs of life.

The second part was the hello to our house which is our very first house as a married couple; the house that we can grow into; the house that we can have all our family and friends visit; it is now our home to fill with all the ups and downs of life. But most importantly with loving memories that make us stronger.

We would like to thank our Blogger of the Year Melanie from Momma Braga and the Momma Braga brand for sharing her insight, advice and personal stories about moving with a child to our readers. You sold in one of the busiest, unpredictable markets and your experience is so valuable to our readers. We at The Baby Spot wish you and all of our readers moving a safe, smooth and happy move into their new houses. May your house become your home!