Moving is a lot of work. Even if you hire professional movers there are still a lot of details to take care of. If you now have children but have never moved with one then take the stress you experienced on your last move and multiply it by about 10. This is how you are about to feel. It does not matter if you have toddlers or teenagers or some in between, you can expect a few curve balls thrown your way during the process. Unfortunately, everyone is probably so focused on telling you moving tips that they fail to fill you in on common mistakes to avoid when you are trying to get through the process with children. This list should help!
Assuming They Don’t Need to Know Specifics
Children are a lot more intelligent than most parents realize. Simply telling them you are moving because “I said so!” is not at all fair. They deserve to know why they are being pulled away from their school and friends. If it’s for a new job, explain that is for a better opportunity or increased salary. Maybe you are moving for the climate or to be near an ailing loved one. They may have an easier time embracing the idea if it is for a “good” cause.
Waiting Until the Last Minute to Tell Them
Just because you do not want to deal with tears or a giant attitude for the next month or so does not give you the right to wait until the last minute to tell them you are moving. They should have time to go through the medley of emotions they will likely feel. They need time to come to terms with the move and say goodbye to friends. Give them time to get over their anger, hurt, confusion, and sadness, and actually get excited.
Not Hiring a Mover
Trying to save a few dollars will likely have you filled with regret if you are moving with children. This is especially true with babies and young children. You cannot possibly make exhausting trips back and forth and keep an eye on them and cater to their needs at the same time. If you try you may find yourself short on patience and snapping, which will do nothing to create a positive moving experience for everyone.
Not Hiring a Babysitter
Even if you hire movers it is still a good idea to hire a babysitter or drop young ones at a relative’s house. It is too hard to keep your mind focused on what needs to be done if you are distracted. Trying to check inventory or direct movers where furniture should be placed is a lot easier to do without a hungry baby crying or a toddler getting in the way.
Why not let them help pack? They can at least pack some of their clothes and toys. Who cares if it is not neat? It is a lot easier for them to get excited if they feel like they are helping. They can even help when you pack other things like books, movies, etc.
Not Packing an Essentials Bag
Most parents know to pack a little more than they need for a long-distance move, but fail to pack anything for a short move. If you are moving with children you need to expect the unexpected and be overly prepared. Pack a box with clothes, toys, treats, and anything else they may need to get through the first 24 hours. You do not want to be busting open a dozen boxes just to find a simple bottle for a screaming child as soon as you arrive at your new place. Have everything they may need handy, so you can relax and unpack at a comfortable pace.