Guide to Relocating as a Single Parent
Whether you are getting a divorce, breaking up with your significant other, or have been recently widowed, the first move is always going to be hard on you and your children. You are already filled with so much emotion that adding in the stress of a move can put you over the edge. Not to mention, your children could be sad, hurt, angry, or confused, so relocating to a new home and potentially even a new school will be overwhelming. It may be hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel now, but you will eventually. Getting through your move will be a positive step in starting the next chapter in your life.
Talk to Your Kids
It is natural to want to shield them from any more pain, but springing the news of the move on them is not fair either. Make sure you are in the right state of mind when you talk to them. Getting emotional and crying or yelling will not help. Go for a walk or run, and take a deep breath before you tackle the conversation. Be honest with them and explain why you are moving. Tell them where you are going, what they have to look forward to, and when the move will take place, so they can mentally prepare.
Create a Moving List
With everything you have going on, your mind is likely racing every second you are awake. You cannot be expected to try to remember to take care of every move-related detail. Create a checklist of everything you need to do, and check things off as you go.
Choose Your Moving Service Carefully
Money may be tight right now, but you do not want to try to handle a move at a time like this without professionals. Knowing that reliable experts will be there when scheduled and handle all the hard work will relieve a lot of burden. You are likely already exhausted, so using your energy to carry heavy items back and forth is definitely not recommended. Keep in mind that they may be around your children, so take the time to read reviews and check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
You could be tempted to hire an hourly rate mover because the low price is attractive. However, that estimate you are provided with will often be inflated considerably by hidden fees. A guaranteed quote is the way to go, unless you really want to deal with one more unpleasant surprise.
Ensure Smooth School Relocation
If your children are switching schools, it is vital that you take steps necessary to ensure a smooth relocation. Chances are good that they are already not happy about moving away from friends and starting classes somewhere new in the middle of the school year. Having to sit in the principal’s office half the day because there is a mix up in paperwork will not be appreciated. You may need to schedule a meeting with their new teachers prior to find out if there is work they should do at home to get caught up with where the class is at.
Keep Things Normal
Try to keep things as normal as possible. They need structure; they are dealing with enough change already. So, all of a sudden letting them stay up late, not making them do homework before turning the TV on, or extending curfews could lead to behavioral problems. They could perceive this as you overcompensating or letting them do things out of guilt. Try to keep things as normal as possible, even if everything around you is changing.