The everyday life of a single parent isn’t easy, even when moving is not on the agenda. And moving is famously fearsome, even for those of us who aren’t raising kids on their own. Put these two life situations together and you get a formidable task, not for the faint hearted. Here are eight tips to make moving simpler and easier for the single parent superheroes:
- Plan in Advance
The key to moving with children successfully, especially when you’re a single parent, is to plan ahead. Generally, three months or more should give you ample time to sort out any issues which may arise and prepare everything you need for the new chapter in your life. Start with de-cluttering your home so you have less stuff to move and plan a yard sale for the stuff you decided to part with. While sorting through your belongings keep in mind some items may be costlier to move than to replace. Try to fit in a farewell party for your kids to say good bye to their friends in a fun way. If you’re pressed for time before moving you’ll find it hard to fit it into your schedule, so start planning for it well in advance.
- Open Communication
Children are more sensitive and attentive than we imagine. As soon as you come to the decision to move, you should fill them in so they won’t find out about it before you have the chance to tell them. Discuss it openly and give them the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings. They may be apprehensive, resistant or fearful about the pending move and it’s up to you to frame it in a positive, optimistic way. Being open, honest and positive about the move will help them come to terms with it and even get excited about it!
- Involve Your Kids
Being part of the moving process will help your kids maintain a sense of control, which is important during times of major change. Depending on their age, do your best to include them in the decisions and different tasks involved in moving.
Younger kids can decorate boxes and make crafts for the new home. Older children can help paint their rooms, arrange the furniture upon moving in and even take part in neighborhood and school research. Check out this blog post for more ideas on making moving fun for kids.
- Hire Help
As a single parent, your list of obligations is endless. Between work, housework and 24-7 parenting, DIY moving is tough to squeeze in. That’s what a full service moving company is for. Let a professional take care of the physical aspect of relocating and relieve yourself of unnecessary pressure. Prioritize moving company costs when setting your budget- it’s worth it.
- Online Research
When it comes to researching neighborhoods and schools, the internet is an invaluable source of information. There are websites with school ratings and student and parent reviews, websites which list top neighborhoods by crime rate, education and prices as well as social media outlets where you can reach out to people in your new community for advice and information. The information is literally at the tip of your fingers.
- Reconnaissance Tour
If you’re moving to a new city try to find the time to visit there beforehand with your kids. A short family vacation/research expedition will allow you and your kids to familiarize yourselves with the new place, check out the neighborhoods and schools and find some nice hangouts, parks, and shops. This will alleviate some of the stress that comes with moving to a new place and give you some family time to enjoy each other before the moving process begins.
- Keep It Positive
Moving can be strenuous and overwhelming, especially as a single parent, but if you can maintain a positive attitude it will make it easier for the whole family. As the parent, you are your family’s center of gravity and your kids’ most significant role model. If you can keep your cool in the face of major change and stress, your kids will most likely follow suite. Not only will moving be easier, they will also learn a valuable lesson in how to address change and tackle challenges in their own life.
- Living Social
Making new friends is one of the greatest challenges to be faced when moving to a new city. Don’t wait until after you’ve moved to start looking for friendly connections. Both you and your kids can find new friends in online groups and forums before you move. Social media will also help you keep in touch with friends and family in your old city, which is just as important as meeting new people. The key is to put as much energy as needed into finding your feet socially, building and maintaining your network of support.
Do you know of more moving tips for single parents? Share them in the comments!