Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Moving When You Have a Baby

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

img_1851When you have a baby, moving is a whole new ball game. Without kids you pack as you can, listen to your music, take coffee breaks, and then enlist strong helpers to help you get the job done. You can then unpack everything and do things on your schedule and your terms.

When you have a baby, you find yourself packing frantically during naptimes, listening to lullabies, chugging coffee hoping to stay awake, and then waiting for someone to offer to help. Unpacking is a slow process that could take days or even weeks.

For my family, moving has been a part of our lives. My husband was in the Navy and we packed up and moved with a 1-month-old. We drove 12 hours away and moved to a strange place where we knew no one and he started his civilian career while I started my motherhood journey. My daughter Johanna just turned 4, and in her short life, she has lived in 6 houses and 3 states. Fortunately, my husband’s work has always helped with packing. Unpacking on the other hand has always been a struggle. Throw her 2-year-old brother in and we have chaos. Add my current third trimester pregnant self, and well, let’s just say we have a lot of disorganization currently.

However, mommas, there is hope. You can move with a baby successfully and live to tell the story. Here are some tips I have learned over the years.

Babywear

This seems like an easy suggestion, but I promise this will save you. When Levi was a few months old, we moved to a new house. Here I had a cranky little guy who just wanted to sleep and nurse. I wore him in my Tula and was able to pack boxes, do plenty of squats, and unpack when needed. He got his naps and nursed. I also used my Boba wrap when I wanted to be hands-free without the infant insert. I used this wrap to help me get any cleaning done in our new location and Levi was a happy camper.

Take the Help

I have been fortunate to have a super helpful support system each time we have moved. I have one good friend, Christina, who came over and entertained my then 2-year-old as we prepared to move. Buy your friend some coffee or chocolate. Don’t be afraid to get the help. If you can’t seem to focus, enlist a babysitter or trusted family member to take the little one for the day. Your baby won’t mind and you will be productive. Use professional movers if you have the funds and can. Do what’s best for your family.

Slow Down

This is hard for me, but just remember it will get all done. It’s okay if things don’t get in place right away. You are a mom. You have a little one to meet the needs of and that’s okay. For me, I had to set goals. Maybe focus on one room every couple days or maybe just focus on one box a day. It will get done and eventually you will be settled. Deep breaths. Don’t forget for self-care, too. Take breaks. Go get a treat. Sleep when you can. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

So mom, if you find yourself moving with a little one, just remember you can do it! I currently have a disorganized house and boxes to unpack. But, I think chocolate and Netflix with my little ones will win today.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Arkansas where she just moved.

Moving with Toddlers

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Moving with ToddlersMoving is tough. The last time my husband and I moved we were young and childless. We quickly found out, however, that when you are moving your entire family, including your tribe of small youngsters, it is a whole new (and stressful!) ball game. After relocating our family to a new state, my husband started a new job and my oldest started kindergarten all within a month. There are a few things I wish I had known beforehand that would have made our transition a whole lot smoother.

Expect the Worst

I know, I know…this is not the kind of advice you want to hear. It sounds really negative, but the fact is, if you are planning for everything to go wrong, you will be better prepared to handle the potential surprises that await you. Financially, always budget more than you expect to spend on your move. You don’t want to find out that you need a new set of tires on your car right before you are about to embark on the road trip to your new home state. Or that the roof on your old home will require repairs before you can close. I now have first-hand experience with both. If you expect the worst, then when the difficult times hit, both emotionally and financially, you can just assume you knew it would happen.

The Art of Packing and Tossing

Packing. I’ve learned it is an art form to get a whole lot of stuff squeezed into each brown box without breaking anything. To start, you want a good pile of sturdy Uhaul boxes and a LOT of packing tape. You also don’t want to be packing anything you don’t absolutely need. Start cleaning out your house and those kids rooms asap. Ask yourself if you’ve used the item over the last 6 months. If you haven’t used it, start organizing those items into “sell”, “donate”, and “toss” piles. I tossed a lot of puzzles with missing pieces, sold clothing that no longer fit, and donated furniture from college that needed to be replaced anyway. Looking back, I wish I had tossed even more! If you’re queasy just thinking about moving the box and then having to unpack it, find a new home for it in the sell, donate, and toss pile.

Stick to Routines

I found that during our chaotic move, the best thing I could do for the Littles was to try to stick to our normal routine as much as possible. We have always had dinner together, then bath, reading and then bedtime. I tried to stick to this schedule as much as possible. The kids identified with what was coming next and they felt secure that even though we were in a new place, our lives weren’t going to be completely different.

Be Open with Your Kids

During the moving process, our kids asked some really great questions. Some of which we had no answers for…Who will be my new best friend? Will the people moving into our house love it like we did? What will our new house look like? (Luckily, we knew the answer to that one). We tried our best to be open and honest with them. We told them we didn’t have all of the answers but we did know that moving was the best decision for our family. We told them we knew that it seemed scary but that they could trust us to make sure that we were making a good choice. Small children will often ask the same questions over and over again. Don’t get frustrated. The repetition helps them remember what’s happening and reassure them that you are there for them.

Ease up on Your Personal Expectations

There was a moment, after we arrived in our new state, where I realized that both my kids had spent the entire day glued to the I-Pad and the TV while I unpacked. I will readily admit, it was not my finest parenting day. But the reality is you will need time to get certain crucial things done. So try to cut yourself some slack. A few days of extra electronics time doesn’t mean you’re creating a video game-playing hermit. You sanity will thank you.

Enjoy the Adventure

Moving to a new place is fun. It is exciting and refreshing and it can be a really great new start for everyone in your family. Remain positive. Remind the kids what a fun adventure it is and they will follow your lead.

Tessa Wesnitzer is a health and wellness coach who lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves her husband, two boys, green tea, long runs, and snowy winters.

Moving With a Newborn

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

MOving with a newbornLife doesn’t stop when you have a new baby. For many of us, it just gets busier and more exciting. For me, my life drastically changed after the birth of my daughter, Johanna. While I was very pregnant, my husband was finishing up his ten years of service in the United States Navy. Johanna was born in August in St. Marys, Georgia. Flash forward to September, and we were headed on the road to stay with family in Illinois and move to Northeast Indiana. Hello, moving with a new baby.

Moving is not fun, with a newborn or not. But, here are some helpful tips to help you survive the transition if you, too, find yourself changing addresses with a little one in tow.

  1. Accept Help. It’s okay to let others help you. While we were moving, I really needed my husband. I needed him to watch the baby so I could pack. Let friends and family get quality baby snuggles while you work. Consider hiring professional movers if you feel overwhelmed and just need them. Use friends to help keep you sane when it comes to organizing and decorating. Take advantage of baby’s naps and let a friend come give you a break over a Starbucks or hot tea.
  2. Plan Ahead. If you know the date of your move, use the time leading up to it to organize and prepare. For us, I knew we were moving in September. So, I spent the time leading up to the move organizing, packing, and prioritizing what I could. Schedule things like a moving truck when you have the time to make a phone call in peace.
  3. Wear Your Baby. With my son Levi, we moved again. Luckily, he was 3 months old. There is no way I could have gotten anything done with moving or unpacking without baby wearing. Choose a carrier that is comfortable for you and baby. Levi took great naps in my Boba wrap. When we moved, my Tula carrier was a lifesaver. It allowed me to have my hands free and get things put into place in our new home. The added bonus to baby wearing is that you get a workout and baby gets a great nap in.
  4. Give Yourself Time. This is a hard one for me. It’s okay if your new home has boxes in it for a while. The boxes will eventually get unpacked and your home will come together over time. Don’t feel like you have to get it all done. You are still taking care of a new baby and yourself. Remember what’s truly important and get that done. Try unpacking a certain box a day or focus on one room at a time. Use an organizing tool like the Motivated Mom’s Planner to help inspire you.
  5. Create New Memories. With our last move, I did not want to move. I was a teary mess leaving the home where my daughter learned to walk and where Levi was brought home from the hospital. I have had to remind myself that this new home is a new place to create memories. Take lots of photos of your home. Take fun pictures of your kids unpacking, playing in those moving boxes, and embrace the beautiful mess and disorder. Someday, when your home is clean and quiet, you will cherish those memories. Consider even making a scrapbook of your new life in your new home. When you move again someday, it will be a fun keepsake.

So, mom, you can survive moving with a newborn. Just remember you are supermom, and you’ve got this!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. She hates moving, but she does like her new place.

Tips for Road-Tripping with Babies

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Tips for Road Trips with BabiesWe recently completed a cross-country move with our 5-year-old, 2.5-year-old and 13-month-old daughters, driving from Fort Worth, Texas to Queensbury, New York.

When I sat down to Google Maps and started making our route, I was scared. Three days. Stretches of 8 to 11 hours of driving each day. Two overnight stays. How were we going to do this and all stay sane? We don’t even own a portable DVD player.

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, sometimes flying isn’t an option and you need to road trip. Here are a few things I learned from our experience that can make your trip easier.

  1. Give yourself options. Kids love change, any change, no matter how small. So make sure you can keep things interesting when everyone has had enough. Change seating arrangements, change toys, change seat partners, change coloring books, or change snacks. We bought silly dollar toys at gas stations, had emergency snacks and different toys from home that I could distribute when things were getting ugly. Having a few new shows and games downloaded on the iPad and Leapster before the trip helped, too.
  2. Plan at least two extra hours for each day of driving. When I drive alone, I am a fill-up-the-tank, gulp-down-the-coffee, hook-up-the-catheter kind of road tripper. I live and die by making “good time.” So it was helpful for planning purposes, and for me mentally, to realize that having the kids with us added two hours to our total drive time each day. That way I didn’t stretch us too far.
  3. Get multiple rooms overnight. The tiny room at Motel 6 may seem like a wise choice on paper, but it’s very helpful to have room to spread out in the evenings. I love AirBnB when traveling, because we can rent an entire home for the price of a hotel room. Each night we all had our own rooms, we could put the baby down early without having to sit in darkness, and the kids had space to run and explore.  This can be especially helpful if you cloth diaper, because you can get a place with a washer/dryer if you want.  AirBnB isn’t the only place you can book travel this way—there’s VRBO, and more home-sharing or renting options online. Obviously, you want to be safe when traveling with your family. I have several conversations over email and on the phone with my host to get a general vibe before I stay somewhere, and I always pay through the site.
  4. Pack by the day. A friend who has four kids gave me this tip: Instead of packing each person their own bag, pack clothing for the ENTIRE family per overnight stop. Since we were staying in different locations and would have to pack in/pack out each night anyway, this made so much sense! Toiletries for the whole family went in one bag, and PJS/diapers/clothes for the next day in one bag. When we got to our destination for the day, out come the two bags and the pack n play. DONE.
    Tips for Road Trips with Babies
  5. Lower your expectations. The first night, I realized there was not going to be “bedtime” on this trip. We got to our first stop after 13 hours on the road (11 hours of driving), and the two older girls were running circles around the cabin, yelling. I told them they could run but no yelling, and they complied. The baby wanted me only, and wanted to nurse all the time, so we nursed. The girls crashed hard way after their bedtime, which resulted in napping in the middle of the afternoon in the car—normally something that would inspire fear in me. I knew we’d get back to our routine eventually, and it might be painful, but this was not the time to fight that battle. How strict you want to keep schedules while on the road will depend on your kids’ personalities, how old they are, and how well they adjust to change. Once we got to New York and got settled, we were back to normal bedtime within a few days. In my mind, the relaxed standards were well worth the saved sanity.

I think the key to any trip or vacation, even if it’s out of necessity and not for pleasure, is to enjoy yourself and the people you are with. Make memories when you can. Most of all, enjoy the journey!

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mom of three girls. She lives and writes in Queensbury, New York.