Tuesday, January 11, 2011

tuesday's true confession:

Well, by now most of you know that we are moving.  In less than a month we will be Iowans at heart but Texans by location.  That's right . . . we are moving from Iowa to Texas!  Aaaack! 


Every move is different. 

I've lived in Iowa, South Dakota, China, England, Iowa, Michigan and Iowa.  (Yep, Iowa seems to always lure me back . . . she's a crafty state!)  I've done all these moves by myself.  (Well, truth be told that for the stateside moves I had help with the packing, driving, unpacking, but ultimately it was my choice, my risk, my life.)  These moves were all filled with adventure, excitement, giddy anticipation . . . lots of positive feelings. 

This time I've discovered that moving a family is different.  It's no longer just me!  Now I'm responsible to and for others.  And I confess that kind of sucks. 

My oldest has burst into tears almost every night for the last week as I tuck her into bed and pray for our move.  Tonight she finally said, "I don't want you to pray that out loud anymore.  I want you to pray about that place in your mind only.  I don't like hearing it in my face."  She said this through sobs and tears and gasping breathes.  It was horrible . . . I feel horrible

I tell her that she is brave . . . that this is an adventure . . . that we are doing it together.  I tell her that she will find a friend or two or maybe even three . . . that we can write and send pictures to our friends and they will send them to us . . . that home is where we are together.  I tell her . . .

What on earth do I tell her?!?!    

Have you moved with kids?  Any advice?  How do I help her grieve and feel her feelings but also see this as an adventure?  How?

By the way . . . you are going to hear a lot about this whole moving gig the next month or so because it is basically consuming my every waking moment . . . so thanks in advance for putting up with me, giving me advice, passing on your own stories, keeping me sane (or as sane as I can be). 

Confess on!

24 comments:

Rachel Sue said...

You know it's funny. My daughter had moved 4 times by the time she was four. So, my problem was the opposite. After about a year of living in this house, she started bugging me to move again!

It will work out. It might take some time but she will find a new friend and then everything will be okay!

Debra said...

My sister had a lot of the same problems with her five-year-old and their last move. He was upset for awhile but one he started making friends in the new place he is much better. It broke my heart to see him so sad. I breaks my heart to hear about your daughters. Moves are so stinkin hard. What general area of Texas?

Sylvia C. said...

Wow, I wish i had some wisdom for you... But instead, I will just say that I am excited for your future, and look forward to hearing more.
I know how something in our life can really consume us. I am going through that right now! ;)

all the best,
Sylvia

cheryl said...

My husband is from Iowa. Now he is a transplanted Iowa boy down here in Georgia!!

I have never moved with kids....I will be thinking of you though.

Sandi said...

We moved from Japan (military assignment) to Iowa and then on to New Jersey when our daughter was two. She was young and didn't mind. Then we left New Jersey to return to the midwest and settled in a MPLS suburb. We hadn't been in our house but a couple of days when we saw tiny faces peeking in the sliding glass door. It was two neighbor kids who became very good friends and the move was never a bother after that. It will happen for your little one, too, but the bumpy part will have to come first. :-( Then will come the smiles of new friends. :-)
I was hoping to meet you in person one day but now I will have to travel further south. A bonus will be the milder winters. :-)

Christy said...

OK...I can't tell you about moving, but I CAN tell you ALL about Texas and why it's going to be an amazingly fun, wonderful, super fabulous adventure. I might be a LITTLE bit biased....I can trace back to at least the 5th generation of Texas in my roots....so....
Where are you guys moving? I might can actually tell you a few things you can tell your daughter about. :O) Hope it goes better, and the move goes smoothly! Welcome, neighbor!

Beverly @ FlamingoToes.com said...

Six years ago we moved from Phoenix to Washington, and 7 months after that we moved from Washington to California. Not a great time for our kids - I felt awful about it.
My son had the hardest time leaving his friends. We set up a pen pal system with his classroom and so he sent them letters and his teacher sent him a packet of letters from the kids a couple times during the remainder of the year. It was so sweet of her and it really meant a lot to him to receive them.
It was hard but I was surprised and happy with how well they adjusted each time and how quickly they made friends.
I'll be thinking about you and praying for your girls during this.
On a seperate note - I'm completely envious that you have lived in China and England!!:)

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I don't have awesome advice, because I've never moved my kids...not at an age they would remember anyway. But I do know that my kids are extremely receptive to my attitude about something...even if I am saying positive words about the situation...they can pick up on my true feelings about it and they adopt that same prejudice. So, my only advice is make sure you are actually happy about the move too! :) Tall order...I know...

Hayley said...

Oh gosh. I have such sympathy for you. We experienced a similar situation when we moved from Alabama to Alaska. My daughter didn't want to go. She didn't want to leave her family, her state, her friends, the river, and all that she knew and loved behind. I tried to tell her it would be fun. It is an adventure, I said. She was ok with the plane ride, the new summer adventures, but the winter...the winter has been hard. Home sickness has set in for us all and the cold and darkness is difficult. She wants to go home. Most of the time we all do. This isn't helping is it? Sorry. Ok , what you can do is search for activities in the new area, make a book, create badges for the book. Whenever she completes a new experience, hold a ceremony presenting her with the badge. This is one small thing.

The only other thing I know is just to communicate with her. Be sure she understands the process. Be sure she understands you will all be together.

Papgena Made It said...

Oh dear!!! I never moved with kids so I don't have great advises but, maybe if you said to your girl that you are sad too, it will help. I know, for experience, that when I'm down with something and my husband stays allways cheerful that it's freak me out. So, maybe tell her that you are sad but trying to see all the good things that will come, maybe that help!
Good luck!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I know, it just breaks your heart when your kids are sad. But you know they will make the adjustment, make friends and be happy in Texas. Continue to think of it as a great adventure. And as with all adventures, there will be bumps along the way. Just keep them as involved in the process as possible so that they feel they have some degree of control. Good luck!

Chelsi said...

My bro & sis-in-law moved to Texas a handful of years ago, and it has been wonderful for them. The school's are great, they've made great friends, and the only bad thing is that they're far away from us. :) I'm sure you will love it.

And, your daughter will make it. I had lived in 8 different cities (in three states) by the time I was twelve. It was hard to move, but I always adjust quickly and made friends quickly. I really think it helped me learn to adapt and make new friends. Maybe buy or make her some cute paper, envelopes, & pens for her to send letter and/or pictures to her friends. Don't know if it will help, but it's worth a try.

Good luck!

Julie said...

When we recently moved (in town so we weren't leaving friends but my kids were still unhappy so to speak), the oldest was worried and we couldn't figure out why at first. Then, after some comments he made over time, we figured out that he thought we would be leaving EVERYTHING OF OURS behind when we moved to the new house. He thought he had to leave his toys, bed, clothes, etc...once he understood we would simply have a new house, he was much less worried about the move. It helped us to take drives and show our kids their new house. This helped them get excited...maybe once you have a house, you can show your girls some photos of their new house and bedrooms?? Anyway, just my 2 cents worth :) This family and it's small children will be praying for your family and it's small children.

Julie
www.vibrant-designs.net

Leslie said...

moving with kids is so hard...we do it a lot since my husband is in the army....and our friends move a lot also so we seem to always be saying goodbye to someone we love. she is not alone in her feeling, i usually feel that way....but i bet once she gets to the new place and makes that first friend she is going to be ok...just let her be sad and spend as much time as she can with her Iowa friends.

Leslie said...

oh i forgot, we also take lots of pictures of our kids with their friends and then make them a album to take along so they can always look through it and remember them

Chris said...

Best advice, be upfront with your feelings, too. Let her know what you're feeling so she's not feeling alone. My four year old struggled the most with this move. If you can in advance, find a school or activity for her to look forward to before you get there. Wishing you all the best.

Hands Sew Full said...

I have done this difficult journey before as well. I moved with my kids from "lower mainland - had everything imaginable" - BC to "is absolutely beautiful but has very little in the way of activities" Northern Ontario. We left everything they ever knew; their Dad (who had already left us but they still saw him), my best friend who was their Nanny and 2nd Momma, two Aunties, school, friends, local activities and play places. EVERYTHING. There were a few things that helped: we cried ALOT together, I acknowledged their fears and sense of loss, I felt it too. We had a huge get together with friends from school and a few little intimate ones with close buddies. We took pictures and put them in a special album along with tickets and postcards from the Aquarium, the Zoo, Crash Crawley's, all the favourite haunts that they would miss. We got addresses and emails so they could keep in touch. We talked about why we needed to move and what benefits there were. We made the actual journey as fun as possible. 3000 miles is a long way to drive with two kids by yourself so if there was something to see we stopped and made it a memory! Since we've been here; if I get the chance I take them back to visit and we get everyone together for a gathering so they can see and catch up with as many friends as possible. Making new friends here was hard because we are rural but I signed them up for activities so they could socialize and make some friends and I do my best to encourage play dates with kids at school. I also made it a project to get to know what WAS available here for the kids. There isn't much compared to BC but there are some really neat natural wonders here! And some museums and cool adventures to discover. The kids still miss BC and they still call it home and I agree. But we also acknowledge what we have gained by being here. Just hold her hand, acknowledge the pain, re-establish the reason, and encourage the positives. Of all the things that she will miss....she will still have the most important thing....YOU. We held on to the saying that "life is a journey, not a destination". The kids still say it whenever change threatens their security, and they still hold onto Mamma. Sending you warm hugs and strength.

Lu said...

I have no advice. I've never moved my kid and he wouldn't be old enough to remember anyway. But I can be your cheerleader -- rah rah rah! Give me an M! Give me an O-V-E! What's that spell? MOVE! ;)

allison @ itstoilegood.blogspot.com said...

I moved from Iowa to Texas 31 years ago! Never looked back! Love Texas and I have no doubt your daughter will too. I have had luck with bribery and M&M's though.
Best to you in the move!

movingmommy said...

I went to over 30 elementary schools when I was little because my parents moved all the time for work. My dad is in construction so once a job was done we would just up and move. So yeah I was mad alot and didnt like my parents every time we moved but every place we went to I always made new friends and I always had fun in the new town. Now that I look back I am glad that I was able to make all those friends and see all those places but at the time of course I hated it. And Its funny cuz I am now moving again with my family (last year 3 times) because my husband works in construction but we both agreed that when our daughter starts school we will hopefully find a steady job. So she will be mad before, during and after you move but once she gets settled in and makes some friends and checks out new things in the town she will be great! Good Luck

karen said...

I moved 9 times between 1st grade and 6th grade, and now as an adult I can tell you the positive is that it prepares you for all the changes life will throw at you.....it makes you adaptable, and that's a good thing(but I know that doesn't help your daugher now). Now let me tell you where we ended up at and have been for the last 30+ years...TEXAS!!!!! I look foreward to finding out where in TX you will be landing, we have sooooooo much to offer, if you come with an open heart, I think you will find this is a good place to be. I suggest you get a big picture book about TX and start looking through it with your daugher and talk about the mant adventures you can have here! GOOD LUCK, and GOD BLESS

Lori T @ http://www.thetowells.com said...

I remember moving to Texas when I was 13, and someone told me, "Ahhh, so you're going to become a Texan." I was so upset and vowed that I would never. Well, guess what . . . I LOVE Texas. We live in NW Texas, and it's great. Best of luck to y'all!

Desi said...

I can tell you that from my experience of moving all across the country as a kid (my dad is a Marine), I loved it. I would hate it during the actual move, but as I got older I started to see it as an adventure. New places to explore, more friends to make. As Karen said, it prepares you for life out in the world.
Now that I'm married to a Marine (yea, I know, I just couldn't get away from it) and have kids, we have only had to move once, but it was from Florida, where all our family is, to California. But, my daughter, who was 4 at the time, had a really rough time before the move. She didn't understand why we had to move, and it broke my heart. But once we were in Cali, she started to adjust quickly. She made friends within a couple days, and now loves it here.
My biggest suggestion is to be there for your daughter, listen to all her concerns. Then, once you get to Texas, go out exploring ASAP. Don't worry about those boxes sitting in the corner, they can wait. Go find out all there is to do. Find a great park, or an awesome ice cream parlor. It will help!
Best of luck!

Mary said...

Best of luck to you! We moved from Georgia to Nebraska in 1995 ... it was hard on our son who was in 2nd grade at the time. Kids will adjust. Hopefully we're looking at moving to Texas (or somewhere warm) in the next few years ... daughter graduates from HS this year and hubby has agreed to move away from Nebraska (his home state not mine). :)

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