Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do. We moved house twice last year. Once into my parents house as a stop gap and then into our new forever country home. And yes, it was incredibly stressful between estate agents, banks, solicitors, surveyors, removal companies. The months are long and tedious and the whole process seems never ending. Children are wonderfully resilient but don’t underestimate the impact such an upheaval can have on little minds. A was incredible, bouncing into her new home as though she had always lived there. But we prepared her for the change.
If you’ve found the right house, all the stress of moving house is wonderfully worth it – Our Story
B and I searched for a year before finding our dream home. Or at least what we thought was our dream home. In the end we pulled out of that house as the process was taking too long and the survey threw out some scary money pit issues. On the day we decided to distance ourselves from that house we viewed another. We did the one thing everyone says not to do when buying a house – we fell in love, instantly. We were like giddy little kids as we stood in what would be A’s room and talked about making an offer.
I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. B is a strong believer in Karma. Our philosophies tend to mingle which helps us make decisions together.
This one was a nobrainer
We had been living with my parents for two weeks at the time, we had sold our house and they graciously accepted us into their home until we could move into our new home. However, there are always little spanners that get thrown into the mechanism and stall everything.
We got the survey back for the first house and unfortunately decided to pull out of the purchase. The survey threw out some very worrying issues that would cost thousands to rectify. With the lack of agreement from the bank to sell, we decided to cut our loses.
My brother was home visiting from Australia. He was staying with our parents also, and the house was getting cramped with so many extra bodies and mouths to feed. My parents never once complained or made us feel unwelcome, quite the opposite. I think they’d have loved us to stay for longer. We had intended on only staying with them for two weeks but the bombshell of the house we were due to buy was too huge.
This was our future, A’s future. Our forever home. Moving House and choosing a home was not a decision to take lightly
When we told my parents that we had to pull out of the house they were so supportive despite not knowing how much longer they’d have us as guests. As B and I talked and browsed property websites again (something we thought we were done with), my dad joined us and pointed out a house I had looked at before but was over our budget. Dear lord could it be? Yes! The price had changed. It was exactly within our price range.
One phone call later and we had an appointment to view the house at 6pm. Not even knowing the route we hopped in the car and let Google Maps lead the way. We got stuck in traffic on a national road that was being pelted with rain. Profusely apologising to the estate agent when we got there she said “Oh that road is always clear, I wonder what happened? It must be the rain.” Estate agents lie lie lie! That road is always black at rush hour and we avoid it at all costs now.
The house was perfect
A four bed bungalow with a front and back garden that regrettably takes two hours to mow, but space! Tons of space for A to grow and learn in. We’re surrounded by fields and trees and wonderful privacy which we craved.
Everything happens for a reason
I shudder when I think of us living in the first house we were sale agreed on. In hindsight, it was too far from family, outside of our chosen area, the plot was an odd shape and the Master bedroom was the only room upstairs. Our new home is a bungalow (so many benefits to no stairs!), so much space front and back (albeit with a lawn that takes two hours to mow and a garden that attacks!), and closer to my parents and only ten minutes away from my sister. I love coming home every night. But most importantly A, loves her new home.
We found it important to prepare A for the huge change that was happening in her little life. Her world was being turned upside down. We needed her to feel safe, secure and know that Momma and Papa Bear were right there with her. We did three things that helped her with the transition.
Talk the Hind Legs Off A Donkey
Don’t underestimate how much a toddlers little mind can understand. We found that talking to A about the idea of moving home, having a new bedroom and a new garden worked wonders. In small doses – as toddlers don’t have the most amazing attention spans – we kept her in the loop about where we going. Because our process involved moving twice, we needed her to feel safe and comfortable and know that she had a home with Momma and Papa Bear each time. A definitely seemed to understand, and would repeat elements to us like her “new bedroom” and “new garden” so we knew it was sinking in. She was a dream moving from each house and took everything in her stride. She didn’t mind the mountain of boxes stacked up against the kitchen wall, and attempted to help us paint the walls and prep the house for viewings!
On the day we moved out of our old house, we told A that we were moving into Nanny and Granda’s and we each said goodbye to every room, highlighting her bedroom and our bedroom. We waved goodbye to the house. We feel that this gave A some closure. Understandably, she was 20 months and her memory was not as succinct as it is now but we wanted to make sure that for those moments she knew we were not returning to that house. That evening, after work, B collected her from his Aunts house and came back to my parents’ house. Myself and my Dad had set up her cot and her toys in the bedroom the three of us were staying in. That night she went straight up the stairs and flopped into her cot into a sound sleep as though everything was exactly as it should be.
On the day we moved out of Nanny and Granda’s house we gave her a little bag and she packed her things and loaded it into the boot with a million other boxes, suitcases and bags. She said goodbye to Nanna and Granda and told them she would see them later and that she was off to the new house!
FYI: I was bawling crying leaving my parents house! What an emotional upheaval. I should have prepared myself a little more! The first time I moved out when I was 21 was no where near as hard. But at 32 – Jeez I was a wreck!
Bring A Friend – Creature Comforts
A became attached to a Giant Owl Teddy, called Rich, which B had bought for her on a whim. Rich however, became a very important part of the puzzle. As we would talk to A about the changes and the transition we would also involve Rich. We maintained an excitement about moving into a new house and invited Rich on the journey with us. A would tell Rich about the new house so we knew it was sinking in. On moving day, Rich sat in the back seat with her as we drove to the house and she brought him into her room and showed him where she slept. We spent two solid weeks decorating and unpacking before we brought A to the house so she would recognise the old furniture, the same artwork hanging on newly painted walls. It was important to have her creature comforts around her.
I honestly believe A transitioned quicker and better than we did with the change in environment and location. Preparing her was a huge advantage. For us, we moved to the countryside in October. It was getting cold and dark (boy was it dark!) and not the ideal time to move. But for A, it is as though our new house has always been her home. She has loved her new bedroom and play room from day one.