To be completely honest, the last several weeks have been really hard on everyone so we are glad to see the moving process coming to a head. We have been traveling a ton, E has been commuting driving three hours a day or staying at a friend’s house in WI on days he doesn’t drive back, and we have been packing like crazy on the weekends when he is home. So our routines (which I have always tried to protect) have been in total disarray. B hardly slept three nights in a row in any one place. We reached a sort of breaking point with B this weekend, the poor kid was just at her wit’s end (or mine) so for the last couple days I have been trying to keep everything as routine as possible. Which means that I don’t get as much packing done as I ideally would (luckily we are almost completely packed) but the improvement in B’s behavior has been remarkable. I think the poor kid just really needed to feel like everything was normal and to have me watch her more. Although she is extremely close to all of her grandparents, and she sometimes prefers them to me, there is something about having your mom take care of you and to sleep in your own bed. The house has been turned upside down and her toys packed but her bed, changing pad, and select books remain. All of this is to say that it really has me thinking about how to ease the transition to our new house.
About a month ago, the children I used to nanny moved to St. Louis. At that time, I had done some preliminary reading (for our benefit and for book recommendations for their kids) on how to ease the transition. Our kids are a bit apart in age (their youngest and B are almost exactly one year apart) and their oldest is 4.5 so the kids are obviously in different stages and levels of understanding but could all still experience similar emotions. From what I have read, it helps to talk about the upcoming move and any emotions they might feel, and also to try to keep everything else the same (something we have not been doing.)
So for the move, we are trying to keep everything in place until the last moment. We close on Thursday and move on Friday so B will be at my mother-in-law’s house for Friday for her nap, and we are going to race up and unpack her crib and assemble her nursery right away so she has her bed to sleep in Friday night.
Some other things to help might be reading about your upcoming move, especially with kids a little bit older. So here are some great books that center on either moving or exploring a new city. I chose to give The Adventures of Taxi Dog to the little girl because she LOVES our dogs (well any dog) and Goodnight Missouri to the boy and another book, In The Town All Year Round (which I forgot to include) but it is about all types of transportation and a city through the seasons. It has beautiful illustrations and is a great starting point for talking about a new city. The child I got it for knows the ins-and-outs of Chicago’s transportation system so I thought this might spur him to get to know about St. Louis’s public transportation system.