We recently moved. Say what?! Yup, you will no longer read me writing about JustaBXgirl, me, and JustaBXgrandpa living in a one-bedroom apartment. JustaBXgrandpa has been upgraded and is no longer sleeping on the couch! We are now in a two-bedroom apartment that actually has room to live. I mean, it’s such a change that I get out of breath walking from one side of the apartment to the other! Let me tell you something, in these times that we are still staying our behinds home ALL OF THE TIME, having more space is a huge blessing and I count it every day.
As we moved it took me back to the times that we moved during my childhood. I don’t remember those times with joy and smiles. Those are stories for my therapist though when I find one. I am doing my best to keep JustaBXgirl’s therapy bills as an adult low so going into the move I thought about things from her perspective. That’s what I’m here to share today.
Moving is going to be difficult for littles. It can be confusing. It can be exciting. It can be terrifying. I’m hoping that these tips help make it a smooth transition for you and your family. Moving is a new chapter. Let’s set it up to be one filled with wonder and joy. We don’t want our littles to look back and feel like they had no power or position in the move. We want them to always remember that their voices matter.
- Give them a vote – I get it. Ultimately, we are the adults. We get to make the final decisions BUT our littles are people too. They should get a vote on where they are going to live. When we were searching for a new apartment, JustaBXgirl sat with me as I went through apartments online. I would point out things that I liked and didn’t like about places and I allowed her to do the same. When it came time to visit apartments, she had a vote just like me and JustaBXgrandpa did. She visited each apartment and we would have conversations about them after we left.
- Give them jobs – Moving is a big project. There are a million things to do. Let the littles help. Pass them some boxes and some markers and let them pack up some of their stuff. JustaBXgirl helped pack and label boxes. When we actually moved, she had new jobs. She helped clean both the new and old apartments. She carried boxes and helped unpack them.
- Lead by example – I knew that I wanted to use moving as an opportunity to purge things we no longer needed or used. I made sure that JustaBXgirl understood that I wasn’t just making her get rid of things but that we wanted to only take things that were going to have a purpose. I allowed her to see me donate clothes that I hadn’t worn in ages, toss junk that I held onto forever just because and I helped her make decisions on her own things, I was really proud of how much she let go.
- Honor their feelings – JustaBXgirl was really excited about moving up until we moved. Our last trip to the old apartment was rough on her. I had thought about not taking her because I had a feeling the finality of it would hit her hard. It did. Do I regret taking her? Nope. I think for her it was necessary. She was able to have closure. She was able to say goodbye to the only home that she could remember. I allowed her to do just that.
JustaBXgirl needed the final goodbye. It was a beautiful experience and felt almost like a ritual. We walked through each room of the old apartment and thanked it for sheltering us and giving us countless memories filled with love. We prayed that our new space would do as good of a job. We left hopes and wishes that the next family to live in the space feel the same comfort and love that we did. We took photos in the empty space. She did cartwheels through it. She sat in silence in the space and when she was ready we locked the doors for the last time.
That’s not to say that it has been a perfect transition. She still misses her old space at times. It’s only been a few weeks. Yet, in those moments I make sure to acknowledge her feelings. I don’t try to dissuade her from them. I help her sit with them and then we look around at our new blessings and find ways to count them.