We recently sold our house and moved in with my in-laws (read more about that here). Fortunately, my in-laws have the extra space for our little family to move in for a few weeks while we look for our forever home. And even better, they have been a huge help with helping us get the kids adjusted to their new normal. I’m not going to lie, this adjustment has been HARD. Hard on me, hard on AJ, hard on the kids, and I’m sure on my in-laws too! We’ve turned our worlds upside down and are feeling a whole lot of emotions. But after being here for a few weeks now, I feel confident enough to say we have figured out a way to feel more normal. Keep reading for my little “crash course” on how to help the kids adjust to relocating with 5 easy steps!
1. Keep a Normal Schedule:
Kids thrive with structure. I found that the more structured our days were, the easier it was for the kids to anticipate what was going to happen and more meltdowns were avoided. There was one week when the kids were having a really hard time. I’m talking meltdowns over getting the cup they asked for or that the tag the wanted cut out of their shirt was cut out… it was a WEEK. So to help them start to feel a little bit more in control we decided to set an extremely detailed schedule. It made a huge difference in not only their attitudes, but mine! Less meltdowns = less stress. Pro Tip: Get yourself a planner to keep track of day-to-day activities and to plan ahead! I love the Bliss Collections Essential Daily Planner since it breaks down your entire day for you. Be sure to check out some of our favorites below (all linked here)!
2. Designated Kids Space:
Regardless of if you’re home, on vacation, or visiting family, giving the kids a designated area just for them makes a huge difference. It gives them the space to play on their own and to go to when they are feeling overwhelmed and need a break to recharge. I put all of their toys and books upstairs in their room at my in-laws so that they would have a space just for them. Having a few reminders of “home” can help them feel a sense of normalcy too (find more info on our playroom and kid’s organization essentials here). Being in someone else’s home is tough with toddlers and being able to corral their mess not only helps you stay sane, but makes things feel a little less out of control.
3. Lay Down Some Ground Rules:
You’re in a new place. Everyone is uneasy and feeling a little out of control due to these big changes and the best way to help the kids adjust its to help them feel a sense of normalcy. I found that one of the easiest ways to do this is to keep a few of your family ground rules in place. It helps you regulate what needs to be happening and make sure the kids have clear and specific expectations. When kids are able understand what is expected of them, it makes it easier for them to regulate their own behavior as best they can for their age.
4. Give Yourself Some Grace:
Oh “Mom Guilt”. Why did they never mention it in any of the parenting books? Mom Guilt is real. The meltdowns and tantrums that we face on a daily basis are real. And at the end of the day why is it that so many of us sit back after bedtime and think about all the ways we could’ve done better, reacted differently, and been a little more patient. We can understand that the kids are going through a lot so we sit back and think of all the ways we can help them adjust and give them grace to have the meltdown and then move on. If we can do that for them, we can do it for ourselves. Everyone is going through a huge life change and being able to remind yourself that all of you are stressed makes a huge difference. Acknowledge that its tough and give yourself some grace and patience. It won’t be like this for long, so remembering it’s a temporary phase will make a huge difference in your mindset.
5. Stay Positive:
It’s easier said than done but it is so important. I am a huge believer in the idea that kids feed off of the energy that is surrounding them. So if you are stressed and freaking out, they are going to feed off of that energy and react in a similar way. In the first few weeks I noticed that the kids were having lots of trouble regulating their emotions. Now, they are only 2 and 3 years old so emotional regulation isn’t really high on their list of priorities. But they have always been pretty good about figuring out how to relax after getting really worked up. These past few weeks have been tough on us and they are reflecting our energy right back at us through meltdowns and tantrums. Taking some time to take a few deep breaths with the kids helps both of you have a little mental reset and get back a positive mindset.