Family life

What I hate about moving with young kids

Six things one mother hates the most about packing and moving when you have young kids.

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A (much younger) Gillian and Isaac peek out from under the clutter from the last family move. Photo: Jennifer Pinarski

My husband and I could be considered relocation pros. In the 13 years we’ve been married, we have moved four times—and we’re now are in the process of our fifth move. Our first move as a couple was child-free, where we literally threw all our belongings into black garbage bags and drove across the city in a rented truck. This also included throwing our drawer of kitchen knives into a bag, and the friends who helped us move have never let us live that one down.

Each subsequent move has gotten more complicated, mostly because we now have children. Our last big move was three years ago, when we left Winnipeg to move to rural Ontario. At the time our daughter was a few months old, and our son was only three years old. While it wasn’t easy trying to purge and pack with an infant and a toddler, it was a breeze compared to our current move.

Read more: New study: Effects of moving on kids’ mental health>

Here are the six things I hate the most about moving:

Finding a new family doctor

When we moved from Manitoba to Ontario, we left behind our beloved family doctor who cared for me during both my pregnancies and, despite having a full patient load, took on our children as patients. Because we didn’t have a doctor for the first six months after we moved to Ontario, walk-in clinics and emergency rooms were where we went for things as simple as prescription refills. Doctor shortages are a real concern, and finding a new family doctor is my biggest worry.

Making new friends

Despite only living in our current home for a few years, my kids have formed strong friendships that they are very sad to leave behind. Yes, I know they’ll make new friends, but it’s still hard.

Keeping the house clean for real estate agents

Hands down, this is the most miserable part of moving. On the best of days, it’s a challenge keeping the house tidy, but having the house in show-ready condition all the time is no fun for anyone. Not to mention our pet dog has developed a seasonal allergy and is shedding handfuls of hair and smells awful. My only hope is that anyone coming through our house doesn’t have a sense of smell.

Starting a new school

Our son’s school is small and the staff and volunteers have become like family to us. We are sad to leave them behind. My biggest worry right now with regards to school is not knowing which one we will be at because we haven’t decided which neighbourhood we’re moving to yet.

Read more: New kid: How to make a family move easier>

Packing up their toys

Hand-in-hand with keeping the house in perfect condition is the fact many of the kids favourite toys have been packed up. For the ones that I’ve left out (Lego) I feel like I’m constantly nagging the kids to pick up their toys—wait, that’s not any different than when we’re not moving.

Finding a new “mom tribe”

When we moved to our new town I was lucky enough to be able to reconnect with many of the same friends I went to high school with. Finding a new group of women that I can connect with is intimidating.

Have you moved with your kids? What survival tips do you have for me? 

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children. Read more Run-at-home mom posts or follow her @JenPinarski.