Moving: Toddler Transitionings & Unpacking a New Home

December 1, 2015


“Moving was a great idea until I started packing.” I love this quote as it couldn’t ring more true to our recent moving experience. Don’t get me wrong, I was INCREDIBLY excited to move. However, the actual process of packing? Pure and utter torture!

It’s only when you move do you discover just how much “stuff” you’ve accumulated through the years. I made a handful of trips to the dumpster and another six to the Goodwill with my car stuffed to the brim. Do we really need 100 copies of Alfonso’s headshots from 1990? Or a neon green bowling ball bag? Or a collection of hats and shirts from the University of New Mexico? (We have zero connection to the school, as I haven’t the faintest idea how we acquired them!?) All I can say is the local Goodwill has quite the assortment of ‘interesting’ items from the Ribeiro house!

Although we are officially moved in, we are nowhere near being fully unpacked. I have the most important rooms settled (i.e. kitchen, living room, nurseries). The kitchen was my first priority as that enabled me to properly host our first Thanksgiving in the new pad. It was certainly an ambitious undertaking on my part since we had moved in just two weeks prior and agreed to have a Thanksgiving feast for twenty people. (Yes, TWENTY!) Fortunately, it turned out absolutely perfect. We had family and friends, most of which were our DWTS family. It was a wonderful afternoon of watching football, hanging out, playing Guesstures (my team, “Team Emma,” won!), eating lots of amazing food (my hubby cooked three delicious turkeys), and watching AJ dance with his favorite DWTS dancers.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I’m trying to focus on finishing the unpacking process and helping my son, AJ, better transition to our new home. One of the main reasons why I don’t have more unpacked is the fact that I’ve been focusing more on AJ and less on the boxes. It’s so much for a two-year old to process and comprehend. Prior to the moving process, I did my own research on ways to help a toddler deal with this new change. I knew there would be no ‘one size fits all’ method, as moving impacts every child differently. I had hoped since we travel quite extensively for my husband’s work, it wouldn’t be as bad for AJ. (Clearly, I’m not as concerned for Anders transition as he is only seven-months old.) I found tons of great tips on the internet, some of which worked better than others. For starters, I read AJ numerous books about moving and brought him to the new house several times before moving day so he could get acquainted with the place beforehand. (I made sure to bring some of his favorite toys to play with each time so he could always have a positive experience.) We had daily discussions with him about moving, and even though I’m sure he didn’t understand everything, I feel this helped. We also tried to maintain his normal routine as best we could throughout the experience, which was VERY challenging given the stresses and craziness associated with moving. Though he is getting better, he is still a bit confused and has become more clingy since being in the new house –which based on my readings, seems to be rather normal.

In an attempt to create a sense of closure, we made a family trip to our old house over the weekend to say “good-bye” thinking it would help AJ (and all of us). He seemed to understand the gesture more than what we anticipated. It was more emotional for me as it’s always difficult leaving a place where you made so many wonderful memories. And I admit, it saddens me knowing AJ (and Anders) probably won’t have a single memory of our old home. Luckily enough, I only have about 10,000 photos to show them when they’re older.;)

We continue to help AJ the best we can with this change. We have certainly rocked his world and know it’s only a matter of time before he adjusts to his new surroundings. I would love to hear about your moving experiences with little ones and how they handled the transition.

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