It’s Not All Sunshine

So here’s a non-ranching but very important post when a family considers moving…your children.

Throughout this whole process, my husband and I have been very honest about our decision to move to the ranch with our daughter. She knows we are going, she knows it’s far, she asks us questions that only a 4 year-old can fathom and we answer as honestly (and plainly) as we can.

After our road trip to the ranch, we came back and tried to do our routine of school, soccer practice, clean, cook, laundry, etc. as if we never missed a beat. However, the little one wasn’t having it. Stalling to get dressed in the morning, terrible sleep at night, crying for no reason (or what I thought was no reason), exhausted and falling asleep in the car, not talking about her day, clingier than usual…it was after soccer practice one day one of my BFF’s said the obvious: she’s not adjusting well. This whole moving thing was getting to her.

It killed my heart a little. I had just scolded her for walking away from me, she turned around with giant tears in her eyes. I knew what it was like to feel as if you have no one to talk to…we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. We sat down on a bench nearby and I let her cry on my shoulder. This move was hard for us but we’ve moved before; this is her first move. Ever. Even at 4 this kid has a LOT of emotions to work through. We talked about why she’s sad, why we are going. It may have been the 1,332,483.48th time but she needed to talk and I needed to listen.

I hope that if you have to move soon to remember that it’s big for you, HUGE for your kids. If they act out, take a deep breath, give them a hug first. Say “I love you and I’m here for you” just a few more times. Remind them of how amazing they are and you can’t wait to get their help redecorating, painting, packing, whatever. Just let them know that it’s OK to be sad.

And if you’re still lost, I recommend popcorn and a movie and cuddles on the couch. Maybe Inside Out. Maybe The Croods or The Incredibles. Something showing a family succeeding together. We did that tonight and I think it solidified, in her mind, that she’s not alone.