House hunting is exciting. Finding your new family home is exhilarating. But let’s face it, moving is for the birds! With 14 moves under my belt (local and international combined) I consider myself a fairly seasoned mover. Give me some boxes, tape, newspaper and some time and I am good to go, oh and if I happen to have some wine handy even better :). However, when you add a kiddo, or more, into the mix…well let’s just say things get interesting. There’s a first time for everything and so this is what I tried while moving with a toddler in tow:
- Put’em to work! My three year old wanted to help, so I let her by giving her manageable tasks. She was actually a superb paper scruncher and saved me a ton of time from creating padding.
- Pack and chat. Early on my daughter and I packed up some of her toys together which got us talking about the move and how all of our things would be going to our new home. I wasn’t sure if she’d get the whole moving concept and I was a little worried how she would react about her toys and books slowly disappearing. But you know what, it was fine. Yes, there may have been a few tears at first when she realized that we couldn’t unpack her things right away, but she caught on quickly and understood that this was not a permanent situation.
- Labeler for hire! Sometimes I use brightly colored paper to label my boxes with…who better to stick them on said boxes than your little helper? Just be sure you’re in charge of the tape – otherwise you may have a sticky situation on your hands 🙂
- Cardboard canvasses. There were times when my little darling couldn’t, wouldn’t, or shouldn’t help but she still wanted to be with me while I was knee-deep in boxes and newspapers. The solution came in the form of markers/crayons and the before mentioned boxes – they made for great canvasses for her to draw on while I worked nearby. A win-win for all involved 🙂
- Think outside the box. I know I’m not the only parent who has witnessed her child take greater joy out of playing with a plain old box than the toy, gadget, or gizmo that came inside it. I say seize the moment and give your child a large box to blast off to the moon, race cars or play house in and take advantage of this free distraction and keep on packing!!!
- Build a fort…while you still can. As the days go on the excitement of packing up wanes and all you want to do is escape from it all. Well, unfortunately for us adults that’s probably not a possibility, but for our kids – yes 🙂 My daughter and I built this fort together gathering any remaining “building materials” (i.e. cushions and blankets) that we could and she set herself up in her little hide out with a snack and her iPad and I didn’t see her again until she came out about an hour later:)
- Call in the big Gs’ – as in the grandparents or other relatives 🙂 If all else fails and you have family that lives near by reach out and ask if they wouldn’t mind watching their precious grandchild, niece, nephew, or cousin for a few hours. I cannot even begin to tell you how much help that was to me and am so thankful to have family in town ready to help. If you don’t have relatives close by that can lend a hand, then perhaps a friend or babysitter can step in to entertain your munchkin for a bit.