Friday, May 31, 2013

Moving With My Boys

As always I enjoy Friday posts because we get to hear other people's stories. Today I'm lucky to introduce Liz Hutchings. Mother of four boys, organizing queen, and professor of mathematics for various online colleges. She is ever busy doing wonderful things. Here is what she has to tell us about the recent transitions of her life.
Hello everyone!  My name is Liz, and I am the mother of four boys!  For about three months now we have been in a transition stage.  What does that mean you may ask, well, let me tell you.  It means that we decided to buy a new house, which involved putting our house on the market, selling it ourselves, and then moving out.  We have yet to close on the new house, so we are currently living in a little rental house until we can move in.  So, for three months we have been moving from one transition to another around my house.  I had never sold a house before, and I learned very quickly that it is difficult and stressful for everyone.  Mom is trying to keep everything clean and organized.  Dad is trying to fix things up around the house after working all day.  The kids are trying to play with very few toys because mom put the rest of them in storage.  And now we are living in a much smaller house with most of our belongings in storage!  So, how do we deal with these transition times?   Here are some things that I found helpful.

First, we tried to involve the kids as much as we could, so they could feel apart of things and not just on the outside looking in.  When moving boxes and furniture that can be difficult but even the little ones can carry the lighter things.   Also, the children can help with the cleaning, and if nothing else they can hold the tape for you when you are packing.  One thing our kids liked was being able to help choose which toys got to stay out and which went into storage to see again at the new house.

Second, we had little family parties.  Now you have to understand that I am not very creative, so when I say family parties to me that can mean anything from watching a movie to playing a game to ordering pizza.  It may be something you normally do, but if you call it a party the kids will get excited and recognize that you are having fun with them!

Third, we communicated with our children.  Children like to know what to expect especially when things are crazy.  Every Sunday we would talk about the plans for the week, so they knew what mom and dad were doing and what was expected of them.  It is amazing how much more helpful children are when they know their help is needed or they know that if they work hard there will be a small party at the end of the week.  Kids also appreciate honesty.  I don’t like to tell my kids that I will be packing all day for a week, so I may not be able to play with them as much as I usually do, but knowing the truth and hearing my feelings about it really helped us to keep everyone talking to each other, supporting each other, and helping each other. 

Fourth, find time to have fun.  I am a very organized person with many lists that tell me what I need to do.  Sometimes I have to put on my list things like – play a game with Michael or read to Jacob.  I tried to pay attention to see what it was that each child needed and appreciated the most, so that when I had little snippets of time I made them count.   When you are moving there is very little time and sometimes no time at all but usually there was some time that we could take with each child.  My husband started taking a child out to lunch with him, so they could just go and talk.  I would play a game or read or go get a new toy car with them.  It was never a lot, but it was something that showed that we were there, that we love them and that we care enough to make time for them.

We are not done, yet, so we are still trying to apply these principles and hopefully perfect them, but I have seen that they help and that they work.  So, whatever stage of life or transition of life you are in find ways to show extra love, take extra time, and always communicate with your little ones, so you can all enjoy the journey cherish even those crazy times!  

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