Back when we were living in Mexico, there came a point when I knew it was time to leave. And here we are again, five years later and it’s coming to that point again when it’s becoming blatantly obvious that it’s time to go. So today, a personal post and peek at our life behind the scenes. Plus a few tips on moving with kids and preparing them for a new baby.
The Big Reasons We Need to Leave:
1.Expecting baby number 4
Oh, actually I haven’t shared that with you guys…yes we are expecting again. Our one bedroom apartment, that we converted into a two bedroom is decidedly one we are outgrowing.
Space-wise we can manage a little while longer. We certainly have enough room in our bedroom for a little baby, but there are more reasons to move. Improving our living situation is just one of them.
2.Our kids’ school is closing
When we first moved to Brooklyn, we thought it was going to be for four months. Really! From here to there, we really liked the preschool we found for our boys and we were able to take over the apartment lease so it worked out.
Then M’s work situation changed, and it made sense for us to stay a little longer. Then we really liked the younger one’s school and for the following year we were thinking about leaving again….BUT we found an amazing school for our kids. One that was in line with our values and they have thrived there. Truly it has been such a blessing for the whole family.
Recent changes have made it that many of the boys’ classmates have left. The school will be under different leadership and in a different location for next year. So it might just be time to (reluctantly) move on.
3.New York City was never a long term home for us
Moving in to Brooklyn was exciting and fun. We definitely made some sacrifices to be here in terms of the day to day comfort. But also, it was a logical decision that we revisited annually.
Realistically, without family ties holding us here, we could definitely improve our quality of life by moving somewhere else. Speaking of quality of life, I’m referring to lower cost of living, hopefully more comfortable housing, and better weather! This is something we always knew but just needed to reach that critical point.
Smaller Reasons We Need to Leave:
There are always little things that change. Each little annoyance on its own is tolerable. However when you have enough of these little issues going on eventually enough is enough.
- A big building is going up just a block away from us. Fifty some apartments and no designated parking, means that as much trouble as we have parking now, things will only get worse once that building is occupied.
- Our Super won’t fix anything in our apartment. Literally every little thing is a battle, even things that could be fixed in a number of minutes and at little to no cost! Very frustrating!
- Some of our neighbors have created a situation which is inviting to pests. I don’t like to speak poorly of others so we will leave it at that.
- The cost of driving is going up. EZPass is discontinuing the car-pool plan…that we use because our seasonal storage is in New Jersey.
- Generally speaking I really like the people in New York City. There are a lot of people that share our values which makes it “easy”, for lack of better description. And yet, while I have made some good friends, we weren’t really able to create a community that would bind us to this place.
- City living is tough with little kids. While I know that millions of people around the world do it, living in a huge city like New York means we sacrifice a lot in terms of outdoor space and quiet. Those little annoyances of city living are just plain even more annoying when you’re toting around little one.
Preparing Ourselves for the Transition
Can you hear my reluctance? I know it’s time but it hasn’t been bad for us being in the Big Apple. Then again, I am also ready. Ready for a little more sunshine and a little more space.
We do not yet know what the next step will be. We do know it is coming up in the next 6-18 months but the details have yet to be hashed out. In the meantime, there are certain things that we are doing in preparation for a move.
- Scoping out possible locations: through research, talking to people, but also through visiting in person.
- Brainstorming sessions: this is a recurring topic of conversation after the kids have gone to bed.
- Focusing on the here and now! There is still much to be done in the next several months.
Preparing Our Kids for a Transition
Truth be told, kids are resilient! They take things much more literally, and accept things as they are. Then again, there are things we can do to prepare them for the move we will eventually be making. Of course, we will do some baby preparation too!
Preparing for Baby #4
Back in the day, I wrote about preparing for a new baby, and the things I did with Little N (who was not even two at the time, but is now 8 years old!). All of those things hold true for Little A now, currently 3 years old. We have been and will be:
- Reading and talking about babies (and what they can and can’t do)
- She’s been to some of my prenatal appointments.
- We’ve been emphasizing that she is a big kid, and all the things she can do. At this point I know to expect her wanting to be babied when the baby is here, and I also know that it will only be a phase. 🙂
Our 6 year old, B, is very interested to know what is going on with the baby, what he looks like at different points. He’s been referencing this book, and it’s been a great starting off point for us.
Back to our 8 year old, N, he is taking some interest but not too much. My impression is that he feels he know all about little babies. Maybe he does?! He certainly is aware that my attention is going to be split, but he’s also more focused on the big picture.
Preparing Kids for a Move
Speaking of the big picture, N is very, very interested in knowing what the next steps hold for us. He knows that we will move. As a matter of fact, he has been asking to move for a very long time!
He is most concerned about whether we will be able to move to a house or only a bigger apartment. In particular, he is asking for his own room. We shall see!
When we moved to New Jersey from Mexico, I had this idea for a post: “Moving with Kids, Harder than I Thought it Would Be“. But it was a downer and I never got around to it. I did however write some tips for moving with kids, and now might be a good time to share them, if only with myself.
Tips for Moving with Kids
- Declutter early and often! Less stuff means less to pack, less to move, and less to unpack.
- Take your time…start packing certain things as early as you can.
- If possible, hire movers to pack everything! Packing with little ones around is hard! They suddenly discover and want to play with everything you have just put in a box.
- Label boxes with numbers and appropriate room. Keep a handy list of box numbers and their content. (We still use our original list for a few things that never made it in to our current place!)
- Pack ONE box, or even better, one clear bin, with things you need for your first night in the new place! Things like towels and soap for the first shower, sheets or sleeping bags, a few cups and coffee and some snacks.
- Clean the new place before the movers arrive. If you have the time, that is. If not, have it professionally cleaned with the boxes still packed!
- For kids old enough to be involved, talk to them about the move and get them involved in setting up their spaces.
- Consider staying in a hotel on moving day. Depending on what time you get in, it may be too rushed to try to get beds accommodated for that first night.
On a Personal Note
I haven’t written much personal reflection on this blog in the last couple of years. Actually, I think I haven’t written any at all. My comfort zone is decidedly one where things have already happened, decisions have been made, and advice is ready to be relayed.
But, I have felt that something is missing. A bit of storytelling and a bit of real life connection. Life is messy. Decisions are hard to make.
There will be a day, when this is behind us. When we are off exploring a new home. But for the time being, I thought I would share a little of what’s going on behind the scenes.
Have you had periods of uncertainty? or times of indecision? Do you have any suggestions for us for our next destination?
*All picture from Central Park in the fall of 2019. Post to come…eventually. 😉