My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Wherever we lay our hats ...

... That'll be home!

Anyone that knows us will know that we are looking forward to moving home soon.

Munchkin is excited about getting another new bedroom.
Munchkin is excited about getting a garden.
Munchkin is excited about adopting a new play area.
Munchkin is excited about not having to share our front door.

Munchkin is excited!

In fact, we are all excited. We are really looking forward to starting a better life.

However, I do often worry. I wonder if moving home as often as we have will have any negative impact on the little ones. Mainly Munchkin. She will be 5 years old in September, and when we move again, it will be her 4th home move. Ok, so the first one was when she was just 11 months old, so she doesn't have any memory of that. However, we then moved again when she was just 3 and again when she was nearly 4. Now, as her 5th birthday approaches, we are looking to move again really soon. Yes, she is excited, and yes she is looking forward to all of the positives, but could this be damaging at all? I do worry. We never intended to move home as often as we have, in fact, we hate moving. But for one reason or another, it has happened this way and we need to deal with it in a sensitive manner. 

I have concerns about anxiety - the worry of moving home, moving away from the places she knows, the sights she sees every day, the people she passes every morning that say hello to her in the street on the way to nursery. I worry that behind that big excited smile could be a confused little frown that's frightened to settle. 

She's had a few nightmares recently ... could this be the cause?

This got me looking into things to think about, things to consider and things to remember when moving with little people in tow. Little people who can't necessarily voice their feelings or even understand their emotions enough to identify them themselves. I came across some helpful tips and I wanted to share some that I thought were really useful.

Talk to your child about moving

Discuss moving with your children. Tell them you're looking at moving home and what that will mean for them. Younger children are quite likely to lose focus while discussing the move after just a few minutes so just let them know they can ask you any questions they might have when they think of them. You may find they forget about it completely until you mention it again, whereas older children will be more aware of what is going on and want to discuss things in a little more depth. Munchkin just wants to talk about how she wants her room to be decorated at the moment, but that may change. Once we're moved, and she has things the way she wants them (within reason!! I draw the line at house trained unicorns as pets!!) she may feel something different. The anxiety or negative emotions could stir once she no longer has the immediate distraction of the move to keep her busy.

Involve them 

Don't take them to every house you see, but perhaps take a look in estate agents windows together and ask what they want from their new home. Go to viewings on your own and take your children on a second viewing when you can really work out if it is the right place for your family. Once you decide on a house, why not take a few visits to the area and discover it together on foot. Find out where the local schools are and how close they are to your house, as well as where the sweet shop and the park is. Getting to know the area will help your child feel more at home ahead of moving day. 

This tip was really interesting for me, as Munchkin has always been with us on house viewings, and I now understand how confusing this could be for her. I mean, 4 house viewings to her is 4 new bedrooms she has picked out, 4 new gardens she has planned with furniture, 4 new play areas she has mapped out ... I had never thought of it like this before!

New House New Room

Let you child choose the colour of their new room. Kids love feeling like they have a say in things and as moving is such a big upheaval for them, allowing them to choose the colour scheme of their new room will help them to settle in quicker. You could even let them help you paint if you’re feeling brave! 

Munchkin = Pink & Purple
That is all!

New School

If your new home means starting a new school, it may be that you need to chat with your child about settling into their new school. Try to visit the school in advance of starting there - maybe have a settling in day if you can, so it's not too much of a shock to the system when their first day comes around. Visit the school uniform shop together and pick out their new uniform, letting them choose things like a new bag or lunch box to make it all the more special. The school uniform shop from George at ASDA has some great uniforms and school accessories, perfect for any school. Once you have their uniform it makes it feel a little more real, so be prepared for any questions they may have about making new friends and how things work at their new 
school. This is particularly useful, as with Munchkin being so little, I feared I would struggle to kit her out in September. But now that the generic uniform items are available in places like Asda, I shouldn't have a problem finding things small enough to fit her!

We are really hoping that our home move doesn't mean a school move for Munchkin. After all, she has attended the same nursery since she was 3, and has just been offered a place at the local primary school for September, which will be attended by a number of her friends from nursery. She is so looking forward to going there. We will avoid moving too far away, but we know from previous experience that things are often out of our control. So if we end up having to rethink Munchkin's school placement for September, we will make the best we possibly can out of the situation we are given.

By realising that for children a move is far less likely to be about the practical side of things and more likely to be about the emotions it stirs up, thanks to leaving friends and familiar places behind, you're more likely to be able to help them adjust to their new surroundings.

The bottom line is, we are the Harts, and as we always say, our home is where the Harts are, and as long as we stick together, we'll be just fine!


  1. You will be just fine and so too will Munchkin. I moved lots before the age of 7 as my father was in the Navy and I have never felt any negative effects. Personally I feel she is the right age, as any older and moving could impact on her schooling and friendships. Try not to worry x

    1. Thanks Jo. Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in both the excitement and stress of moving, I forget the little things that could too easily turn into bigger things, if you know what I mean ...? x

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