by Lisa Ragsdale
MOVING: The average person will move 11.7 times in their lifetime according to the United States Census Bureau. I am not really sure how you move .7 times but who am I to argue with the Census Bureau! Children and adults will learn life skills in both adapting and even embracing change. In today’s world it is an anomaly that a family starts their life in one location and doesn’t change. There are multiple reasons that family’s move:
- Jobs- transferred, promoted, change companies, education or businesses close.
- Cost of Living – recently our family moved from Tennessee to North Carolina and in the process have met multiple people here who have relocated from across the United States. One of my friends moved their family from California where she and her husband grew up and their family still lives. Their overriding reason was to settle in an area with a more affordable cost of living. The average starter home was $1.2 million in California and they realized that they were not going to be able to send their children to college with those expenses. Additionally they realized if their children settled around them in California it would be a continual struggle for them as they grew up and tried to raise their own families.. Many people here from the Northeast have relocated to escape high property taxes and harsh winters as well.
- Change of Climate – many people relocate to escape harsh winters, seeking a slower pace of life or are drawn to the area offerings: mountains, lakes, and oceans.
Whatever the reason is for making the move, one of the first things for helping everyone adapt is to research the area. Find activities that all will enjoy both as a family and individually and help speed up the acclimation period. My teenage daughter joined a Club soccer team during the school’s offseason to meet friends and continue playing competitive soccer. As a parent try to volunteer or support their school and other activities to get to know the faculty and other influencers of your children.
Interestingly enough, social media was helpful in connecting with people in your new area with people that you may know from previous periods of your life. Before we moved, I realized that two different couples we knew (one from college and one from our old hometown) lived close by and we have subsequently gotten together and helped us get to know the new area. This has widened our circle of friends as well as helped us to feel more connected. Where we live now, there is a Facebook page specifically linked to Moms in the area and as newcomers come in or as your children grow many will post questions and others will respond with helpful tips or suggestions. It serves as an online support group.
Explore your new area and try to make a point to visit and take advantage of the offerings around you. Whether it is proximity to outdoor activities- beach, mountains, or lakes go see what the area has to visit. Ask and research activities and events in your area.
Get to know your neighbors- in addition to just being plain neighborly it will help you feel a connection to your new home as you get to meet and know those around you. Another resource is a great source of referrals for services – mechanic, yard service, cleaning etc. Eventually you will realize that all of these things will make it both familiar and your new home.