Hard to Move, Harder to Stay?

Spending time together.

How do you know when it’s time to move? Career? School? Family? We’ve moved for all of those reasons… But how do you know when it’s time to stay? Friends? A local restaurant? School?

If you’ve been following my blog then you know my family has moved many times. What number are we at now? 11 moves in the 12 years I’ve been married to my husband?

We’ve lived in 4 states and through trial and error I’ve figured out not only the most efficient methods of packing, labeling, unpacking and just living through moves. But I’ve figured out how to make these big life changes easier for my autistic son to transition through. Things like taking down the pictures off the walls last and putting them up first, and making sure to go grocery shopping as soon as possible and stocking the new fridge with favorite and preferred foods really eases my oldest son’s nerves.

However when you make a habit of moving, the weird thing is that it really does become that- a habit. For those of you who have only moved a handful of times in your life, here’s a feeling you may have never felt before- the itch to move.

A gingerbread house creation.

It’s true, even my kids have molded to this habit of jumping ship usually around the one year mark. My kids can just feel it when we are coming up on that one year mark and they start asking when we are moving, where, and what will our new place look like?

But this time we actually bought a house! So the original plan was to stay put for 3-5 years and we’ve been telling our kids this since we started unboxing. And I am relieved to tell you that not only did we make it a whole year in our first home, but we’ve been in the same place for a year and 4 months. We are almost to the year and a half mark. Please remember though, we previously never meant to move every year and some places we lasted a little longer then that and some places have been a bit shorter, so a “one year” was not the reason we moved before, it was definitely more complicated than that.

I’ll be honest though, staying put no longer comes naturally to my family. My husband has had job interviews since we bought his house, we’ve had family in many different states ask if we were going to be moving their way soon, and it doesn’t look like there is a whole lot of financial growth in my husband’s career where we currently are. So nature and personal history would dictate that we can’t stay put forever right?

But it’s nice staying put for awhile.

My children have been experiencing new firsts since staying put so long. Like being invited to birthday parties and having their own birthdays and getting to invite friends from school! The local librarians know us by name and the YMCA has become a place where we get to catch up with many friends.

Mr. C earning a Stripe.

Have I found anyone who wants to get together once a month for a milkshake? No. But I know that kind of friendship is like finding a Diamond in a rough. I have found friends though and as a grownup I recognize how lucky that can be as well.

People from church know my family, neighbors have invited us over, and friends from school have asked for us to do things with them in the community. I feel blessed.

However when the school starts planning for next year and the locals start talking about the future, the local- distant future, I start to feel anxious. It sounds too good to be true and from the very beginning, from the moment I learned I was pregnant with Mr. L, both my husband and I have always tried to make every single decision with the idea, “What is best for the family/best for the kids” in mind. And so far, the answer has always been a difficult answer- we have to move… Again.

Creating Christmas Eve Traditions.

So can we stay in one town for awhile? I don’t know, it sounds nice… But it feels weird. The more we stick around, the more it kinda feels like we are being selfish and not putting the kids first. Which honestly is silly because they are thriving here. I have a kid on a swim team, another doing karate, and another doing tumbling. But beyond that, these kids are making friends and building relationships with those in their community and that feels pretty cool and kinda surreal.

So is it harder to stay put? A little, yeah. I know moving is daunting but not moving is also uncharted waters for this family of 5. We are just so used to being the new ones on the block, so when people at the grocery store recognize us, it’s nice… But still something else to get use to I suppose.

Who knows what tomorrow, next month, or a year will bring. But for now my kids are thriving, I’ve found grownups to talk with and I’ve got a calling at church. So until further notice, I guess we might as well stick around for a bit, or at least until we get shoved out the door and onto new adventures.

Playing with Friends.


    • The “moving” wasn’t always best for the kids, but finding work, getting a promotion, furthering our education, gaining a backyard, leaving income based housing and toxic neighbors, or buying our first home were decisions my husband and I decided were “best for the kids”.
      Luckily all of this moving was early in our kid’s lives- when they have been babies, toddlers and mostly preschool aged.
      Our hope is that the moving can slow down though, and our kids will be able to build long lasting friendships.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahhhhh!!!! That makes total sense! I was not “getting it”. I hate to move so I wasn’t understanding the WHOLE picture. I think moving can be a GREAT thing. Can teach many, many things, but I just didn’t “get” why it was best for them, but now I understand what you are saying. Thank you for clarifying. Good luck with whatever may be in your future!

        Liked by 1 person

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