New state, new city, new suburb.
New house, new yard, new neighbourhood.
New school, new church, new shopping centre.
(Garie Beach, Royal National Park, NSW)
New things are exciting, but also a little unsettling. And when almost everything in your world is new, life can be very unsettled. I’m discovering that both holding on to the old, and embracing the new, are important elements in establishing life in a new place. Here are some things I’ve been doing to help my kids with the transition:
1. Holding on to the old:
- Beds. Same beds, same sheets, same pjs. There’s something incredibly normalising about sleeping in your own bed.
- Routine. The same morning routine chart that was on the fridge in Brisbane, is still on the fridge in Sydney. It’s business as usual on school mornings… make bed, uniform on, breakfast, teeth brushing, hair done, unstack dishwasher, pack bag. The uniforms might be different, but nothing else has changed there.
- Friends. Holding on to special friendships is important. Miss 7 has put framed photographs of her friends in pride of place in her bedroom. She has also sent a few text messages on my phone, and started some letter writing.
- Outdoor play. Our new yard is very different from the backyard the kids knew and loved in Brisbane. For the first time ever, we have a flat patch of grass – so we bought a trampoline! Some serious jumping is great for warming up chilly little bodies who are used to a warmer climate.
- Exploring. Sydney is a beautiful part of the world. The city is big and busy, but away from the traffic there are rivers, bays, beaches and bushland to explore. While our family has some space from weekend commitments and after school activities, we are happily exploring Sutherland Shire where we now call home. (Pic above is in nearby Royal National Park.)
- Friends. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” Making new friends is important in feeling like you belong in a place. As I encourage the kids to introduce themselves to other children, I am also endeavouring to lead by example and be proactive about meeting other mums myself.
Moving interstate with a young family is a big deal. It’s early days yet, but so far so good…