My family and I have moved several times. After a few years in a new state and getting settled with housing, school, friends, and routines, we’d end up moving again. Yet, this never stops me and my children from really trying to make a life wherever we are, even knowing it wouldn’t be our forever home.
When you move with kids, it’s easy to immerse yourself in settling them. You want to help ensure they have a smooth transition. When your kids are younger, this means you take trips to the park and the pool; you enroll them in activities and classes; and you take walks around the block seeking out neighborhood kids. You want to help find them some friends, especially in the beginning.
Younger kids tend to live more in the moment. It’s fairly easy to help them want to make new memories and to explore new places. With older kids, it’s a little more difficult, but still very doable. Take them to check out some sites in your new area. It’s so easy with the Internet to find some interesting places.
During a summer move, your tweens and teens can enroll in camps for special interests and/or sports. Look to the community college or a nearby university for classes for middle school and high school students.
Your kids are the ones who are “out there” having to figure out a new school with lots of new faces. When your kiddos are happy, feeling confident and settling in, it makes it much better overall. As your time allows, help them through it.
During this time, you are also most likely setting up your new home, unpacking, finding new doctors and dentists, and learning the stores and everything else that goes along with moving.
Maybe you are even hoping to find a connection and a friendship with a mom as well. You seek out moms and other people who you encounter frequently, trying to see who you will relate to.
All this time, you are in limbo. You are dealing with all the stress that comes with a move.
You are probably missing a lot things from your former life and all the people you were friends with there. You’re juggling being present in your new location with maintaining ties with friends in your recent city.
All the while, you’re trying to be strong and positive for your kids. You see your faraway friends on Facebook and feel a little pull at your heart, wishing you were there. You see friend outings and feel left out.
After a few months, you all settle into your routines. You can’t help compare the different places you’ve lived with where you are now. You will all find you like some things better about where you are and some things better about other places you’ve lived.
It’s pretty cool to have different reference points. But it still hurts to not feel you fully belong where you are.
You will meet so many people. Moms want friends too. Like your kids, you will navigate everyone and gravitate toward the ones you relate to best. Maybe you connect with a fellow mom on your street or someone you meet while volunteering at school.
Perhaps your children play together. You might find a coworker you enjoy spending time with. Maybe you’ve cultivated some mom friends and other friendships in your yoga class or from your place of worship.
Chances are, you’ve bonded with some lovely people. You share some things in common with them, whether that’s work, or kids, or hobbies, viewpoints or even availability. Maybe you’re not going out for coffee or girls’ nights out, but you have a connection.
Maybe you’ve really lucked out and found lots of women you connect with through a bunco group, fitness class, or a book club. And then it’s time to move again….
Moving and mom friends
Whether you live somewhere for one year or three or four years, whether you are moving for the military, other work, family, health, or pleasure, when you pack up to move again, it’s natural to think of the friends you’ll want to stay in touch with.
Just as you were able to keep in touch with friends from where you moved from, you will be able to keep in touch with your newfound friends.
Likely, you will have learned a lot with your friendships from the last time you moved. You may want to do things more intentionally this time.
Some friendships last and some don’t
Usually in the first weeks and months after a move, it’s easy to stay in touch with texts and pictures and little quips about things that connect you. Sometimes it’s an update on something, and often it’s a simple: Miss you!
You still have lots in common and conversations and concerns to connect you.
Some friendships will stick, especially if you maintain the relationship soon after you move. Even a simple phone call or text every other month.
Know that you’ll have some mom friends that you’ll stay connected to for a few months. Others, years. And some friendships will naturally end.
Why? Often after you move and start the process of getting settled in your new place, the friends that you saw often continue to go on with their lives, and you lose touch.
Unless you make an effort and are really intentional, life gets busy. No one knows that more than you with moving again. Pick one or two or a handful at the most. Make it a goal to try to remain in touch.
You will likely never see or talk to most of your mom friends and acquaintances, except through Facebook and other social media. Oftentimes what connects us is proximity. And that’s okay too.
Liz is a mother to one elementary-aged student, one in middle school, and one who graduated college and is out working in the real world. She is a good friend to the Social Mums and is contributing some stories.