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Moving with kids interstate and overseas – The challenge!

Moving with kids even a few suburbs away sounds like a huge stress – how would your family manage moving further? Olivia’s been through it and come out the other side to tell the tale!

Moving with Kids – A LOT!

When we get asked for advice on moving with kids; I think, “Oh, it’s no big deal really…”. But then I think back on the times we have moved and think, “Actually… how did we manage that?!”.

We left the UK within 12 weeks of my husband being offered a job. We headed for Sydney, knowing no one, having never set foot in Australia before and truly having very little comprehension of just how far away we were going. It sounds so ridiculous I know.

All settled in, the kids had friends and so did I, life was perfect; then after less than two years in Sydney, my husband came home and announced he’d been offered a job in Melbourne.

We couldn’t turn down the opportunity to live in the most livable city in the world… could we?

A global village

As we all move around more than ever before, we need to be aware that the journey might be overwhelming for a child – whether it’s interstate or international. Honestly, it’s overwhelming for the ADULTS – trying to keep everything together and organise all the different bits and pieces. The shock of moving to a place where you don’t have a support network can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome.

Advice for moving with kids

My advice to parents looking to up sticks and move with their little gang would be:

  1. Go to the library and seek out picture books about adventures, travel and anything even remotely related, and enjoy them as a family.
  2. Buy an atlas, show them the maps, buy a globe and really teach them about the destination.
  3. If your children are old enough, get them an address book and ask their friends to fill in their details in pencil.
  4. Ask relatives to chat to your children about how they are feeling. Sometimes they don’t like to worry us parents, and let’s face it, moving is hard enough without constantly having to sit down and go through it all AGAIN!
  5. Arrange a party for your children to say farewell to their buddies. Hopefully your clever friends will bring handy gifts for them to play with en route, and it’s a good chance to let your hair down.
  6. Throw away all gifts of lollies, sweeties, noisy or glowing toys and DO NOT under any circumstances take them on board a long flight or in the car! (Trust me!)
  7. Plan some day trips to look forward to when you arrive. Believe me, you’ll need to get out; let the children kick each other in the fresh air, and find the local dog poo to trudge through…in thongs, of course.
  8. Join some social media groups to meet people, ask questions and chat to a few weeks prior to departure. I know, it seems corny, but it’s easily the best way to get an insight into your new life; or how you’re not going to live it. Either way it can be a great way to make emergency friends for you and your children; believe me you’ll need them, and beggars can’t be choosers.

Moving with kids is manageable

I guess the best advice from one mother to another is: Do anything you can to make the ride as smooth as possible for you, for the kids, and also for the people you are leaving behind. And when you’re sat on your new veranda, sipping chardonnay with the kids bickering in the background, at least you’ll know you tried your flippin’ best! What more can anyone ask for?

Olivia is a thirty-something British mother of two living in Melbourne. She’s a lifelong expat who’s moved all over the world and thoroughly enjoys her (fairly) nomadic lifestyle. You can follow her family’s journey as they explore Australia here. 

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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