One of the top 5 most stressful life events is moving. During your transition to single parenthood, you may experience this. Whether this means having to move and relocate because you can no longer afford the house you and your family lived in pre-divorce or having to make some changes around your existing home because you have to divide your possession as part of your divorce settlement – whatever the specific situation you find yourself in, moving is no doubt a very stressful situation.
When we move, we disrupt our lives – the familiar and comfort of our surroundings, routines and lifestyle are changed forever. Some of us are better at adapting to change than others, but for those who are not, worry, fear and anxiety can be paralyzing.
If you are still in the process of deciding when, where and how you will make these changes, here are a few suggestions that might help to alleviate the stress factor and make your move more manageable.
If you know you will have to relocate out of your current home with your kids, consider the following before packing up the family:
When we move, we disrupt our lives – the familiar and comfort of our surroundings, routines and lifestyle are changed forever.
Negotiate your timeline: Perhaps you are still in negotiating about your settlement and have an opportunity to propose timelines for your move. Consider moving when you can take a vacation from your job and when the kids are on vacation or a break from school. Moving during a convenient time for you and the kids will lessen your stress.
Negotiate a payment plan: If your ex-spouse will acquire possession of your family home and you have to move out with the kids, you can propose that your ex-spouse rent another place while you continue to live in the home with the kids. The rental cost he has to cover could be reduced from your settlement amount. This could help keep peace at home and provide the stability to the kids until such time that you are all ready for the move.
Living with relatives: If the cost of a move to another home is going to be unaffordable, consider living with relatives to help you with your transition until you get back on your feet. Sometimes, living with relatives will help provide you with the emotional, financial and social support you need to help with the transition. If you are able to save money, this could help you with financial independence in the future.
Picking the best move date: If you have an opportunity to pick a date to move, try to schedule it during a time when less people are moving. In other words, try not to move on the first day of the month, the last day or the middle of the month. Pick a mid-week move date when rental costs for trucks are less and more help is available.
Seek Government Support: In some communities, the government has programs to provide financial support to single parents such as subsidized housing. These homes are targeted to single parent or low income families and will accommodate families at an affordable monthly rent. If you are lucky enough to be offered housing through this program, consider the convenience, safety and accessibility of amenities as key criterias for the location you are offered.
There are a lot of factors to consider when a move is imminent. If your kids are old enough to engage in a conversation, get their feedback. Let them help you plan. If you have friends and family around to bounce off ideas on where, when and how you can move your family, get their advice and feedback as well.
When you finalize the details of your move, make sure you are well organized because the more organized you are, the more seamless and efficient the process will be. An efficient move means savings in time and money which leads to less stress.