Five carry ons, four large suitcases, two carseats, two kids, one parent. That about sums up our 18 hour trip home from Germany. If you have kids then you're a well informed individual, you can fill in the details for yourself. I personally have blocked most of that painful flight out of my mind as a self preservation mechanism.
It was no easy task relocating back to Nebraska after living overseas. Our family has moved a lot while being in the Air Force, but this was the first big trip that I was handling solo. While there were many ups and downs on the trek, one of the highlights was getting to check out the pilot's cockpit. The kids were in button pushing heaven!
Upon landing we were met by a multi-family welcome party and were swept up in to life as we now know it. Our flight to Nebraska was six months ago, and now that we've adjusted to living here in the States again, we're getting ready for a few more changes…
We just bought a house, our FIRST house! My little family could not be more excited, after so many moves, we are all ecstatic to finally have a place to call our own. It has been a tumultuous time as we searched for the perfect place to call our own. After much searching and negotiating, we finally settled on a pretty, green house in Bellevue. It seems like things might actually start getting back to normal around here.
It's so odd to use the word normal any more, for so long now our lives have been in transition. Six months have passed, the country we live in has changed, and Jon is still apart from us. All of this chaos at such a young age seems traumatic, the kids, however, always amaze me with their resiliency! Skyping with Daddy in the mornings has become our new normal, just like seeing multiple grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in a day has also become standard fare.
Some of the things that have helped me to navigate these past few months are clear expectations, consistency, and patience.
I have been far from perfect at it (as my kids will attest), but I try to always make sure that they know what is expected of them in any situation they are in. We lived with family while searching for a home, so it was important that the kids knew what the rules were as we stayed in a house that was not our own.
If there is a behavioral issue, consistency in discipline is so important in training kids to not only obey directions, but to respect the direction giver. It's always difficult to muster up the energy to redirect the kids when you're bone tired from moving or painting, but I've found that when I am consistent then there's less overall push back from them.
And lastly, lots of patience and extra love! If moving is stressful for us adults who understand what's going on, imagine what it's like for our kids! Take a break from house hunting to snuggle and read a book, go out for ice cream as a family instead of unpacking those last few boxes. It all adds up to a child and lets them know they are just as safe and cared for in their new environment as they were in their old. Before long, the new place will start to feel like home again.