Well, it’s moving season! Coaching families all over the country are announcing they are in the process of moving or will soon relocate. It’s the dreaded time of year when the unavoidable question rears again. Should we move now or later?
Of course, this question is the tip of the iceberg followed by:
Where should we live?
Buy or rent?
Work or stay home?
Where should we place the kids in school?
While I’m not going to attempt to answer all these questions today, we are going to cover the pros and cons of moving mid-year.
The positives of moving right away, in general, begin with the fact that as a family you will spend less time apart. Regardless of how great your new town is, moving is stressful and the ability to lean on each other in person every day is a huge benefit.
For kids, moving mid-year means they will get to meet new friends before the school year ends. Depending on your child’s personality this can be a huge benefit for summer activities. Additionally, if there are subjects that your child’s new school identifies as weaker areas you will have the summer to help your kids fill in the gaps. This happened to us with math for one of our sons and our teacher was able to identify gap areas and give us worksheets to work through. By the next school year, he was back on track and excelling in math.
Another pro of moving right away is you can start to move forward. Living in the limbo space of being separated as a family, knowing you will be moving is exhausting both emotionally and physically.
On the flip side, there are cons to moving mid-year as well. First, housing may be more limited if you are looking to rent. If you live in a college town, it’s likely that the majority of housing options will open over the summer. Additionally, most people list their homes in spring/summer, so you could miss out on better housing options by rushing.
If your husband is a college coach moving mid-year means you are likely alone in a new community while your husband is on the road recruiting. You may find you have better emotional support (as well as help with the kids) by staying put for a few months.
Depending on your child’s interests, moving may require them to sit out of a beloved activity for a season which will compound their loneliness in those first few months post move. Additionally, most kids have their friend groups figured out after the first few months of school and may be reluctant welcome new people into their social circles.
We found that for our more introverted child, a mid-year move was harder because he had to meet everyone at the same time. He was exhausted trying to keep everyone’s names straight on top of everyday life being all new. But when we moved over the summer, I was able to set up a few strategic playdates. Meeting future classmates a few at a time allowed for a smooth start to the school year and solidified some great friendships.
There are logistics to consider as well. If you have a home to sell you may need to wait until summer (or later) to move. Depending on cost of living it may more cost effective to find temporary housing for Coach while you look for a job or to avoid breaking a lease.
There are no hard and fast rules on when you should move. While some coaching families insist their methods are the best, in reality, they are the best for their family unit. So, while you are processing when to move remember you guys are a team and successful teams communicate.
While you may prefer to move immediately, you need to try to keep your emotions out of the conversation. Consider your finances carefully. Paying rent in two locations could add significant financial stress to your budget for years. Is it worth it?
Do you know your family functions best when they are together rather than apart? If may be more important to move sooner rather than later and settle for whatever housing is available.
Do you want to (or need to) find a job in the area? While it’s often tempting to wait to move until you’ve secured a new position in smaller towns you may be overlooked for positions until you have a local address on your resume.
So, while you are packing your boxes and purging everything that doesn’t spark joy, remember it’s okay to keep plans fluid. While your intention may be to stay until the end of the school year, if the perfect house opens up or you are offered a great job, don’t be afraid to adjust.
Remember, regardless of when you move, in the end you will be entering a new community and you will be living under one roof again soon.