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How Moving To Another Country Can Affect Your Family

Welcome once again to Isabel Frank William who is writing about moving to another country from her own experiences.

While reading the article, I was struck by how much of this is true for moving to another town – something I did myself just a few weeks ago.

The impact that a new town had on me has been mega, so I can only imagine how moving to another country would have a much bigger effect.

Here’s Isabel, a consultant by day and a freelance writer by night, on….

Moving To Another Country


Mankind proliferated across the world by ebbing and flowing through the peaks and valleys of the globe. While movement is a natural condition of all living beings, humans have a particularly ambivalent relationship with this activity. On the one hand, moving and adapting is inevitable and natural in historical terms. Yet, when you focus on a single lifetime, matters become more complicated. Uprooting your life and moving to faraway places can be very stressful, especially if you have a litter of kids on your hands. If any of this rings true to you, here’s how moving to another country can affect your family.

The “Anxious Cat” Effect

Have you ever owned a faithful feline pet? If you did (or do) and you have moved to a new apartment, you have probably noticed a temporary change in its behavior. In the beginning, most cats dislike the new environment; they noticeably feel cautious or fearful until they completely explore it. This “exploration” mode is something I’ve come to call “anxious cat” effect. Due to the illness of my father in law, my Eastern European husband and I moved from Australia to this corner of the Old Continent and, in the beginning, I felt like an “anxious cat” and did not look half as adorable.

Scratch that – I felt like an anxious cat with a litter of kittens. My two 3-year-old twins were utterly excited about the proceedings, as most kids of their age are, but I was worried about the sudden changes in mood that I’ve come to expect from them. After all, even though I am their mother I could not have predicted what sort of things, details or items will trigger homesickness in them. Maybe I projected a bit.

moving to another country with pets

You Are The One Who Will Make It Or Break It

Now, if we are discussing how such a big ‘jump’ from one corner of the globe to another can affect your family, we should get one crucial thing clear – when it comes to creating a constructive atmosphere and a new home, YOU are the one who will make it or break it. Don’t rely on anyone, not even your spouse – not because they are not reliable or trustworthy, but because this line of thinking will curb your expectation and open your body to previously untapped wells of energy.

Start creating a new home by arranging a few strategically placed familiar items and decors around. Some of these items can be something as mundane as the doormat or something as important as framed photographs.

moving to another country with childresn

Education First

Let’s consider that all the paperwork and documentation has been taken care off. As soon as you get comfortable in your new house, the most important item on your schedule should be the education of your kids. While we lived in Australia, I took my kids to the incredible Cherrybrook preschool and I was afraid that it will be difficult to find an establishment that is comparable when it comes to the quality of education they were getting.

Thankfully, most of the private preschools in the city have some form of a program that includes learning English from a very early age. There were two factors to consider here. On the one hand, it was important for me to continue educating my twins in English, but I also wanted them to get a fair shot at learning their father’s (and naturally their own) native tongue. Bilingual children statistically tend to develop better cognitive abilities and I wanted them to mingle with the local children and blend in. After all, we could easily spend the rest of our lives here, and the twins will definitely be tied to us until they reach college age.

Encourage Your Spouse

Male, female, gay or straight, through thick and thin you need to encourage your spouse. Whenever my husband and I hit a snag or come across a seemingly insurmountable difficulty, I like to look him directly in the eyes and quote Hank Moody: “Until the wheels fall off baby.” Life is a constant whirlwind of change and altering parameters and having a constant is crucial. For better or worse, you are that constant for your better half and it’s important to find an effective and short way to show it. Such things can save the integrity of a family amidst the toughest of circumstances.

Moving to another country opens up the window to endless potential or absolute disaster – and the result mostly depends on you. If you, like me, are moving with a big family, you will likely feel as if you are going through the grinder, but if you are a mother of small kids, you have to put on your brave face. Tackle all the challenges with a sense of resolve and as cool a head as you can muster, and you should be fine. Trust me, if I survived it, so can you – and by no means am I selling myself short.

Moving To Another Town

Thanks for those thoughts Isabel, and my best wishes for your new life.

As mentioned earlier, I have recently moved to another town – and I totally underestimated everything there was to do – hence my rather neglected blog, I’m afraid!

But it’s been a huge success for me. The other day I had occasion to go back to my previous home town and I just saw how dirty it was, and – having been almost pushed over on the underground, with nary a word of apology, I couldn’t wait to get back to Norwich.

My visit to Harrow was to see my sister, have a friends reunion, and to keep a previous appointment with my dentist. Obviously I’m sad I don’t now see as much of my sister and friends – but I had to laugh that apart from missing family and friends, one of the few things I will regret is the need to change my dentist.

For me, moving to a new town has very quickly led to me feeling completely at home here.

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Joy
 

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Roger - August 27, 2018

Hi Joy!

I am an expat from the USA to Thailand and would like to add that social media and communication apps like Skype can make a WORLD of difference. I practically feel like I haven’t left any friends or family behind because I talk to them as much as I did when I lived in the states. Yes, I work online so my live-meetings were always limited, but I still feel totally connected to them just by using the technology available. Great article and I hope others can share some tips about their moves offshore as well.

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Aadarsh - September 20, 2018

Hi Joy,

Awesome & great post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article and i like the points that you have mentioned. Its true that uprooting the life & moving to faraway places are very stressful & can affect the family. The anxious cat effect listed by you is nice. Everything take some times to settle down in a new environment & new place. Arranging a few placed familiar items & decors will be helpful to create a new home. Education about your new area will be the first priority.

Helpful article and thanks for a share.

Thanks
-Aadarsh

Reply
    Joy - September 22, 2018

    Thanks Aadarsh,

    Glad you liked Isabel’s article – and I like your tip of placing familiar items around to help you feel “at home” more quickly.

    It has taken me a long time to get to know my own completely new area – but of course that’s been one of the fun parts of moving home. Sometimes I just get myself lost – deliberately – to find new places and learn how to get myself home!

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

    Reply

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