There can be many reasons for starting over. The most common reason today is job loss. Job loss and worse an accompanying move are considered major life stressors and can unfortunately affect your mental as well as physical health. Chances are you are not the only one affected by job loss and the accompanying move that may occur. Your spouse and your children are likely to be as stressed out as you are and it can be a very fragile time for the most well adjusted family.
I because of health and divorce have had to pick up and pack up and start over again and I have learned a few things along the way. There are things you can do in your personal and professional life to make a new beginning less stressful for all involved.
First and foremost be honest with your friends and family about the dilemma you are facing. You need to be honest about your failing finances and less than successful job hunt. Children should not be sheltered from the truth or made to worry. Sit down your kids and explain that because of a job loss the family must cut back on extras. Small children will not notice much difference in their everyday life, but be prepared to help them deal with changes like not attending daycare anymore. Take some time away from your job hunt to go fishing or attend your child’s after school activities. Do things with your kids that you did not have time to do when you were working.
Be creative with your family time. If a weekly dinner out with the family is no longer in the budget take the family on a picnic to the local park or have a family pizza night at home where each child gets to make their own individual pizza. If family movies are no longer in the budget introduce your older children to some of classic films that you grew up with. Use the time you have off to reconnect with your spouse and kids.
If the financial situation requires that the family move let the kids on in on the act. Encourage them to look up information about the new community on line. If you are considering several different places ask your kids for as much input as possible. Be sure to check out the things that interest your children. If your child is a big baseball fan encourage him to get to know as much as possible about the local farm team. If your child is interested in the arts have them look up opportunities in children’s theater or in crafts classes at the local park.
Your goal is to get your kids excited about the move to a new place. If you have secured a job and are looking to rent you can consult older kids as well. If necessary take them out of school for a few days to go with you to look at rentals and to see where there new school is. Stop and have lunch at the local bistro and talk to the locals. Most people are more than glad to share the good aspects of the community with local new comers. Be sure to check out the local YMCA and library so your kids know that in this new place there will be activities and places for them to make friends…
The move for your spouse can be stressful too. Encourage your spouse or partner to look on line and post their resume if they will be seeking a job in the new community. Look for area email lists that have people on them with similar interests as your spouse. Encourage you spouse or partner to get to know the new community as much as possible when you move there. If possible visit the community before you move on a weekend. Enjoy a local restaurant with your spouse and attend the local church that you think you might be attending. Do not hesitate to tell everyone you are going to be new in town and are seeking a social life. Net working is invaluable not only for the social aspects but also will improve your spouse’s chances of getting a job.
After the move is over make sure you reward your family for being supportive in your life change. This may mean taking a weekend to return to your old residence so your family can visit friends and family left behind. It can also mean giving you kid’s privileges like getting a prepaid cell phone or getting a family pet as a sign things are really starting over and it is a good thing. Do something out of the ordinary to award yourself for successfully making the transition. Get a bold new hair cut or buy that brightly colored shirt you wanted but were too afraid to wear.