The thought of moving to a different state can make some people cringe, at least that was how I felt when I first heard Jeff mention the words moving and Florida in the same sentence. While some mothers fear the thought of starting over, there are other moms who welcome the idea as a new chapter in life. Today on MomViews, Betty Galvan, freelance writer and blogger at My Friend Betty Says, shares her experience on how she remained positive as she moved around the world with her boys.
MomViews: Moving from one state to another can be difficult for moms. It’s tougher when you are unsure of the outcome. What went through your mind when you packed your bags to move to a different state for the first time?
Betty Galvan: The first time I moved to another state, I was moving for love! My husband was living in New York City and after our wedding, I had all my things ready and moved. I don’t think I really had the time to think about the move itself because I was so consumed with wedding planning! All I knew was that I had a fresh, new start and I was going to make the most of it. The second time I packed my bags was two years later when when my husband was relocated to Japan! I was working at the time when he went to “scout” out our living arrangements in Tokyo. I didn’t want to leave my co-workers with such short notice, so I trusted my husband to make the arrangements alone and jumped again! This time I was a little more nervous, but super excited to live in a different country for the very first time. I had my first son in Tokyo and the three of us moved to Singapore when he was two. Because he was so young, I didn’t worry about the outcome and after living there for eight months, we moved back to New York City. When we had our second son, our first was four and we made our last and final move to New Jersey. Both my boys are very flexible and usually go with the flow. They are not afraid of change and love to explore. I really feel that all of our moves helped mold them this way!
MV: Your last move was to New Jersey. What is it about the East Coast that has made you want to stick around?
BG: We knew that Hubby was staying put in New York City because of his career and with our growing family (3 boys!) we needed more space. We decided to go to a New Jersey suburb located just 30 minutes from the city, making my husband’s commute easy.
MV: How has the change of atmosphere impacted your relationship with your boys and your family in other states/countries?
BG: I always tell our friends that being alone (as in away from family), has kept our marriage strong. There is no one to run to when we argue or the going gets tough. My husband and I have to resolve all issues privately. Although watching our boys grow up without their cousins is hard, we hope that they have a closer bond with each other. Because our oldest Diego and I made friends during our travels, he knows that he has friends all over the world. He is very interested in his friends’ backgrounds and the new countries they are living in! This always makes for great at-home geography lessons!
MV: Were there any hard times along the way? If so, please share how you overcame them.
BG: Being away can sometimes be hard. The biggest struggle was trusting strangers to help with our boys. I grew up in a tight Mexican family and my aunts, uncles and grandfather helped watch my siblings, cousins and me! Living away from family gives you no option but to trust and build a new community for your children and for your own sake. We have been very lucky to have had some of the best babysitters in the last seven years!
MV: What advice would you give a mother that is planning to move to different state with her child(ren)?
BG: The best thing to do is to start building a community before you move. Tell everyone you are moving and be ready for people to say, “My friend lives there!” Reach out, safely of course! Also, sign up for mommy-and-me classes right away. Kid facilities are the best places to meet moms with same-age children. If you will be working outside your home, get to know co-workers as soon as possible. Welcome their invitations for dinner or drinks! Most importantly, trust you can manage a move with children, be open to new experiences and adventures! Good luck!
Join me next week as one mother shares her experience as a “bonus mom.” Also, be sure to check out last week’s series featuring Janeth Paez of Motherhood full of Dreams.