It has been almost 10 months since we arrived in LA. The time has flown by, and I can’t believe we are approaching a year here! I have had a lot of people ask me how the first year has gone for us, so I thought I would share before summer gets busy and my ability to blog goes out the window!
I would say that overall the transition is far better than I could have imagined. We have been welcomed with open arms by our new school and community. I was definitely intimidated moving to a new place and school where we didn’t know one person. But I can’t say enough good things about the interactions we have had with everyone here, and the friends that we have made so far. One thing I love about a catholic school is the amazing community and sense of support you get from it. It was very important for us to get the kids into a catholic school because I had a gut feeling the kids would transition easier here.
The hardest part would probably be the first few months. It is not easy just sending your kids off to a new school and hoping for the best and not being able to protect them. They were both very nervous the first few days. My son had a harder time adjusting, and leaving very strong bonds and friendships in KC. He had a lot of anxiety at first just not knowing what to do, where to go, and getting to know his peers. Our daughter seemed to have an easier time, but she definitely came home sad the first few weeks saying she didn’t have any friends. There were tears, acting out, and fits thrown by both the kids the first few months. Mostly because that was how they were handling their fears and anxiety. It’s hard for kids to voice their emotions. But we worked through it and now 10 months in we are in a much better place. Our son still keeps touch with his KC friends via FaceTime and video games. But it’s also great seeing him embrace new friendships.
Starting over with sports and activities is also VERY hard. We had such an amazing group of kids that played every sport together in KC. And when we moved it was all new faces and it really rocked my sons confidence. He dropped sports he played in KC, which made me sad but I understood where he was coming from! He found a sport and a team that he loves so we are sticking with 1 sport and letting him focus on that.
I had to keep reminding myself that all of these things take time. Making friendships, feeling “at home”, connecting with others and feeling confident in a new place doesn’t happen overnight. I am happy to say the kids seem to be very happy, and have adapted great. But, it did take time. And they have had ups and downs and challenging moments. I do think my kids have grown closer as siblings; leaning on each other for support and making each other feel safe/happy at school when they see one another.
It has definitely been a growing experience for everyone.
I have had my own unique experience. I was so wrapped up in helping the kids transition the first few months that I didn’t address how I was feeling. It took until about 4 months in that I realized how sad I was. I was making new friends but missed my long time friendships back in KC. Seeing everyone at Christmas time sort of rocked me. But it also made me address how I was feeling, which was a good thing!
Currently I am struggling with an overwhelming feeling of being “lost”. I spent so many years building up my career in KC and now that’s gone. It’s been a very hard thing for me, and I’m not in the best place. I feel as though those around me are flourishing and succeeding (which makes me happy for them!) Yet I am in a place of limbo, and am not sure what is next for me. It’s definitely a strange place to be at 41. Part of me is excited for what is to come? And the other part just wants an answer ASAP.
Whatever it is I decide to do, I know that I will be starting at ground zero. The thought of that is exhausting! But yet I am yearning to do more and to get into a groove and feel accomplished once again. If anyone has any advice on this I would love to hear it!
If you have a move on the horizon, or have recently moved, here are a few of the things that have helped my family transition. The best thing I did was just host as many play dates as possible. I still host a playdate a week. It helps you meet the kids and their parents, and to help your child to hang with their new friends in a comfortable place. Also getting involved at school and having the opportunity to get to know the kids but also the parents and teachers as well has been so helpful. I really had to put myself out there, and introduce myself to people. And also not be afraid to be rejected! I think that you attract what you put out into the world, so I feel very lucky to have crossed paths and connected with some incredible women and moms.
Everyone said it takes a year to finally feel “at home” and I think I agree with them. Now that we are here, and really settling in it is hard to imagine us anywhere else. I foresee us living here for a very long time, if not forever! California has been good to us so far 🙂