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Confessions of a Professional Nomad

We are no strangers to moving.  Being in the military our first five years of marriage really set the stage for being professional nomads.  We have been called many things from our loved ones like, “gypsies,” “wanderers,” even “location independent travel warriors.”  Sure, these terms do fit the Schaffer lifestyle, so why argue?  We usually blame our nomadic ways on the military.  Either way, we have been quite fine with it… neighborhood to neighborhood, town to town, state to state, until I found out about baby #4!

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Truly, I have loved our willingness to move anywhere.  And to move with three kids and two dogs without blinking an eye is quite remarkable.  You see, we are not your traditional low maintenance nomads.  No, quite the opposite, we have a house full of furniture and lets not even discuss the clothes we all have.  It’s almost shocking how we can pull a move over a weekend like nomadic ninjas.

Today was hysterical when friends of mine at the pick up line asked me, “How do you move with three kids and pregnant over a weekend without looking disheveled?”  Truth is, we are pros.  I mean the Bruce Lee type of pro.  Sure, there is a little Italian screaming on my end, but we bust through it and GET IT DONE!

Each time I move into my (not forever) home, I mentally prepare myself and the kids that this place is temporary until we make our first big purchase.  Actually the more I think about it, aren’t we all nomads? Who really stays in one place?  I do think when the kids start school it gets tricky, so if you can get all your moving around the world done before Kindergarten, do it.  But if not, don’t sweat it!  Kids are resilient.  Like my friend Alisa said, “Your kids have hearts as big as the ocean in front of you, it would be a shame to just expose them to just one group, when they could better the lives of so many others like they have done with each and every move.  The world needs more caring kids like that.”  Ok I cried.  She got me with that sweet gesture.

I love her perspective.  It’s a beautiful one for sure.  And I love that my efforts with raising kind and loving kids never goes unnoticed.

However, we have a few more nomadic memories to make this year and then we are planting roots.  We are ready to let the kids go through school life with the same group of friends.  Though there has been minimal complaints, my oldest seems to be the most sensitive, so it’s time we stay put and all grow old in one house.  And maybe we can transfer our nomadic ways into traveling the world.

I love the thought of designing and owning our own home, but at the same time it scares me to stay still.  That is why I bet traveling will take over the impending end of an adventurous nomadic lifestyle.

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I am so grateful a few of my friends took off work to help tackle organizing our new home.  Friends that do that are true keepers.  All you have in this world is your time and I appreciate it so much when friends want to spend their time with me.  If you didn’t read about creating your tribe of moms you can read about it here.

Why is it so hard this time on my emotions?  Is it that I am not next door to my favorite set of moms?  Is it that I am pregnant?  I mean, why am I really a tad bit sad?  Could a ten minute drive change our friendship?  I don’t think so at all, but when you are used to passing the sugar over the fence for so long, it’s sometimes hard to say goodbye to the little things.  I cried over this.  I cried over not being able to get the sugar over the fence anymore, but luckily for me, those mom friends looked me in the eye and said, “We will drive you the sugar.”  So I know it’s going to be just fine.

Our new (not forever) home, enables me to revel in the sea.  I can see the ocean for miles and miles and plan to use this temporary time to relax and to de-stress my New York City high energy self.  There is something very calming about watching the sunset from your home and I am looking forward to being in a calm state of mind for this sweet new life that is coming.   What I love about our new location the most is seeing so many people who are embraced in a hug or even just holding hands while trying to see the sunset.  It’s so beautiful to see how much love there is amongst people watching the sun go down.  I am grateful for this (not forever) time, but something tells me, my mom tribe of friends will be calling ME this time to borrow some sugar.

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Top ten things to do when moving with a bump and/or with kids

  • Pack as early as possible and if you could afford it hire people to pack for you
  • Make a list of what would need your new address: banks, credit cards, deliveries…
  • Avoid too much bending and lifting ( wish I would have listened to this one), because the move will do a number on your back and you hurt helps no one.
  • Take baths in the evening, have epsom salt handy to soak sort muscles
  • Tell your children earlier than later about the move.  When we moved from the East Coast to the West Coast we told the kids that the home was a rental and temporary and within a few years we will be moving again.  My kids were very prepared for this move.
  • Create a keepsake book for the kids of pictures of their last house, memories, pictures of friends etc.
  • Make sure you pull changes of clothes, soap, shampoos and favorite blankets and stuffed animals so you have those handy during the crazy 48 hours of the move.
  • Pull three stories they haven’t heard before to read before bedtime.  I started new routines immediately with my gang.
  • Talk about the top five things they like about the new home.
  • Go explore… Go on a nature walk as a family to see whats around you and bring buckets for the kids to pick up artifacts along the way.
  • Before you unpack, sort your closet first, because mom and dad need to function, then do the kids next so they are nice and organized ready for bedtime and school.
  • Let the children help design their new rooms, making moving fun!

 

I would love to hear from you, do you like being settled or are you a more about the adventure.  It is challenging with kids to move around, whats your take on this?  Let me know and comment below!

 

3 comments

  1. Congratulations on the new house!!!! I love seeing the pictures of the kids. Jackson is looking like a such a big boy these days. I just can’t believe you guys aren’t still here in NC. I sure do miss all of you so much!
    I know you will make this new home look as beautiful and as inviting as all the others that you have graced with your loving touch.
    I pray this home is always blessed with your families love, laughter and health!
    Miss you!

  2. Ahhhhh nomad-ninjas; LOVE that moniker; the Blach’s are right behind ya sista! Before I ever got married and contracted a permanent case of kids, in my adult life I moved all over everywhere (first within LA and then Canada) it’s amazing and teaches you so much about yourself/relationship with the world immediately surrounding you. Flash forward about a decade and now with the younguns/hubs in tow, it has taught me even more about efficiency, adventure and how set in my ways I really was,lol!!! It’s no joke hopping around with little lives and partners to consider; but I love the tips the pics (homesick now!) and so excited for your ‘root-planting’/new life in a few months;))

    1. Danielle Lucia Schaffer

      i knew you would love this post and certainly relate… love you bunches….

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