by Lori Dwyer on August 19, 2013 · 18 comments

Small children have very little idea of permanent; of circumstances being for ‘forever’. I guess I know that better than most people. And I guess my children have a greater concept of the idea that most kids, knowing the reality of death the way they do. After all, what translates permanency more completely than death?

But maybe not. Maybe the concept of death, and the idea of life going on, are two entirely separate mindsets. Either way, watching my five year old son and my almost four year old daughter adjust to the concept of  ‘moving to Melbourne’ is both fascinating and a little heart-wrenching. Reality’s a bitch.

Both my kids know that we’re moving, and they know it’s soon. (Five days to go). But that doesn’t necessarily translate into any kind of graspable time frame, when you’re little. The Chop and the Bump both often discuss events that would be happening soon if we weren’t moving, as if they were still going to happen. And I feel like the bad guy, having to intrude with real life and disappoint them every time.

My son discusses reading charts and awards he’s working towards at school, and is devastated when I remind him that he’ll be at a new school soon. The idea of a new awards system does nothing to ease his sadness, which I think I kind of understand. Nothing that ‘will happen’ is an imaginable reality for my kids yet. I try to keep in mind what a scary thing that must be for a small child. He understands how it feels for life to be turned upside down. But has no framework on which to stretch this idea of a ‘new life’ that he will be dumped into very soon.

To add to the general feeling of displacement, both my kids have their birthdays over the next few months. I’m not sure how well the Bump understands that we won’t be going to her favourite party centre to celebrate her turning four. My son only really processed the idea of having his birthday so far away in its true enormity last night, as I attempted to gently explain why we couldn’t invite his friends to a party 800 kilometres away.

Again, telling him he will ‘make new friends’ is no balm to his sads. Poor kid.

I remind myself that my children are only little… they’ll make new friends so easily. And I repeat my mantra, to my kids and myself, over and over. This is an adventure. This is going to be fun.


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny September 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

As your children have already experienced, the only constant in life is change. Teach your children not to fear change, and you have given them a valuable gift. Maybe, what your children will learn from this move is that everything can and often will be turned upside down in an instant, and inspite of all the turmoil and emotions that comes with that it is not dangerous. Maybe what you are doing is actually helping your children understand that big changes may be positive too. Who knows what will happen. Staying put does in no way guarantee that your children will be happy forever (certainly doesn’t seem like the mum ‘who doesn’t like you’ from high school is very happy, and she seems to have hung around). I wish you the best of luck, I really do. I hope you all settle happily in Melbourne. I follow your blog from Sweden and I am often baffled by the misogyny and and hatred expressed by your anonymous followers. It just seems so extremely conservative and backwards I don’t know where to start. I bet they would never ever have the same expectations or demands on a single dad. But I guess that’s internet for you, it unleashes the ugliness in alot of people. People move for all sorts of reasons. Most people I know have moved a few times during their childhood. The thing is, kids don’t get space anymore than they do time; moving up the road will change their lives just as much as moving across a continent. They will start new schools, make new friends, and they are extremely adaptable. It doesn’t damage them. They will be just fine. Enjoy!


Lori Dwyer September 9, 2013 at 11:47 am

Thank you so much for your comments Jenny :) xx
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Jessie Reid August 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Melbourne is a great place and there are so many adventures to be had, new schools new friends the odds are great that after a settling period they will deny they were ever sad about moving.By the way my children get passionate if they get the wrong breakfast or if Peppa Pig isn’t on when they want it to be on. They have moments of mourning every day, I don’t let this dictate every aspect of my life, I bend when I can but as an adult I must make the beat decisions for the family even if the children think I am mean for not aquiescing to their demands and ensuring everything goes as they would have it. Don’t beat yourself up too much please! Best of luck moving, it’s not easy!


Carol August 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I’ve missed reading your posts – silly fb is hiding you again. By the time I’ve read this, you have 2 days ’til you arrive in my home town… just a couple of days before Spring… YAY!!! lol. It’s a gorgeous time of year. The birds are starting to sing, the gardens are starting to bloom, the days are getting longer &, if your really lucky & in the right place at the right time, the air is starting to smell of strawberry ice cream… I know, real strawberry ice cream hahaha – it’s wonderful & full of promise of good days to come. We still have ice cold mornings when you’ll have to rug up with scarves & coats & beanies & mittens and you can see your breath in the morning sunlight, but the breeze is getting warmer…
Safe travels, Lori, with your kidlets & fur-mily. Exciting times ahead :D


Janny August 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I’m only a semi regular reader so I’m not totally uptodate with everything. However, I think your kids have had too many upheavals in the last few years…not all of your doing…..and the poor little loves must be thinking that nothing is permanent. Too many changes in such young lives. I do wish you all the best and hope the kids handle it ok.


Anonymous August 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Maybe you should spend some time thinking about your kids instead of some bloke you met a few months ago…. you are SO selfish.


Areta Y. August 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Isn’t it funny how comments like these are always from “Anonymous”?

Your life must be pretty fucking horrible, Anonymous, if you spend your energy on things like this message. I feel sorry for you. This has nothing to do with Lori. I hope you can figure out what you’re so angry and unhappy about, and work towards fixing it.


Angelkyss August 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Excuse me! Do you even know Lori and her children? Do you know what she has been thru? Surely after 3 years she is entitled to happiness again and if this”bloke” as you so eloquently put it can make her heart sing again then I wish Lori a lifetime of happiness.


Penny August 22, 2013 at 11:21 am

I’m with Anonymous. Life is very much about You. If You are not centre stage, in terms of attention and affection – oh my goodness, the whingeing. Parenting is about priorities, and the primary one, is our children. Yours (and your poor animals), seem to be nowhere near that. Having said that (which I am certain is not welcome to hear, and most likely will not be published) I wish you the very best with your move. I hope that everyone manages to flourish, despite the upheaval.


Areta Y. August 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Sounds like you’re a regular reader, Penny? Why on earth do you read this blog?!


Whoa, Molly! August 22, 2013 at 11:44 am

I pity the children of anyone who quashes their own hopes and dreams ‘for the kids’. What the fuck lesson is that going to teach those kids that they can take through into their lives? That their wants and desires don’t matter? Bleh.
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Kathy August 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

This is really very unfair indeed, Anon (if that is in fact your name).

Change of any kind is challenging for kids and for plenty of adults too, but challenging isn’t the same as “bad”, “wrong”, or “evil”. Indeed, all kids are exposed to change, whether their parents will or no – because life’s a cow like that, and kids don’t live in perfect, timeless bubbles any more than adults do.

Furthermore, where’s your basis for asserting that Lori isn’t thinking about her kids in this decision? Where’s the evidence that she hasn’t weighed it up and concluded that, resettlement period notwithstanding, it’s in her kids’ best interests to acquire a new loving caregiver as well as have a happy Mum? I would say a post like this one shows very poignantly that she *is* thinking of her kids and their reactions and emotions, that she *does* care about their change issues, and that she will do whatever she can to make the transition work for them.


CJ August 22, 2013 at 11:50 am

Children learn from watching their parents. What lesson do you think is better; to sit, secure and comfy in a situation that isn’t making you happy, or to leap? To rush boldly into the unknown KNOWING it might not work out, but confident in your ability to make the best of whatever happens.

We moved constantly when I was a kid. We were poor, like properly poor and every time the rent was raised we had to find an even crappier place to live. One year, my father finally scrapped together the deposit for a house… like a bazillion miles away. I hated him. I hated the house, the move the everything it was ALL POO! But I was 9, what the hell do you know about economics when you’re 9? It was the absolute right thing for my family to do.

Your stability, your happiness, your ability to be the best person you can be for your kids is more important than where you are. Run, jump, fall – and let them see. Even if it should all go pear shaped, they’ll learn how to get back up from watching you.
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Drea B August 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I disagree with you Penny. My children are a major priority, but I don’t believe they should be the priority over anything else in my life.

My daughter regularly asks me not to go to work – should I skip out of work and risk my job just to cater to a whim of the moment? I have ongoing health issues, should I neglect my health so my daughter doesn’t miss out on one week of an after school activity? If I’m sicker in the long term, wouldn’t that be worse for her?

I don’t believe unhappy parents make happy children. But I may come from a different set of experiences to you. My father died when I was very young and what I realised is my mother was just as affected as we were, and she has just as much ‘right’ to a happy life as her children. That you consider it at the expense of the children is your perspective. I would say that a happy mother helps create a happy environment for her children.


Domestic Goddesque August 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm

My children are dealing with a similar thing, as we move home and school on Friday. But I have promised them a trampoline. It’s not taken away all the angst and sadness but it’s given them something real, something they want, to look forward to. I hope it’s enough that they won’t lynch me on Jerry Springer one day….
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Sam-o August 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

My son had a new boy start from interstate recently. His parents said for the first couple of weeks he was having a tough time, then he handed out party invitations and poof! His troubles were over. Kids are like that. These parents said that they learned that any time they move again they will have a party as soon as he starts at the new school even if its not his birthday as it made such a massive difference to his settling in.

Might be a good idea to take this approach!


jeanie August 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Even all growned up, we don’t realise what we will miss totally when we make such a huge change to our lives.

I moved my girl when she was just shy of 7. She did make friends. Eventually – but she was sad for a bit and I had to work really hard with her to come through that.

Now – she loves where we live. She loves the people who I brought into her life. But she still misses some things – and that is okay.

Good luck with the move.
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Lori Dwyer August 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Thanks so much Jeanie. I worry about that, a lot- that they won’t make friends. I’m glad it turned out okay for your little one :) xx
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