Family relocation: How to make it easier on everyone

Have you thought about what life in Australia will be like for you and your family? We mean really thought about it? New routine, new goals, new everything.

Relocating to a new country can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to moving your family. There are so many things to consider – from finding the right home and getting your kids enrolled in school to making sure everyone is adjusting well to the new culture. There’s just a lot happening during relocation, and for most of the families we relocate, it will take at least six months to feel like they are settled. You read that right: SIX MONTHS. That time when you no longer have to check the map or use satellite navigation for every little errand.

But with a bit of organisation and forethought, you can make the relocation process much smoother for everyone involved. By having family values, setting goals, and practising self-care, you will be able to create a smooth transition for your loved ones.

Family values

All too often our “house rules” can fall along the wayside. After all, it is a new house, the school bell rings at a different time and the preparation to get out the door is different. Robyn thinks of this when she remembers how long it took her to get two children out the door in Europe in winter! So let’s start with this–your family rules your values and what your goals might be.

Now, we are not about to tell you what we think your family values should be; that is for you to decide. We are bringing them to the forefront of your mind because they are the foundation of who and what your family stands for.

Never thought much about it? Not sure what family values are? Here are some prompts:

  • Empathy and kindness
  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Respecting each other’s views and opinions

Relocation is not for the faint-hearted.

Having a foundation of values when you relocate will help you and your family stay “knitted”.  It is more than a foundation, it is your core and it is a safe space, it is what is understood without reminding.

Relocation is not for the faint-hearted. Children, who are jet-lagged and tired can often push or forget their boundaries, so use your values to keep you grounded. As parents, a simple reminder during a stressful meltdown can be all your child needs to bring them back in line.

Family values should come into check when you are considering a school too.  Read the headmaster’s statement or the school values on their website, do they align with yours?

Goals

Another topic to bring forward in your mind, prior to your departure is “goals”.  This can be for each of you as individuals, or the family as a whole. Moving country can open up a wide range of new and exciting possibilities!

Who remembers Walt Disney’s quote “It all began with a dream.” If we don’t take time out to actually dream and write down our goals, the opportunity to make changes will pass us by.  When you arrive, equipped with your dreams and new goals, with a focus and drive to pursue them while everything is still new, that is when it can really happen.  

Goals that we have heard other families make are usually centred around “more family time”. 

“We are going to travel to another part of Australia each year – starting with Sydney/Melbourne/Perth.”

“We will have a picnic in a National park once a month.”

“In winter we will visit a museum each month.”

Now Mums and Dads listen up

Moving country–new home, new routine–is a great time to get the children involved in new chores! Make house tidy a new family goal and get everyone involved.

Not only chores, let’s set a goal of trying new foods – especially if you have picky eaters! They tell me the Brussel sprouts in Australia are so much better! Good healthy habits can be a new family goal – pick wisely. 😊

Self-care

Lastly, let’s not forget our own self-care.  

Let’s NOT underestimate jet lag. It’s very common but can be so debilitating that it can put you in a bad mood for days, weeks or even months. But time and time again, we see new arrivals come in with a list of things to do on their first day in Australia!

It usually looks like this:

  • Open bank account
  • Apply for Tax File Number
  • Apply for Medicare
  • Book a school tour
  • Buy groceries for the week
  • Shop for furniture

You are not a superwoman/man. Relocation is tough, really tough! So please make sure you look after yourself too.

We fully understand that you want to hit the ground running, but when you’re jet-lagged, you have the worst brain fog you can possibly deal with. And trying to make those decisions–even the small ones–can overwhelm you.

So let’s not overplan things in your first two to three days after arrival. Maybe you can handle one to two things a day, but the rest can be taken care of in the next few days.

What if you're about to start work?

If you’re about to report to your office, let your colleagues know your situation so they can manage their expectations. Not all of them know the challenges of relocating, so it’s always good to remind them. Don’t be afraid to tell them, “Look I need to open my bank account, need to get to the Medicare office and also get my driving licence…” And don’t worry. Australians are very accepting.

We would like to finish by saying that relocation does get easier and eventually, it will become part of your family’s “new normal”. Just do what you can in advance. But remember: things can still go wrong no matter how much you plan, so just hold on to your values, set your goals and take things one day at a time.

How we can help

If you need help making your transition to Australia easier, don’t be afraid to ask for our help. Personnel Relocations is your one-stop-shop for every relocation need. We understand that every relocation is different and each one has different goals. 

To contribute to your settling in Australia, we have alliances with experts such as relocation mentors, life coaches, cross-culture trainers, baby equipment hire, business communication specialists, local and international furniture removals, interior designers, decluttering, unpacking and setting up trades services who can help with specific needs.

It is not unusual for Personnel Relocations to handle the full suite of relocation needs. Contact us to learn more. 

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