One thing that concerned me about moving house wasn't whether we would get everything in on time. It wasn't even if anything would be damaged on transit. No, it was whether my toddler would have a home that night.
Unfortunately my worst fear was realised. Sure, everything ended up okay in the end, but only because I had a plan in place and had prepared for the worst.
I like to think that I'm a fairly positive person, but being a parent means being prepared for every eventuality and thinking about what you'll need if something goes wrong.
So, here are my top 5 tips on how to survive a move with a toddler when the worst happens:
1. Prepare a 'holiday' bag
This was by far my biggest saviour. I'd packed a week's worth of clothes for all of us with supplies like nappies, clothes, shower stuff etc as if we were going on holiday for a week. We then put the bag into a car - not the van - to make sure that we had the bag with us at all times.
Even if the worst doesn't happen, this saves that immediate panic of swimming through hundreds of boxes to find nappy cream or pajamas.
2. Be toddler free
Although not always possible, it was better not to have to deal with a stressful move AND a bored toddler.
I don't know about you, but there's only room for one drama in my life at a time. We'd dropped off my toddler at nursery for the day, which meant that we were hands free until pick up time. This gave us enough time to think clearly and make a plan for what we were going to do that wasn't driven by a snap-decision of a screaming toddler.
We all know how well those decisions go...
3. Worst case - where will you go?
When everything started to go Pete Tong, I decided that we were going to stay at my parents house an hour and 20 minutes away. My toddler goes to sleep early and having a plan in place to stay somewhere that I was comfortable - that I knew she'd be comfortable and safe - was important to me and made a huge difference.
In the future, I'd consider making plans to stay over regardless, to make sure that we have some room to unpack without a tiny person - at least the necessities.
4. Keep your charger handy
I regret not having my portable charger with me for the day and would definitely advise anybody to have theirs with them. With a day of waiting, worrying and being in a bar for hours on end with free WiFi, it's important to make sure you're full of charge.
Also, with a constant need to phone solicitors to chase every 30 minutes, we were running out of juice fast.
Of course, our chargers were in our handy 'holiday' bag, but that doesn't help when you're out and about for the day.
5. Somewhere to sleep
I am so glad that we kept the travel cot in our car.
It was actually put there for the eventuality of moving in and not being bothered to assemble the cot in time for bedtime. But in reality, we used it at my parents house to make sure my toddler had somewhere to sleep. No matter where we ended up, I knew that we had our supplies.
In the end, everything fell into place. By being prepared, I turned what could have been an absolute disaster into a manageable day. Of course, it was still pretty rubbish as events unfolded, but it could have been made a lot worse if I wasn't prepared!
I hope my top tips help if you ever need to move with a toddler, please let me know if they have helped, or if you'd suggest any other tips from your own experience!
You can read more from Kelly over at Bringing up Georgia.
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