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Moving and New Communities
by Jodie Lynn

You may be thrilled to be moving, or you could be scared to death! Moving can leave you sad, glad, or a mixture of all. Don't worry - I have done this too many times not to be able to help out. Here are some ways to help make moving into a new community easier.

Remember that moving is very time consuming and your patience will be tested. Everything will be new, and for many it's exhausting! Don't try to do everything at once! I once lost my mind trying this stunt -- I later found it behind the diapers in row 6 at Walmart!

~ First on your list should be to go and meet your closest neighbors. Don't wait for them to come over. Ask if there's a neighborhood phone directory and find out where you can get one. Look for children's birth dates -- call the

homes where the children's ages are close to your own kids'. Ask for recommendations on babysitters. Ask how their children like the sitters. This will lead to many a good relationship. Most families are very willing to help. (They were once a new family in a new area.)

~ Call local paper for information on parenting organizations. Go visit all that are of interest to you -- and some that are not. If you stick to those that are only in your area of most interest, you could be missing out on some wonderful relationships.

~ Contact the local Welcome Wagon. There's one in almost every town. They will lead to The Newcomers Club, which has more hobbies and mommy groups than you will know what to do with.

~ Visit churches. Many churches now offer parenting and play groups that are embraced by the whole community, not just members.

~ Go for a family walk. In the evening after dinner is a good time. This is usually when the Dads are available to chat as well. Keep a pen and paper ready in the stroller or in your pocket to write down your new phone number and names of your family -- and get their names and numbers, too! ~ If you children are old enough, send them out to play and let them find families to play with (it works)! Sooner or later, someone will want to spend the night or your cutie will ask someone over. Perfect situation for making new friends with other parents.

~ Find out where the parks are. Get going -- even in the winter. There will be kids and moms there.

~ Take a trip to the zoo. Enroll your children in an activity at the zoo and meet new faces and have fun with the NURSERY of baby animals at the same time.

~ Look at the grocery store for a free local parenting newspaper and/or magazine. These will usually have places to see and things to do for family outings.

~ Check out the Libraries and local YMCA/YWCA for activities for kids. Many places now have free storytime and introductory offers for new folks just moving to the area.

~ Call the athletic association in your area to find out about soccer, baseball, basketball, etc., registration and sign your kids up! Begin to take pictures right away.

~ Volunteer at the new preschool and/or school. You will meet many other moms there. Take pictures of the new house, yard, new friends, school, classmates, teams, etc. It will help the children see how easy the transition of moving can be. Keep a positive attitude and so will your family!

~ Last but far from least, don't forget to do some things for yourself. Ask other moms where they go for exercise, hair salon, clothes, books, make-up, restaurant, doctors, resale shops, house goods, etc. Good luck and smile. It'll all work out!

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