Signs of Struggle in Relocation

Signs of Struggle in Relocation

Typically, signs of struggle cannot be seen in the first month of relocation.  We are productive beyond our comprehension with planning, managing and settling our families at top of mind. 

We experience energy we did not know we had and creativity in everything.

We are Super Woman handling every task, making decisions and dabbing every tear.  We are taking down this relocation one decision at a time….

Until we can’t.

The relocation struggle is like a stealthy ninja.  We don’t recognize it until it has overtaken us. A devastating blow and we are left incapacitated.  What Happened??

A stealthy struggle shoved us into a house of mirrors.  We can see where we want to go but cannot seem to stand, let alone figure our way out. 

At this point we need a light!  A light to show us the secret path out.  That light is knowledge.

If you can see the signs of struggle early the deadly ninja, overwhelm can be defeated.  Knowing what they are and how to identify them provides the light and power to thwart an attach.

We begin with your ability to remember.

Memory ~ ZAP!

A deluge of information from the day of acceptance sets us up for a potential ZAP!

Information begins flooding in.

    • Potential communities
    • School rating
    • Local parks and activities
    • Specialty programs
    • Commutes
    • Home styles
    • Safety
    • Air traffic paths and so much more

Between the relocation decision and the home decision, a matrix should be created to capture the information and then show implications and dependencies.

Forget something? Probably…most assuredly.

A typically human’s ability to take in that quantity of information over 30 days is capped at some point.  It is like trying to cram a whole semester of British American history into your brain is 2 days for the final.  It just doesn’t really work.

The secret to recognizing this ninja is to expect it and recognize the signs.  By being on the look out for it, we automatically include the possibility in the plan.  Because of this we are better organized in the beginning and create a process to track everything important to us.

“I think I will remember that,” always gets me into trouble.  Accepting the fact that I will most likely lose track and therefore be too much to “remember”, limits the negative self-judgement and help me identify the struggle before it overtakes me.

I now know that when anything slips, my effectiveness waning and I require maintenance.  Ignoring the slip is like ignoring the check engine light.  Ignore it long enough and everything is stuck at the side of the road with a heavy dose of irritation!!


Irritation is the most “acceptable” of the signs.  That makes it super sneaky.  Without relocation, we might recognize it and wonder why we felt irritated.  But during relocation it is accepted at normal.  One that our friends may exclaim, “Of course you feel this way, YOU are in the middle of a relocation!”

But that is only an excuse.  Irritation is not normal and that excuse only only provide temporary comfort. A comfort that prevents us from seeing our struggle.  It is yet another ninja there to stop our relocation progress.

Knee jerk reaction

Irritation comes with out warning like a doctor with that little hammer on your knee.  You know it could happen but it is always a surprise.  An instant reaction to a comment, a situation, a tone of voice or your own internal thoughts.  Irritation is almost unrecognizable by the one feeling it, which means it goes unsupervised.

Unsupervised, irritation seeps into most areas of life.

It looks like”

    • Why did you DO that?
    • Can’t you keep your hands to yourself?
    • I already took care of that.
    • Don’t do it that way.
    • Just get away from me.

That exasperation in this season may seem acceptable.  However, why would you accept something that can break relationships, slow down responsiveness and remaining unchecked bring a relocation to its knees.

What if we can head it off at the pass?

What if you didn’t have to walk through irritation to this end?

The answer to this is also the answer to the control freak.

The Control Freak

The control freak comes out to play after the Mind Zap and Irritation.  We are so filled with fear that we have to take control of everything to make sure we are getting to where we need to be.

Normally, I am one of those people who can think about 10 steps ahead seeing implications for miles.  Something my son wishes I could not do.  He’d like me to be blissfully unaware.  But that is not the case.  I am in a constant state of …

How to get out of house in case of fire.

Stay Safe!!

I blame third grade on this.  I had to draw a floor plan to our house and figure out all of the ways to get out if we had a fire.  We learned to feel the door and crawl on the floor to avoid the smoke.  By the end of that school week I had my first extensive plan to keep us SAFE!

Since then I have applied that lesson to every area of my life, which is fine under “normal” circumstances.  However, when the stress and mind drama gets going I might as well be Henry the Eighth.

It sounds much like irritation but with much more direction:

    • This must be my way! (demanding)
    • You know I have already figured this out! (defensive)
    • Don’t even bother to tell me another way! (closed minded)
    • Let’s go now! (demanding again)

A whole lot of fear wrapped up in there make for a narrow field of vision.

Narrow field of vision

When the control freak loop plays in a mind, only one thing can be seen. Any challenges are seen as the enemy.  When I run this loop I end up isolating myself through demands and then blame others for leaving me.

Recognize this in anyone?

We think we are handling IT!  But in actuality, we are shooting ourselves in the foot while telling every one “you can’t help me.” The plan partially or fully fails and we create what we were avoiding or fighting to prevent.

It’s the Fear

Fear is THE FUEL that ignites the control freak. Test it.  If you are afraid, the need to control will increase dramatically.  And if you need to control, it is time to look for what is causing that fear.

The fear doubles down on the belief that we are right & this is the only way!

Seeing this in ourselves should cause us to pause and get curious, because staying here will lead to nowhere.

Sidetrack the Struggle

Sidetracking the struggle begins in our head.  The thoughts we think.  I love this quote,

“Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t
 … you are right.” ~ Henry ford

The first strategy is to observe.  We cannot overcome what we do not see.  Practicing the observance of our thinking allows us to see what is creating the results we are receiving.  Our results are a direct reflection of out thoughts whether we have chosen them or not.

When the negative emotions pop up it is time to get curious and see what in your brain is causing it. Most of us do not capture a fraction of the 50,000 thoughts going on in there everyday.  Just because we do not see them doesn’t  mean they are not causing trouble.

Change the thoughts & the results

I am not talking about thought swapping for sunshine and unicorns. That will cause the brain will double down and strive to prove you wrong.

This is about choosing something you actually believe.  So instead of “this will never work” try on “I can figure this out.”  You will know you chose the right thought by the emotions they create within you.

A productive thought will send the brain off to find proof that it can be achieved.

We will talk more about this in Thursday’s podcast.  There is a little more to it than just this.  But this gives you the basics.

Believe me!  You have it within you to do this!!

Let’s Chat!

For more information and to work on a personal example, Let’s Chat! You can try out coaching to see if it works for you.

Relocation – The Whos, The Void and The Friend

Every time I relocated, it is like I have been making it up as I go.  I go along following the latest article or “squirrel” that crosses my path.  And then the Void hits. I forgot about the Whos. And the friend? I don’t have any friends here.

I think to myself, certainly I know how to do this.  I am an adult.  I am successfully raising a child.  I have relocated before.

The challenge though is that I am out of practice.  I have forgotten what I knew.  The rule and processes of the partners chose in the past have changed.  Regulation always change.  It is like I am almost doing this for the first time.

In additional the “HELP” I am receiving from the employer is helpful monetarily but it doesn’t actually provide a roadmap to relocation.  Housing check – Transportation of household goods check – a bit for miscellaneous expenses – perhaps culture or language training if an international assignment.

Each being static pieces of a much larger organic puzzle.  Required but not really connected, leaving us ReloWomen to fill in the gaps.  All of the gaps, which are like tendons and muscles.  Without the tendons and muscles, it really doesn’t matter much if you have the bones.  They are not going to go anywhere.

Oh, the Gaps

These gaps are everywhere and we are expected to know how to not only identify them and fill them.  I don’t know how many times I have heard…

“This is just moving from here to there.  You know how to live life. You obviously have already set one up.  You already have a place to live and your things, so no problem, You’ve got it from here.”

The problem is that that life, that successful life was set up over years.  It evolved over time to become what it was.  Things, people and activities were brought in and let go of.  That evolution happened slowly with lots of information…

NOT in 2 to 3 months knowing almost nothing.

But now we are being asked to pick up multiple, whole lives, roots and all, and replant them in a place we know nothing about.  Where’s the roadmap for that?  Who is going to help us?  Typically no one.  We are on our own.

And this is why ReloMoms was born, now ReloWomen.  I have seen the struggle.  I have experienced the struggle.  I have scars from the struggle and I know it doesn’t have to be that way.

Today, I am sharing a few nuggets from the ReloWomen Crash Course. A six week intensive course designed to get teach you what you need to know to create a roadmap that works for you and your family.

First Nugget – The “Whos”

One of the foundational concepts of the ReloWomen Crash Course is knowledge of the “Whos”.  Who you are, who your partner is and who your children are. Knowledge of the whos is foundational because every decision made during relocation is directly related to one or all of you.

The first nugget here is actually a collection of assessments each of which analyzes different aspects of each family member…each of your whos.


I recommend 4 different assessments to be completed by each family member over the age of 10(make your best call as parents for applicability).  In the ReloMoms 3 Step Relocation Workbook available at the first section lists these assessments along their links. 

When we know who we are and how we work, we make better decision that align with us.  In addition, when each family member takes the quizzes it opens up additional conversations about similarities, differences and shows how each person is best supported.

During all of the change and stress of relocation, the more each one understands the other fewer conflicts and more compassion is possible.

Second Nugget “The Relocation Void”

Not many people talk about “the relocation void”.  Perhaps they forget after a year or so, but the relocation void happens upon most every relocating woman. Typically, as relocating women we take it upon ourselves to plan, arrange and setup for our kids, our partners and our family.  We make phone calls, create schedules and get things all ironed out to make daily life run well.

We are so very busy attending to everyone else and their settling that we forget to attend to our own.  Therefore, when everything is running like a Swiss watch and there is nothing else to organize the Relocation VOID appears.

Our daily purpose in the new place is gone.  And without that daily purpose, that activity we experience a void of purpose, of usefulness. 

Similar to Gone

The only other place I have seen this is when my mother was taking care of her mother during her last years.  Everyday my mother would go out to Grandma’s place to get her up and going and then later again to go to bed.  She would take care of everything Grandma needed in between.  And then one day Grandma was gone.

My mother had such purpose taking care of her mother.  She took such pride in it.  Mom loved taking care of her mother and saw it as a privilege.  When Grandma was gone, so was my mother’s purpose.  For a couple of years Mom filled every day full with activity supporting her noble purpose.  When Grandma was gone, so was her activity.  So then what?  What could she do that would be close to as meaningful as taking care of her mother? How would she spend her time?

That is the same with the relocation void.  It means so much to us as ReloWomen to make sure everyone in the family adjusts and adapts, putting life in just the right order for everyone to begin living their best life.  Everyone except us.

It is noble and right to do this, but many time we get so busy with them that we do not start to put the pieces in that are just for us.  ReloWomen are both individuals and a family member.  It is important to pick up knowledge, activities and connections for ourselves while we are setting up everyone else’s life.

That too, is noble and right.

Third Nugget – A Friend

We need a friend.  I heard a great podcast a few weeks ago Women Who Lead.  On the second one on relocation the guest being interviewed, Tania Thomas remarks that it wasn’t until she found her first friend that she began to settle in.  This relocation at that time was 2 years old.  It had taken her 2 years to find that first friend.

This is not unusual, especially for us ReloWomen.  We are busy taking care of everyone else that we do not spend time finding that friend, no like we do planning play dates for our kids.  We come last.

Either this OR we do not recognize the people in front of us as friends.

Friendship Reality & Illusion

In Friendships Don’t Just Happen by Shasta Nelson, she talks about the 5 different circles of friendships.  The range from just met acquaintances(Contact Friends) to “call you at 3am” always show up friendships(Committed Friends).  Shasta says that if at any time, one of those five friendship circles are empty you will feel a loss, like you are missing something.  And that feeling will distract you from “seeing” those lesser but valuable connection right in front of us.

Sometimes we do not see it because we are looking for someone just like our best friend back in __________ .

In ReloWomen Crash course I go through the stages of friendships and how to set proper expectations for each stage friendship.

Ultimately, when you recognize a connection in the mid-section of the stages, you begin to feel that connection to the community.  That is when that sense of community and home can begin.

To learn more about these topics and others browse the ReloMoms’ library of blogs and podcasts on the ReloMoms website…soon to be ReloWomen.

No Longer Alone

And if it is time to not walk through your relocation alone click this link and try out Whole Life Relocation Coaching.  The first one is on me!  We will primarily focus on relocation coaching and then spend the last 5 minutes talking about the ReloWomen Crash Course and Coaching options if you would like to hear more .

Join me on Thursday in the ReloMoms Podcast as we wrap up the week with more nuggets in the ReloWomen Crash Course.  A ReloWomen Relocation Roadmap and experiencing hope. 

Hope is everywhere when you know where to look for it.  The ReloMoms Podcast is available in Apple Podcast, Spotify and other podcast players.

Have a Wonderful Week!


What is Relocation Coaching

(c) Csrobles |

So, what is Relocation Coaching?

Relocation coaching is using the best tools and resources available and a guide who went before you, to create a relocation that serves your family.

Just like in sports, if you want to become a top athlete, a coach will help you enhance the skills you have. Help you identify skill gaps and provide training to help you learn quickly and achieve top performance.

By hiring a coach, you do not have to try out multiple training methods.  Nor do you have to search for information or spend time sifting through things that apply and a whole lot that do not apply. 

Like a sports coach, a relocation coach determines where you are and then provides what you need, information, resources and skills training.  No spinning your wheels or wasting time.  From logistics to mind management relocation coaching guides you through each week, with a special focus on managing the mind.

Mind Management

How we “think” during relocation, the negative or self-destructive thoughts, those are the ones that can get us into the biggest pickle.  In relocation, due to the short time frame and high expectations, we can find ourselves making decisions in a hurry.  Hiring relocation partners because the discounts are only good right then.  Choosing communities and school from recommendations by people who we do not know, because a decision must be made.

There are so many pressures and shoulds and outside expectations to be met, many of us bend to it, because it is just easier.

Easier in the moment.

It is not easier when we realize those decisions were based on other peoples’ values and needs.  Not ours.  And then we get to make it work.

No Bending to External Pressure

A relocation coach does not bend to those pressures.  As relocation coach, I am only interested in:

You and your family relocating well. 
This means that helping you to identify and execute family centric relocation plan, share resources and tools to prevent distractions as the new job ramps up, and stay with you until the family is acclimated and engaged in the new community.

This is achieved by concentrating on what is most important.  You, your family, your individual and shared values and needs.  Every decision based on who your family is leads to great first decisions.  From choosing a community to choosing and managing relocation partners, coaching helps you align your values and needs to make more decisions right, the first time.

Internal Pressure

The pressure and judgement we put on ourselves during relocation can be far more limiting than any outside pressure.  It may begin as second guessing the decision to relocate.  It may appear as concern over your job prospects or wondering if the relocation is having negative effects on the children.  When life is not just as we would like it to be, we begin questioning everything.  Doubting.

The reasons for the relocation and the benefits we have experienced so far, are nowhere to be found.  The negative talk takes over and presents itself as truth.

Ultimately, it is your internal negative/self-limiting talk, flashes of passing thoughts, that will knock you down.  If repeated often enough, “I can’t do this” eventually, you will experience overwhelm and shutdown.  Perhaps for an hour or a few weeks, but it will come, like a self-fulfilling prophesy.     

As a relocation coach I am watching for this.  What we say to ourselves produces results in our lives.  It drives our emotions and what we do…and, what we do not do.

Watching for these thoughts is difficult on our own.  We like to lie to ourselves or at least sugar coat with a thick layer of frosting.  This looks like “It’s fine.”  “I can deal with that later.”  “I didn’t really want that anyway.”  But these can be deadly to productivity.  Though we are trying to convince ourselves it is all OK…

Our brains call foul,
 digs in its’ heals,  works hard to find proof,
it’s not fine.

Weeding Out the Negative

Through relocation coaching, you have a partner walking through your garden of thoughts.  With this process you begin to see for yourself, the weeds that are sprouting to choke out what your dream for this relocation is. 

As you see these weedy thoughts, it becomes possible to choose whether to keep them or not.  It is from this vantage point you can make the strongest decisions.  Decisions that allow you to easily pull up those weeds,  get you back to your relocation goals.

With those thoughts seen and resolved, staying present becomes easier.  This provides space and energy to make those decisions on the fly, especially when something goes wrong.  In addition, being present and at ease, gives your mind the ability to consider all types of options and create better solutions.

Relocation coaching is for all stages of relocation.  It doesn’t matter which stage you are in, just decided, in transition or settling in and connecting, relocation coaching walks with you to where you want to be.  Living the life you want to live, your way, as part of the new community.

Try Coaching for Yourself!

You can tryout relocation coaching for free.  Email me, Annette Walters, at to schedule 2 Relocation Consults.  You will learn something use and walk away with tools you can you today.

My passion is to help you relocate well from packing to connecting!

Your ReloMom Friend – Annette


For more information about relocating well

The ReloMoms 3 Step Relocation Workbook goes into detail as to what you need to know in order to relocate well.  And it is FREE!!

An intensive 27 page guide for relocating well.