Moving is hard. There’s no way around it. It just is. You take your world, put it in a box, move it to a new house and try to figure out how your life is going to fit in this new space. Add small children on top of that…and well, it’s even harder.
I knew this move back to Texas was going to be challenging. We had lived in Mandeville for five years. Hudson was 15-months old when we moved there. Lucy was hope and a dream. In some ways, Mandeville was so easy for us. Everything, including J’s job, was 10-15 minutes away. You saw someone you knew everywhere you went. People knew your children. The cashiers at the Whole Foods had a nickname for me. Then we moved to Texas and everything became hard.
Truth be told, I am having a difficult time reconciling why this move is as hard as it is. This is what I wanted for years… to be back in Texas. I begged to be back in Texas. I wanted to come “home.” And now I’m here and I’m struggling. Nothing is easy right now. I don’t know where the nearest gas station is. J’s commute is almost an hour home everyday. I don’t have a pediatrician for the kids. My prescription is out and I need to see a doctor before they will refill it. We all need haircuts, but I’m not sure where to go. One lady I called about trimming L’s hair doesn’t have availability until September. It’s July. I’m living in a house I spent 15 minutes in before deciding to buy it and I’m desperately trying to make it feel like home. Our house in Mandeville is still for sale (seriously, anyone looking to buy in Mandeville? Anyone?) and the money I thought I was going to have to get a new rug, bedroom furniture, and TV is tied up in that house. Not to mention, we are paying for two houses. In case you haven’t caught on, we are not on a two-home family income. On top of all that, my two kids are sick of playing with only each other which leads to fights that I am tired of breaking up. All I want to do is get the house in order, but it’s summer and getting any kind of job done without being interrupted is nearly impossible. I’m spiraling. You see it, too, right?
Last week, I took a step back and thought “I’ve done this before. I moved to a new place and created a life there. I can do it again. What did I do in those early days when I didn’t know anyone?”
1. Find People. When I moved to Mandeville I joined a meet-up for moms. It was a playgroup. It saved me. I didn’t become best friends with all the moms in that group, but I’m so thankful for each one of them! I did make some life-long friendships from that group, but in the early days I was just happy I had somewhere to go and something to do. Now that my kids are a bit older, I wasn’t sure a playgroup would be the best fit, but our neighborhood does have a Facebook page. I posted about H meeting up with other first-grade boys and last Friday we met up with moms and kids at a pool and a park! Social media does have benefits! You have to take the initiative to find people. People aren’t going to come looking for a new family in the neighborhood they don’t know about. For those of us who are a little self-conscious this can be a little unnerving, but push through the uncomfortable. It’s worth it.
2. Take care of yourself. It’s cliché, but true – you can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. I’m not sure how your self-care takes shape. For me, it’s going to the gym. Working out burns off my nervous energy and let’s be real… two hours of free childcare. I also like to read. I get so engrossed in whatever book I’m reading that I forget about the stresses of life for thirty minutes. It’s like a break from the real world. I come back refreshed. What’s your self-care?
3. Be patient. This is the hardest one for me. Be patient in meeting people and finding your community. Be patient in getting your house unpacked and decorated. Be patient when your kids are terrors because they are having a hard time, too. Be patient when you get asked for the 756th time if you are settling in OK and all you want to do is say “Nope. I’m not.” Be patient when you are learning your area. Be patient with yourself. Be patient when your house isn’t selling in Louisiana. Ok, that was just for me.
4. Routine. Kids like routine. So do I. I just function better on a routine. I wish I was a little more “go with the flow,” but I’m not. Routine is hard in the summer anyway and it’s been even harder for us in new town and new house. We have four weeks of summer left before H starts school and I’m going to try to find the balance of routine vs. enjoy the last days of summer. I do know that we all need a little more structure to our days so I’m working on that.
I obviously don’t have all the answers regarding moving and how to make it easier. Everyone’s situation is different. Every move is different. These are just some my takeaways you might find helpful if you have recently moved or about to move. I have every confidence that Sugar Land and Greatwood will become as dear to us as Mandeville. That is one reason why we chose to live here. But, it takes time. And a whole lot of patience.
And now, I’m off to the gym…