Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Torture of Moving With Little Kids
As Spring approaches I can't help but shudder when I think back to my life at this time last year. I think Chinese Water Torture would have probably been more pleasant. Okay, possibly that's a bit extreme but you get the point. My stress level was overwhelming. Why? We (I) decided that we needed to move. Keep in mind at the time we had a two and half year old and a 10 month old baby and we lived in a perfectly fine house on a nice street. I'm pretty sure that everyone in my life thought I was crazy, including my husband and my parents but in my heart I knew that we could be a happier family in a different house. Here were my reasons:
1. Our kitchen was nice, but was too small for a kitchen table. Instead, we ate at bar stools, and the kids had to sit in chairs strapped to the bar. Hubby called it the "snake pit" because the kids were always reaching for his food and getting his shirts dirty. See that small area? All four of us somehow managed to squeeze together every night. We searched and searched for ways to get a table into our kitchen, but it was just too small.
2. The bedrooms were all crammed together on the main floor and also VERY close to our TV room and kitchen so after the kids went to bed we were always whispering and didn't feel like we could really kick back and enjoy our evening. Plus, our alarm clock goes off around 5:30 every morning and sometimes the kids woke up and wouldn't go back to bed. This caused a lot of stress for our marriage because when my husband was on call for the hospital, he gets paged all night long so he just slept downstairs often because we were always worried it would wake up the kids.
3. We had a old weird guy living next to us and exactly ZERO little kids on our actual street. I remembered growing up with friends next door and I knew that I wanted the same thing for our kids.
I won't bore you with the all the details of what we went through last February. The short version of the story is that we found a house that we loved and it was a short sale so we got a great deal on it. However, I was cursing myself, Hubby was cursing me, and I'm sure my family were secretly cursing me during the process of cleaning the house and getting it ready to sell, putting it on the market, and then the enormous job of packing. If you have ever tried to keep your kitchen counters spotless with a 10 month old and a two year old, you know what I mean. Plus, when buyers want to come inspect the house at 2:30 in the afternoon, you can't exactly say, "Sorry. My kids like to nap until 4ish and I don't like to wake them up because they'll be cranky later."
On top of everything, Hubby was working terrible hours at that time and got home really late at night (surgery resident) so my parents helped a lot, but the stuff in our house just seemed to keep multiplying. For about three weeks I woke up at 4:30 and ran downstairs and packed as much as I could before the kids woke up.
But then...we moved into our new house...and it turns out that it was all worth it! My daughter made a friend right away and suddenly every afternoon she was thrilled to go outside and play! We found a beautiful kitchen table at a consignment store and our meal times were suddenly my favorite part of the day. Look at that bright sunny room and huge table...plenty of room for everyone and we even get to look out the windows at the birds and the trees while we eat. Not only that, but our bedroom was far enough away from the kids that Hubby didn't have to leave our room to get ready or work. Even Hubby finally admitted that I was right to put us through moving with two small children.
I guess the moral of my store is that change can seem overwhelming, but if there are legitimate reasons, it will be worth it. If you don't like your house, move! If you don't like your job, find a new one. Yes, change is hard. But sometimes you can go through two months of pure torture, only to come out better on the other end. It's been almost a year since we moved and every single day I am thankful for the choice that we made. The kids are so happy in our new house, and we are a MUCH happier, and MUCH stronger family.