We made to Minnesota Tuesday night and we have had a couple of days to get settled into our new home. We are not there yet with all of the unpacking, in fact we have a few boxes that we shipped which are scheduled to arrive today. I’m hoping that by this weekend we’ll be completely unpacked and able to live life normally again.
I knew when we decided to move that it would take a lot of work, but I don’t think I realized at the time how much this process was going to take out of me, physically and emotionally. Moving is nothing new to me, as I have moved many times before, however all of those other moves were prior to me having kids. This is my first move with children and to say that it was challenging is an understatement. I think I have been tested in every way possible and I questioned for the first time yesterday whether we made the right decision by moving.
Deep down, I still believe this is what’s best for my family. However, I don’t believe Nic and I will have true feelings of confirmation until we have been here for a few months. Almost everyday since we decided to move we do an informal check-in with one another asking each other how we feel so far. We go through our challenges, frustrations, and successes. Currently we both feel like we’re just visiting because we have come to Minnesota so often in the past.
I don’t want to sugarcoat how strenuous moving with kids is, but I do believe it isn’t as challenging as most people think. The following are just five of the top things I have learned from moving with kids.
1. I Got Sick of Eating Out
It’s been about three weeks since we have cooked a homemade meal. That doesn’t seem like such a long time but it feels like an eternity to us. It’s convenient to eat out but gets very old very fast. In addition, the options of healthy food available to order is scarce. Despite this, the last thing we wanted to think about when moving is cooking.
We have made a commitment, however, that we will start cooking again next week no matter what. For our health and also for our sanity.
2. I Felt Like I was Losing my Mind
Throughout this move, I have felt every emotion possible. Excitement for this new adventure and what’s yet to come. Nervousness about the unknown. Frustration related to the amount of packing and unpacking. Sadness over leaving family and friends. Joy from being reunited with family and friends.
It’s normal to feel these emotions throughout life. However, they are usually spread out over different points of time. When you feel all of these ways within the span of a few weeks and sometimes all in the same day it can make you feel like you are losing your mind.
Despite the fact that this has been an emotional experience, I know things will stabilize shortly.
3. I Discovered That I was a Hoarder
I have moved a number of times before this move and each time I have simply packed everything in my current home and brought it to my new home. This makes for easy packing, but is not at all efficient.
For this move I did not want to continue the exercise of bringing items to my new home only for them to sit in boxes for years and years. What this meant is that I had to go through everything. What I learned while doing this is that I saved meaningless items and have even moved these items to my new homes in the past. I had everything from old printed emails to unused candles. After going through the exercise of examining everything and getting rid of what I did not need, I realized that I may not have looked like a hoarder on the outside, but I did have hoarder-like tendencies. The good news is I feel much lighter now that I have relieved myself of these meaningless items and I vow to never be hoarder-like again.
4. My Kids Felt the Emotions of Moving Too
Kuya is two turning three and Sissy Boo is almost 7 months, so neither of them really understand what’s going on, however both of them are experiencing emotions of their own.
Kuya has noticed the slow disappearance of his toys and even blocked the door when someone who had bought his bed was taking it out to their car. On Monday when we were still in our San Francisco home he told me that he wanted to go home. I almost cried. He has never said this before and usually would tell us that he’s home now as soon as we pulled into the driveway. I didn’t know whether to tell him that he is home or that we were going home tomorrow, so I just said “I know, me too.”
Packing and moving means more high chair, jumper and crawling time for Sissy Boo, but it seems like in the past few weeks all she really wants is cuddle and holding time. Kuya was such a happy baby and Sissy Boo has her happy moments, but she is also a very needy baby. This seems to have multiplied with this move.
Although our focus has been on packing and unpacking the last few weeks we have stopped ourselves to take the kids to the park or to see family. This has given them a bit of comfort during this chaotic time.
5. Home is not a Place
The greatest thing I have learned through this move is that home is not a place. When I was younger, my family moved out of our childhood house after 15 years. I along with many of my siblings were devastated. This was the only home most of us knew and we couldn’t fathom any other place giving us the joy and happiness we found in this home.
However, it wasn’t the house that made us feel at home. It was the people, the memories and the experiences we created together that made the house a home. I have my people with me and we will no doubt create more experiences and memories together. I am happy to say that I can confidently tell Kuya that we are home.