Our moving date is getting closer and things are starting to get real, and really hard. For those of you who are new to my blog, or who don’t follow me regularly (Shame on you! lol), we are relocating soon from the Free State, to East London in the Eastern Cape.
My husband started his new job two months ago, but the reality is that there has been a lot of back and forth, and more time at home than away which has been great for all of us. However, real life is now setting in and he is now gone more than he is home. It’s hard for all of us, and here’s why.
When he left on Sunday for an expected two weeks, our youngest sobbed for about an hour. She’s a real “daddy’s girl” and I think all the goodbye’s are just too much for her now. She’s had to say goodbye to him too often over the last three months (if you include the month-long course he went on in CT in May), and then her half-sister was here for three weeks in August, but she too had to go home just over a week ago. My youngest took this very badly too. This up and down has resulted in a few problems at school drop off too which I wrote about recently, although things have improved a lot there (touch wood!)
Our eldest has also been struggling, but she’s very practically minded. I printed off a calendar for her and marked on it all the important dates coming up so she can see it in black and white. This helps her to count down the sleeps and to look forward instead of focusing on the goodbye part of it. Unfortunately, I think her bff’s parents are starting to prepare their daughter for our departure, which I do understand as a parent as I too am preparing the girls for when we move. The two bffs seem to be fighting at school a lot more, and I sense my daughter is being excluded from playground games. This is hitting her hard and I am struggling to help her understand and not take it to heart too much whilst fighting the urge to ‘kick a six-year old’s ass’ as Pink would say. Not really, she’s a great kid.
Then there is my husband. He hates driving off when he can see his baby screaming for him whilst I’m trying to hold on to her so she doesn’t run after the car. School drop offs are bad enough, to go for weeks at a time … I can’t imagine how hard it is for him. He has his new job which keeps him ‘busy’ during the day, but it is a very different role from the high stress 24/7 jobs he’s held previously. His new job is not 24/7, and this results in him being a bit lonely in the evenings, which means he’s missing us a lot too. Whilst the parents who are ‘left behind’ sometimes envy our spouses who get to live a somewhat jet-setting, hotel staying, restaurant eating life, the reality is that they don’t actually enjoy it. They crave the chaos of kids and home life, and home cooked meals and company. Even on my hardest days of solo-parenting, I wouldn’t trade places with him and that’s an important thing to remember.
Despite us moving A LOT, there are some things you never get used to and actually dread! Such as …
- Filling in the inventory forms with the moving companies (FML)
- Deciding on a suburb to live in, in a town you don’t know very well.
- Finding a house that doesn’t suck but is affordable and will suit your family dynamic, kids, pets, possessions and motorbike! *grrrr*
- Packing – I am so bad at this and always put it off as long as I can. Yes, I am the Queen of procrastination.
- Clearing out the sh*t you don’t want to pay to haul across the country. Again, do I have to? Can’t someone just come and do it for me?
What am I dreading about moving?
There are a few things that I am dreading about the move, other than the list above.
- Saying goodbye to friends who have become almost like family, in the absence of any family. These people have become our support network, brothers and mom-tribe. It’s going to be hard, harder than any of the moves we’ve made in the past four years, other than when we left Zimbabwe.
- Helping the girls adjust to a new school and make new friends
- Making new friends, finding a new mom-tribe and navigating a new town’s social dynamics and cliques. It’s so hard.
- Changing our address. Do you know how many people, organisations and institutions you have to actually tell you are moving! Bunch of nosy parkers!
- Finding the right Doctors, Dentists, swimming instructor, butcher, post office, home-affairs office, car wash, prefered supermarket and just the right parking spot so that it’s not too far from the entrance, but no one else wants to park near me! These things all take time, energy and some degree of trial and error.
On the bright side, what am I looking forward to?
- Living under one roof with my husband, and the sense of stability and support that brings to us as a family. To have him home every night. To be able to plan family things to do on the weekend. To have help with the kids.
- New beginnings, new challenges, a fresh start. Don’t let all my whining above get you to thinking we don’t want to move. We do. We have moved so often that it’s basically in our blood now and we actually start to get ‘itchy feet’ if we don’t do something huge to shake up our life every couple of years. Before anyone suggests it … NO, There Will Be No More Babies!
- Exploring our new home. We love to travel and go out and discover new adventures with the girls as a family. We’ve basically exhausted our local area now and I am so sick of travelling three hours to get to Jo’burg. I can’t wait to see what the northern part of the Eastern Cape has to offer us as a family.
- Living near the beach!! We can’t wait. After all our moves over the past 12 years together, this is the first time we will be living by the beach. Last night my husband went to the beach and took this picture, he has decided that we must do a beach walk one night a week followed by pizza. I’m sure real life will get in the way of this, but it’s a nice plan to work towards.
This past week I have been feeling very frustrated about being ‘left behind’, which is not fair because it was my decision ultimately. Losing sight of my reasons doesn’t help and I need to remember why I decided to wait until the end of the year. Ultimately it was so that the girls could finish their year at the school they love, so that they didn’t have to move mid-year. My eldest starts Grade 1 in January and I didn’t want her to have to go through two adjustments in six months of each other. I know I made the right decision there and I know they are going to love their new school too, fortunately that is one thing I don’t have to stress about anymore.
I just need to remind myself of this very valid reason when I am drowning in the solo-parenting and lonely wife days. It’s not forever. Roll on December, by then the move will be done and we’ll be together again. Until then, I’ll be marking the days off on the calendar, making lists, and attempting to get stuff done.
Wish this serial procrastinator luck – she needs it!