Almost 3 weeks on, and here we are. In a new house, a new town, a new community, and a new lifestyle. The dawn of a new era for our family as a unit, and as individuals. It hasn’t been an easy transition.
I’ve had a lot of good friends tell me that as long as I’m looking at the positives; that’s all that matters. As nice an idea as that is, it’s also rubbish. A few days after we arrived, I sat on the kitchen floor surrounded by boxes of pots and pans and oven trays, having just opened the kitchen cabinets to discover, like the bathroom and the laundry, and the spare room, everything smelled like damp and mold. I cried. I cried and I cried. I even went as far as to vocalise “I just want to go home.”
Right there, in that moment, I was devastated. Exhausted. Grieving for the life we had left behind. Counting my blessings; my family was finally together after the days of moving, we had a roof over our heads, our baby is moving and growing happily in my belly… Those blessings so not discount the fact that the only house available for us to live in was in much worse condition than we were prepared for (and yes, we were warned). Those blessings so not discount the several days of the exhaustion and aches of 8 months pregnant, looking after an energetic toddler, a dog, and 4 chickens, in a totally new and not ideal environment while waiting for my husband to return and be with us (and all of our stuff of course).
Moving day 1, where the physical moving took HOURS longer than anticipated. Despite being well after bedtime, everyone stayed up to help.
This grief, this exhaustion, this fear and trepidation of the unknown, the physical pain of a pregnant body overworked, and finally, the dismay of discovering a nausea-inducing smell throughout our new “home”, it’s all real, raw, and powerful. To sit, and to cry is a totally normal response. To pretend that these things don’t matter, to push them aside would not, for me, be healthy. Over the last 18 months I’ve been learning to allow myself to feel these emotions, no matter how deep. My toddler teaches me daily; his emotions are huge and real.
We so often forget that the things that are hard for us are harder for our little people. Grace for cuddles, cosleeping through the transition, and patience within the new walls has been needed.
Those first couple of weeks have been periods of grace. Learning to show each other grace to feel our feelings, and to come to terms with the huge changes we have chosen; the expected and the unexpected alike.
It hasn’t all been hard, though, and there have been some unexpected delights in discovering our new town and getting to know our new community. To intentionally not lighten the heaviness of this post, I’ll leave the delights for my next update (which will be soon, I promise).
Despite one dog-on-chicken attack, and another close call (it appears I can still spear tackle a dog at 9 months pregnant) everyone, including the animals, is settling into a routine of some sort. We have embraced and accepted the oddities of our temporary house, committed to fixing up the things we can, and have even started up a temporary and completely transportable vegetable garden. Each day we are serenaded by a chorus of birds in the backyard, the front yard, on our stroll into town, and everywhere in between.
There are many things to be excited for, and many opportunities to look forward to. We will make the most of every situation we find ourselves in, but let’s not discard the hard emotions. Just as we feel the happy, let us feel the difficult. Let us all sit in the hard places within ourselves and know them deeply.