A few weeks ago, my family moved from a three bedroom house in the suburbs to a two bedroom apartment in the city. My husband and I have lived together in small suites in the city for most of our 7 year relationship, and we have moved a lot. So we’re comfortable with moving, and getting creative with small spaces. This time, the hard part was the kids!
Remy is 3-and-a-half and Lily is 1-and-a-half. They are very excited (especially Remy) to be sharing a room. So excited that they chat through naps, and well into the night (okay 8pm, but that’s a good hour past their normal bedtime, and they’re already overtired!). And then Lily’s ready to start her day at 5:30… ahhh!
I am extremely privileged to have had very few periods in my life as a mom where I feel completely out of control – where I can’t think straight, I struggle to remember to do basic things (like feed myself), and I feel as if I’m in a haze. That special pairing of sleep deprivation with an out-of-control “to do” list. The first time I felt this way was after my first baby was born, and there it was again the week after we moved.
The daily reminders of why we moved back to the city were what got me through that exhausting, frustrating, never-ending first week. We saw family or friends or another familiar face every day. In spite of all the upacking to be done, I didn’t feel stressed about housework because the space is manageable for me. We are within walking distance to a handful of parks and other activities the girls and I love.
Through our 7 moves in 7 years my husband and I have figured out what we want in a home, and ultimately what our life priorities are. Throw in a couple major job changes and two kids and it’s been challenging, but we’ve learned so much along the way.
One of our main priorities (and why we moved) is to surround ourselves with a strong support system. This includes family, and friends, and the moms I regularly run into at the park, and the barista at the coffee shop near our apartment who I have seen on and off for over five years…
It really does take a village, but who says you have to know every member personally? For me, that feeling of belonging comes from familiarity within the community almost as much as close relationships. I feel it here, and I think Remy does too. We’re both much calmer.
I have also learned how adaptable kids are, and how much their parents’ happiness affects their happiness. Stability is great, but this doesn’t have to mean living in one place your entire life. The stability a child feels when their parents are living their best lives is more important.