Well, here we are, three weeks tomorrow since the day we left home for new beginnings.
I expected that the kids would struggle with the adjustment – I mean, it took Princess literally months to settle into school, so it was going to be a long, draw out process adjusting her to her new school. And BoyChild was much less the same at his old preschool. I was prepared for weeks of tears, tantrums and upset.
I wasn’t prepared for it to come from me.
I clearly underestimated my amazing kids. It took days for them to settle into their new routines. They loved their new schools, they made friends and connected with people instantaneously.
So, where did that leave me?
Due to careful planning and organisation, each morning we were out the door at 8:30am, and by 9am I was back home again. With nothing to do. The kids were great, they didn’t need me.
I didn’t know anyone down here, we knew that when we moved. I don’t know what I expected, I knew it would take time, but as the days went on and I spent more time in our temporary accommodation, without my usual things to keep me busy (like, my stuff), I got bored. And, I’m a doer. So with boredom came overthinking. And with overthinking came loneliness. I ran out of things to do – BabyGirl is at that age where taking her shopping is like, well, I think I’d rather stab myself with a stick. She is very independent and doesn’t give a rats when I walk away from her. So, we couldn’t go out anywhere. And she won’t sit in the pram so that cancelled out taking walks around our new town.
Before I knew it, two weeks had passed. Mr T commented that it was going “so fast”, but I felt like the time was just dragging. I sat down one night, after the kids were in bed and everything was settled, and realised that it had been two week, two weeks, and I had not spoken to another adult. I mean, I’d spoken to my husband, obviously. And people in shops, the kids’ teachers, those kinds of people. But I hadn’t spoken spoken to anyone. I missed my friends. I missed going over to their houses, sitting down over a coffee and just talking. About nothing and everything. I had already used up all of my cellphone talk time calling them and nattering away, but that wasn’t the same.
I went to bed that night, and cried and cried. Poor husband wasn’t sure what to do! I was lonely. I was busy, and it was chaos and noise and the kids were having a blast. But I was lonely. I’ve never felt that way before – in my life I’ve always lived with other adults, or had a job, or had some other form of interaction with people.
Of course, it was going to get better – it had to! But telling me it would get better had little consolation at the time. It’s a bit like buying bigger sized clothes for your kids – telling them they will one day fit them doesn’t fix the fact that they don’t fit them at that moment.
The weekend came and went, we had fun as a family, and I pretended things were looking up. Because it had to, right?
Today is day twenty. And today, the fog lifted.
A parent spoke to me at school today – said hello, introduced herself, told me a bit about herself. It was brief and innocent, but it was what I’d needed, what I’d craved for nearly three weeks. Human interaction. I nearly cried.
And then, I spoke to our new landlord and organised moving into our permanent house tomorrow. And organised our furniture to be delivered. My stuff! My baking tools, my food mixer, my clothes! MY BED!
And then, I joined a gym. I put BabyGirl into the creche (so she got to have playtime with other kids, without me there) and I had a workout. By myself. And I chatted to other people at the gym, and I chatted to other mums at the creche.
Just like that, I felt like a person again.
I still miss my friends and my life “back home” dearly, but today was the first day I was able to see myself settling here, happily.
I found a this wonderful quote last night, and couldn’t believe how apt it was to my situation.
And how, in just one day, things started to be ok. I was going to be ok.
I know you are scared right now
maybe you miss
maybe your heart hurts a little
or a lot
or maybe you’re not quite sure
of who you are
or what you want
but that feeling you
it’s still here
it never really left
and one day you will realise
that the only person
who can find it again