Moving in Stressful…..there are no two ways about it. It is well discussed and possibly the only thing in life I have experience that is worse, is divorce. Last time I moved I was doing both. When the girls and I relocated one hundred and twenty miles north it was in the immediate aftermath of my marriage break up so the actual move was a drop in the ocean of my stress levels. I packed what we wanted and simply left the rest for the ex to do with as he pleased. That whole period of my life was such an emotional strain that I rather foolishly believed this move would be relatively stress-less, after all this was a move for all the right reason, something I had chosen to do, a positive step forward. Oh how I was wrong.
Our previous home was a blessing at the time. Facing the prospect of living alone with the girls, I wanted to be closer to my family. Relocating meant I had to leave my job so buying again so simply was not an option. What I hadn’t counted on when applying for rental properties was the stigma attached to being a single mum supported by benefits. Overnight I had become a stereotype, not desirable to rent to and seemingly no longer socially acceptable. The experience was both humiliating and humbling. So when my previous landlord said he was happy for us to live there, I was grateful and relieved in equal measures.
Three doors away from a pub, on a busy road, no garden, only two bedrooms and in serious need of some TLC, it was a long way from the beautiful house we left. But I had no other options. My wonderful family worked tirelessly in the weeks before we moved in to make it a nice home for us. So despite it being far from perfect I was very grateful for it and we have some lovely memories there. However after our second Christmas I knew the time was right for us to move on. I could live with the noisy neighbours, the 1970’s stone fireplace, the random concertina bathroom door and even the small courtyard but in my heart it would always be the house we had to live in, not the one we wanted to.
As soon as I saw our new house listed on the internet I knew I wanted it to be our new home but the timing was dreadful. I have been very busy at work doing extra hours to get an important project done, CJ had chicken pox and we had a week to Disney booked (more about that next time) all in the month before we moved. I was therefore much less organised than I would have liked and the actual move became quite chaotic. I had a lot more ‘stuff’ than I had first thought. I am not a horder but even so we do not ‘live lightly’. In addition I now have twice as much furniture, it really is amazing how much you can fit into a small house. Once again, my long suffering family were there to help, with only the promise of a Chinese to soften the blow. 10 van loads later and everything was in our new place, but that is really just the start of what needs doing.
I have never listened to so much hold music in my life, I have wrangled with the phone company about why they have given me a new phone number when they said I was keeping the old one; the electricity company about how I wouldn’t be paying a £100 bill for the month before I moved in; the council about the council tax bill, which at the third issue is still wrong and currys about why my brand new dishwasher didn’t work. The boiler decided to stop heating the house, some of the sockets don’t work and the previous occupants removed the pluming for the washing machine. And obviously there is still the Mummy ‘business as usual’ to carry on with; the school run, swimming lessons, ballet classes, reading, spellings, washing, ironing, food shopping, cooking……
Despite the niggles and the seemingly endless ‘to do’ lists, life in our new home is great. We have a drive, which after 18 months of on street parking with two little ones is wonderful, a downstairs toilet complete with a sink the girls can reach and by far and away the best part; the garden. This week I have been cooking tea, watching the girls play in the spring sunshine, a complete joy. But my happiness is not just in our new physical surroundings. Yes they are making our day to day living lovely, but it is also the satisfaction of knowing my hard work has bought us here. I made the decisions, dealt with the stress and solved the problems, alone. Now, more than ever, I truly believe I can build a strong and happy life for my family of three, and I don’t need a fourth person to do it.