I was in the B&Q parking lot with Koa in the backseat, my head was down in my hands and I started to feel tears welling up in my eyes. I was having a breakdown. The night before, Kyle and I had a massive argument. Tension had been high since the day we found out we were moving and we had finally hit our boiling point.
Why is moving so stressful?
Why is moving with two young children so stressful?
Why are we so hard on each other and ourselves?
Let’s rewind three months back to February:
The New Place
We held no expectations in finding a new house so soon. We went house hunting within the first few weeks of finding out we were moving. Never been in the area, we had absolutely no clue where to even start looking. Which area is safe but not too expensive; which area is close to Kyle’s work, big enough for the four of us and had a backyard. We had no clue but the only way to learn was to start somewhere. I started to book in some viewings of new houses and make our way around the city. In a week that felt like a never-ending road trip, while juggling the girls’ nap times, meal times and burst of energy times, we somehow got lucky to book a viewing at home that stole our hearts. We had no clue what the area was like, where the closest market was, the closest General Practitioner, the closest nursery for Koa or even the closest place where I would be able to cheeky sneak away and get my nails done, but this was the house. We started the mortgage process.
Time was passing, no word from the mortgage. We were now going over our month’s notice, Kyle was still commuting and we were still visiting him in the hotel over weekends. Things started to drag and we were getting anxious. We were taking everything day by day. Days without dad, days with him, chaotic days, smooth days, tv days, and adventures days, junk-food-snack days and healthy-good meal days. Everyday seemed to be a bit different but we had no choice but to go with the flow.
Days without Dad when the girls and I stayed at home, Koa was able to sleep in her own room, we had a routine and I was comfortable enough to take the two girls out on my own for either our dog walks, food shopping trips or just a stroll down the street for fresh air.
Days away with Dad in the hotel, the girls slept in the bed with us and we were eating out all the time. The girls would get anxious in the hotel because I didn’t know if I felt safe enough to bring them out on my own to explore while dad was at football. I felt myself using the iPad more often than none as a life saviour.
The idea of being at home benefitted the girls, they had more structure in our chaotic lifestyle. I knew my way around and the girls had their own toys, books, bed etc.
The idea of being in the hotel with Kyle, I had an extra pair of hands, I didn’t have any cleaning or cooking and no laundry, but I had girls who wanted to run free and wild. With broken sleep, I wasn’t sure which situation was better? Our life was a beautiful mess.
Our diet for 3 months was based on eating whatever was 1. Easy 2. Whatever the girls liked or wanted and 3. a quick clean up. Being vegan I do like to make sure we a good amount of vegetables and fruits. However, having a really good hearty healthy meal comes along with eating all together at the dinner table. Healthy meal coincides with healthy family time and at the minute we were lacking healthy family time, so our healthy meals switched over to hurry meals. I was investing in frozen foods, pasta, and black beans with Mexican rice (which is actually Koa’s favourite so I didn’t feel half as bad). When we went to visit Dad on the weekends we were ordering takeaway or eating out. Even though I love finding new places to eat and I love not cleaning up, our diet was a disaster and nutrition always reflects attitudes and well-being. We all were starting to feel horrible and worn down.
The moment we processed the mortgage, I was quick to take a look around our own house and filter out what we didn’t need anymore. We were downsizing to three bedrooms and less room for storage, this was our choice. Which meant we needed to get rid of all unnecessary things that just wouldn’t fit in our new place. The sofa, the guest bed, the dining table, and any things that were just useless to our day-to-day life. We had things that were still left in packages from our last move stuffed in our garage. Things we were holding onto that had your good old sentimental value and things we just haven’t even touched in the last six months. Just pointless things that were taking up space. We were getting rid of clutter and filtering out our needs from want. We took things to the charity, we opened our house to neighbors, friends, or whoever wanted to take things we didn’t need, we even set up an appointment for the Salvation Army to pick up the bigger pieces of furniture. We were starting over.
Even though we had until the 24th of April to move out, we chose to book the removal van on the 19th. Kyle had a game on the weekend and a game on the 24th, so the move had to be done the week before our end of tenancy date. We started packing on the Sunday, Kyle had training on the Monday and Tuesday and was off on the Wednesday to help me finish the packing for the move out on the Thursday. We had a total of 3 days to pack up everything in our house. He still had training and I still had motherhood. We had no extra pair of hands or eyes but luckily managed to get Koa’s nursery to take her for one more day, while I did some damage with the packing with the little one. This is where the giving-most-away helped our situation, we didn’t really have much to pack, it was just the doing of one person packing and two little rascals running around. It wasn’t ideal, but we it to get done and we somehow managed it. We were finally off on our new adventure.
Where do we even start? Luckily, it was a gorgeous day outside because I actually had locked the girls and myself outside on the balcony for an hour and a half. The movers had all the doors opened while moving our things in. There were boxes everywhere and the tile guy was not only still tiling our bathroom floors when we arrived, he had tools in every single bathroom. Not to mention that the carpenter was here the day before and had left piles and piles of dust all throughout the house. After sleeping in the car for nearly two hours, the girls just wanted to have a run around and this was not the safest enviroment. So there we were on the balcony overlooking this gorgeous view with only a few snack in the backpack, we sat and watched home videos on my phone. This was the beginning.
Moving into a new place, saying both girls were a bit out of whack was an understatement. Even though the past few months were a bit chaotic being with dad and without dad, in a hotel and then in their own beds, I naively thought we were now on the downwards spiral to settling down. However, with a new room and new surroundings, Koa was waking up in the middle of the night and jumping into our bed which inevitably would wake Knixon. We would catch ourselves awake at two in the morning sitting in bed watching Dora The Explorer. We were running low on sleep and trying to get the house sorted at the same time. Boxes still scattered around the house and organising needed to be doing. One of us needed to keep the girls busy while the other unpacked. Settling in was beginning to look impossible.
We both just wanted everything to run smoothly. He had the football life, needing to focus on his well-being, his physical form, and his mental state. He had his dad life wanting to be with the girls tucking them in every night. But instead he caught himself trying to rebuild his relationship with them. Being here and there and not always around, they would be shy with him at first, then by the time they warmed up to him again, he was gone. As kids who are constantly developing, their likes an dislikes were always changing. Traveling all the time, he was finding it tough to keep up with their personalities and sometimes his tiredness would creep up on him and would become understandably frustrated. He was starting to feel isolated.
I, on the other hand had the mother life. The waking up sorting out breakfast life. The food shopping, dog walking, laundry life. The dispersing attention and energy to my little ones life. The making sure they were fed, slept and clothed life. The unlimited breastfeeding, unnecessary worrying and stop everything to build Lego’s life. I would catch myself getting so stressed out about making the right food for the girls or making sure I could get on with my daily duties that I would sometimes forget to just relax and hang out with them. Be a kid with them. I would be lying if I said it was easy. I was holding myself together for the sake of the kids, taking one day at a time and falling dead asleep 8o’clock at night on the dot. I had no more head space for anything else but the kids.
By the time we moved into our beautiful new home stress levels were high. Kyle and I had been living two different lives for the past two and half months. He was training, playing and traveling and I was living the mom life, juggling the needs of a toddler, a one year old, and a pup. As a couple we just weren’t showing any appreciation to one another. We weren’t seeing eye to eye on almost if not everything, whether it be which cupboard the pots were going into, which bathmats should we purchase, or what do you want for dinner?, everything became an argument. We were not only running low on sleep but also patience.
We were holding a lot on our shoulders. We were managing to get things done individually in order to bring the family together in the long run. We were trying to sort out our life so it would benefit our future but we forgetting to live for the moment. We weren’t communicating. We weren’t sharing our days and most importantly we weren’t showing any love to each other. We went from being a couple to being a partnership. This was hard.
So there I was in the B&Q parking lot with Koa in the back seat, my head was down in my hands and I started to feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I was having a breakdown. The night before, Kyle and I had an argument. Tension had been high since the day we found out we were moving and we had finally hit our boiling point. Not only did we just have a massive argument, even worse it was in front of the kids. I pushed myself into a place where I found myself yelling and he pushed himself into a place of not caring. As a couple we hit
another rock bottom and again there was no doubt we had to pick ourselves back up.
Together we no doubt always have each others backs. We are allowed to have two different opinions as long as we saw the bigger picture. We can agree to disagree, but when it comes to arguing in front of the kids, that’s when I knew something had to be done and we needed to change our attitudes. This move had gotten the best of us and we were taking it out on each other. We drifted apart and needed to find away to rekindle fast.
We were both in the same boat. We both wanted the best for our family. We both wanted this move and we both wanted the family to be together.
How did we get to this point?
It’s the lack of control when we got to a position where things were out of our hands.
It’s the absolute mind
fuck when we become comfortable in our lives and then something called CHANGE comes along.
It’s the expectation of having things ‘perfect’.
It was our ego.
After our blow up and an hour of separation, we came back together and talked. We talked and cried and talked some more and then laughed. No one is perfect. No couple is perfect, no parent is perfect and no partner is perfect. We all have our own life, own views, and our own experiences evolve our outlook on life. This is all okay. We are trying to do the best that we can. No matter how stressful a situation between Kyle and I escalates, we always seem to get through it. We seem to be able to put ourself in the other’s shoes and see other side. Sometimes we won’t understand it, sometimes we will. But we will always work through it. Energy is so precious and it’s not worth wasting it on a situation you know you will be able to get through.
This move got the best of us but it was only time that would become our saviour. It was only time that would be able to help us settle in our new house and not only begin to share new family memories but also work on being a couple again. We are now laughing a lot more, sleeping a bit more, and eating more home cooked meals. We have not only agreed on most of our newly bought furniture but we have agreed on our next family holiday. Even though we have just move finally began to settle into the house, I am sure all four of us need a bit of fresh air.
Who ever said being a Bennett Babe was simple?
Squeal, Sign Mumble,
The Bennett Babes