Returning Soon! But First a Status Update

The podcast and the blog have fallen silent because I am in a deep dark transition hole.

You guys. Moving has been so hard. And the move itself was probably the easiest move Kamel and I have ever had together. We are pros at this packing thing. The movers arrived and we had the entire apartment cleaned out and all of our belongings (except for the pans under the stove, whoops, and the wall mirror behind our bedroom door – extra whoops) in 12 hours. And everything was ok. I was ready to get out of there, all I wanted was to get into our house and start settling in and setting up. The kids were with my parents overnight and we were focused and pumped for unpacking, rebuilding furniture, finding our life again.

And it was all good, I felt progress, we were humming along. Until I didn’t feel that way anymore.

Once the kids got home I realized just how big this space is. And this sounds initially like “my tiara is just too shiny!” but, that’s not it. You have to understand that my family has been spending it’s entire existence in a space that is the same size as our current den. There were never any stairs, there was only 1 exit, if I shut all of the doors to the bedrooms and the bathroom I was never more than three wide strides away from my bolting kids or a fallen toddler. We cooked, we ate, we played, we snuggled all in the same space. And now we have a 2,000 square foot house. With an upstairs, two living rooms and three exit points. The kids got home and the family SCATTERED. How do you cook dinner and keep the 3.5 year old from running out the front door? When he can open locks and open doors and we don’t have enough baby proofing – you can’t. How do you manage their transitional feels while also needing to find pajamas and where are the paper towels? And do you remember where we packed the baby shoes?

It’s herding cats and narrowly avoiding 3 alarm fires and feeling like I’m drowning drowning drowning 95% of the time. All while working. All while supervising light construction and maintenance. All while trying to do laundry and find my bras and oh shit the kids have no clean pants for school. I am generally very orderly. I know where everything is and everything has a system. Except here. Not yet. There are no systems, only surviving. Only 50 million trips up and down the stairs. Only hour long bedtimes to get Gabe down. Only dinners frantically made with the 2 pans I can find and thank god for yogurt snacks. Thank god we’re 5 minutes from a target.

As Kamel and I manage the daily things, the working and the feeding and the dressing, we are also trying to manage our kids’ transition. We started them at a new daycare that is Spanish immersion and I know its hard for Gabe. He is exhausted. So many things he is figuring out and learning. And I worry about them so much. He says he misses his friends. He names them. I feel so guilty. Is this the right thing for them? It cut down their time in the car from 45 minutes to 7. It gives us an even better chance of creating bilingual kids – a major goal of ours. But I still worry. Is he sad? He was at the same daycare since he was 10 months. Is this what he needs? I trust that it is, but I worry anyway.

All the while Kamel and I are not giving any attention to our own transitioning. This is hard. We have new routines on top of a new house on top of the dysfunction of having everything you own scattered about in boxes. I am so tired. I am never not tired. I am painting on my lunch break. I am dropping the kids off and picking them up. Running out the door late because a work call ran long. Our bedroom is a mind-field of half unpacked boxes and piles of clothes.

It will get better. We’ll get things unpacked and find our way. But in the mean time I am scattered and sad and tired and I have no more output. This is the year of running on empty. Somehow I’m still doing all the things, though my enthusiasm wains and my attention span is minimal. I forget plans and schedules, to do lists and tasks I genuinely intended to complete. This can’t keep up. When and how does the recharging happen? I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

4 thoughts on “Returning Soon! But First a Status Update”

  1. <3 It will get better soon. Pretty soon Gabe will have buddies at the new daycare. Pretty soon you'll have a system. But it's okay to be overwhelmed now.

  2. ::sigh::

    Oh do I know this tune. I know it very well.

    I moved into my new townhouse back in early June. The weekend right before summer camp — the largest, most time consuming program I run — started. While I do not have kids, so I can not fully related to that, it was 10 hour days of managing 60-70 kids and a 16+ staff. Plus squeezing in other necessary things — like working out, or running errands. Then I was supposed to come home at 9:30 and unpack??

    It was awful. I was exhausted all day, every day too. At least my obligations to caring for little ones ended at 6pm. I can’t even imagine the struggles you face with evening routines. But that exhaustion is real, and it is physical, and I felt like I could never shake it.

    What helped me was beautiful friends who came over with fresh motivation and good spirits, and helped me tackle the mountains of boxes. One room at a time. Helped me line kitchen shelves and go through books, hang clothes, move boxes to the basement, wash dishes, etc. It happened several times over the summer and slowly my space housing endless boxes became a home. Honestly I still have about 8 boxes to go through and it has now been 3 months. But camp is over and my life is a little slower. That helps.

    I know you have a great support system close by. Perhaps you can lean on them for support in this way. It’s a long process. It’s taken me 3 months and I live alone. Maybe you have energy and time to go through a box or 2 each night; maybe you only have energy to go through 3 boxes a week and a few more on weekends….slowly it will fall into place. Until then, treading water is still a success.

    You have a beautiful home and a beautiful family. This season will pass eventually. I hope you find spurts of energy, more and more each day. And I hope you find ways to enjoy this new space and this amazing new part of your lives.

  3. Sending hugs. And fist bumps. You got this. It’s hard. But you’re doing it. And it’ll all be so good. Probably by Christmas. Maybe set a far out goal like that? And then when you have clean pants for kiddos before then DOUBLE WIN. <3

  4. It will get easier. And for the outside doors? We put chains on all of them up too high for our toddler to reach. (And gates on the stairs, of course.) We still have boxes and I’m only now getting my books set up, but it will not take that long for you, since both of you are around more consistently.

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