We’ve moved 13 times in 17 years, not including the year we spent living as nomads. Five of those moves were of the cross-country variety. All of them were the do-it-yourself variety.
As much as I love to try out a new place (I’m kind of a change junkie that way), the actual moving part never gets easier. Every time, I feel like I’m going through labor again. We just bought a house for the first time in six years, and though we moved less than a mile, I’m still feeling it.
In fact, I’ve realized there are a lot of similarities between moving to a new house and having a baby:
1. You know you have a lot of work ahead of you, but you look forward to it with intense anticipation, picturing all the good memories you’re about to build.
2. You get to pick out new things. Nesting!
3. People bring you food and offer to help.
4. As it gets closer, you start to feel nervous, and a little overwhelmed. So much to do, so little time.
5. No matter how much you prepare, things always go differently than you plan. Labor stalls. An appliance at the new house inexplicably stops working. You believe the nurse on the phone when she tells you you don’t need to come in until you can’t talk through your contractions, so you go through transition in the car and barely make it to the birth center in time to push. You find out that the large armoire the previous owners left in the bedroom was hiding a big hole in the wall that’s probably full of asbestos. There’s always something.
6. As you get into the thick of it, you feel completely disoriented, you don’t know how much time is passing, and you feel slightly out-of-body.
7. As it starts to become more painful, you say to yourself, “Wow, I knew this would be work, but HOLY COW.”
8. Then it gets worse. “WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I MUST HAVE BEEN INSANE TO HAVE EVER WANTED THIS. NEVER. AGAIN.”
9. The first night after the move/birth, everything feels so different it’s hard to sleep.
10. You’re sore in places you never knew you could be sore.
11. You’re busy all day, but you can’t figure out what you’ve done. And you somehow can’t manage to squeeze in a shower.
12. Good golly, how can there be this much laundry?
13. After a few weeks, things start to level out, and you start to feel somewhat normal, but in a whole new place, with a whole new perspective.
In case you’re curious, I’m at #11 right now. Love our cute old house. Will love it more once we’re unpacked (and once we fix that big hole in our bedroom wall—true story).