Our family seems to be in limbo, waiting for our new home to be built, for our new lives to begin. It's been hard. Don't get me wrong, we are blessed. Greg's mom has been so kind to let the six of us take over her little townhome. She is a great help and is so easy to live with. But we are all a bit homesick. We miss our friends; we miss our ward; we miss our neighborhood.
I feel like I've lost all my outlets that previously gave me me-time/a break/a pick me up. I don't have good friends here. I don't have a ward that I know and love. I don't have the fitness center (or even more specifically Zumba) and free daycare to take advantage of while I sweat out my stresses. I've checked into classes around here, but with the cost of daycare for four children in addition to the class fee, there is no way I can justify going. It's been a difficult adjustment and I've found myself downright depressed at times.
The boys had an even more difficult time adjusting. They also miss their friends (we had kids at the house just about everyday), their regular hangouts (the fitness center daycare, play area, and lunch at the park - a regular for us during the summertime), and the yard. The townhome we are living in does not have a yard, in fact the whole area, while beautiful, is deeply lacking private yards. There are many public parks, but it's not the same as a backyard where the kids can go play while I make dinner or clean. And with the babies' napping schedule it's not possible for me to accompany the boys to a park for a couple hours each day and meet that need they have to run around and play in the sun. Needless to say, their lives as they had known them have changed quite a bit.
They were throwing round the clock tantrums and acting out in ways they never had before. I talked with a friend who went through a similar move and she said her daughter acted out the same way. She had been advised by one of our mutual friends (our realtor who has experience in these matters) to spoil her daughter in anyway possible. That sounds odd, I know. I thought so at first too. But she was told that adjusting to a move, especially one where you find yourselves in transition, is very hard on the family. The children miss their routine, their friends, and they feel their parents' stress as well. Our realtor and good friend said anyway you can ease that stress during this short period of time is good. He said to balance the stress with any good/fun/enjoyable moments you can such as: favorite meals, special outings, treats and small toys. We have done just that the last month and it has seemed to help. We've made more of an effort to make this time of displacement into a time for our family to focus on being a family. It's still hard feeling like we don't belong, like we don't have a place, but at least we aren't consumed by it anymore.
In the past month we've visited the splash pad (a few times), the dinosaur museum, ward activities, parties, Chuck a Rama (a few times, it's the kids' new favorite restaurant), the swimming pool, a water park, the library, The Parade of Homes, the movie theater, many parks, the dollar store and other fun shopping places for the kids. I've scheduled playdates here and had a couple families over for BBQs. We've bought Brody a couple light sabers (bribery to go to his new Primary class on his own, which he has been terrified of) and have bought Palmer a new Wii game and an art set (more bribery to encourage him to dress himself each day in preparation for school). And we are currently planning our family's first trip to Lagoon.
I know spoiling ourselves isn't the best solution to dealing with life's rough patches... but sometimes you just have to make it through. And that's our plan for the next few months, until we are in a position to plant some roots. Although this transition has been difficult, I can see a very positive result of moving away from our previous lives. We have lost many of the things that used to occupy our time, and although they were good pursuits, it opened up more time for us to be together as a family. We have gone on more family outings, had more family dinners together, spent more Sundays relaxing instead of attending extra meetings. We have spent more time as a family playing games, watching movies, taking walks and just talking. And that adjustment has been a welcome one!