I recently moved with my husband and four month old baby girl into our first home that we actually bought.
Me? A homeowner? In this economy??
It does help that it’s in a much smaller town than where we lived previously. Raising chickens is in fact on the bucket list.
It’s beautifully snowy right now, the neighbors are super friendly, it’s less than an hour from our families, and it’s so quiet outside at night. No busy roads or anything.
As much as others may assume that this lifestyle shift is a compromise, it’s actually a welcome change of pace. Moving was an easy decision to make, but the process of moving? With a baby?
That’s another story altogether.
And I made plenty of mistakes.
I am going to give myself some grace and include the fact that the Sunday we moved was not only my husband’s birthday, but our baby’s blessing day as well.
My brain was definitely not able to keep up with everything going on.
The first thing I failed to do was to pack my own and my daughter’s necessities. I should have done it long before all the craziness went down, but for some reason I thought I had time and that I’d always have easy access to what we needed.
Early Saturday, many of our family members who had traveled for the celebrations were able to help us move everything in one trip. We were so lucky to have these days line up, as hectic as it was. To avoid the annoyance that is taping and breaking down cardboard boxes, my hubs bought a bunch of 27-gallon storage bins. We’ve got a real garage now (yay!) and they’ll be nice to have.
The way we thought ahead about some things should have helped make the whole ordeal a bit more organized. But here’s what happened in my head after everyone showed up.
Sorry in advance if reading this is stressful.
“I need to get my makeup on. Sister-in-law has the baby, she’s happy. Okay I need my toiletries, baby’s dress (and tights and bow and blanket), diapers, my boots… everyone is asking what’s ready to go out to the trucks. Oh gosh this is happening. We didn’t pack up the bathroom stuff? Time to do it now, I guess. Hope nobody took my clothes out yet. Don’t actually know what dress I’m wearing tomorrow. Gotta text my dad about my husband’s birthday gift and get cookies to our neighbors before I go… wait, where are we sleeping tonight? Are we going to have a chance to eat today?”
Before I knew it, our little two bedroom home was almost completely empty.
My baby wasn’t crying or upset (yet) but she had missed her first nap by almost two hours. She’s been gaining a lot of new awareness, and I can only imagine what she thought of all the people moving her stuff around.
A few things like her sleep suit and sound machine were tossed into her bassinet to be left unpacked, but I noticed a few items I set aside got taken anyway.
Welp. I couldn’t blame anyone for helping.
My husband and everyone else went on the drive to the new place while I went to my in-laws’ house to get a baby to sleep. By this point she was very tired and hungry.
That was not a fun car ride. But we made it.
With the magic of breastfeeding, snuggles, and a dark room, I managed to get her to sleep without any trouble.
I really do love that all my little girl needs to sleep right now is me.
It felt strange to be so unsettled while sitting in the still silence, realizing that all of my belongings were in a new place far from where I was. Also how there was so much to be done, how I “should” be with my husband helping move everything…
Yet, I was needed the most right there with my baby.
I was able to relax for a little while, but of course my mind started spinning. While she slept, I sent my sweet husband at least five texts about what to find and bring back as all the unloading was going on.
He brought back my dress, my curling iron, dry shampoo…
Oh, and his old truck bumper, because someone on Facebook marketplace messaged me about it and wanted to plan a meetup around the time of baby girl’s blessing luncheon tomorrow.
The amount of things I was trying to keep tabs on felt so ridiculous.
After a somewhat uncomfortable night at my in-laws’, the next day arrived. The long awaited part 2 to this busy weekend.
We were right on time to the blessing, little girl was bright eyed and happy, and we got the sweetest pictures.
I forgot her white blanket, but I was able to let that slide.
We had a lovely luncheon with friends and family. I surprised my husband with a fishing kayak for his birthday with the help of my dad, baby got another good nap, and we were able to sell the bumper.
We drove together to our new home that night. After all the stress, everything turned out!
But I could have spared myself and others a lot of trouble had I been more prepared.
Here’s what SHOULD have happened. Get ready for the most obvious tips ever.
I should have taken a day or two beforehand to collect everything we were going to need.
We should have communicated better with our amazing moving team. Better yet, we should have kept our travel bags in our car so they couldn’t get accidentally taken by some helpful hands.
I also wish I had made sure we had food at our new place! We definitely got caught up in unpacking and neglected to go to the store before everything closed.
Another tip is to keep a pack of diapers and wipes in both cars. We had crazy instances where the baby was where the diaper bag wasn’t.
That’s literally it.
However, some of my stress came in the form of guilt. Guilt for contact napping while keeping an overwhelmed infant from getting overtired. I knew better than that. Contact naps are wonderful.
Additionally, guilt crept in for being so forgetful and unprepared while being stuck in the loop of caring for my daughter. It felt bad that everyone was doing so much for me.
I should not have felt that way!
Moving with a baby puts you into survival mode. And that’s okay. Every day is survival mode, anyway.
Accept the help. Don’t feel helpless.
Do what works and what keeps your sweet baby happy and rested during a challenging transition to unfamiliar environments.
I was her one consistency through everything, and she was mine. I find that to be very special.