We have now lived in our new home for a year. Here’s a few things I’ve learned about my home, my family and myself in the last 365 days.
1. I will never ever ever share a bathroom with a kid again.
We went from one full bathroom for our household of six to three full bathrooms, one of which is attached to the master bedroom. And let me tell you, I’ve never before consistently peed in a cleaner bathroom.
The bathroom my kids use? Still super gross.
However, mine is clean. It smells good. The trash is never overflowing. It always has toilet paper on the roll spinning in THE CORRECT DIRECTION!
Having a bathroom that kids are not permitted in is probably my favorite thing about the whole house. Highly recommend. I’m officially spoiled and refuse to look back.
Now if I could keep my husband out of the bathroom as well it would be perfect.
2.Kids are resilient
People told us this when we were in the process of moving. I told myself this over and over when they cried over leaving school and friends and family.
The kids may resist change as it is happening, but they adapted just fine. They quickly made friends and found their way. I believed this would be true more for some than for others, but they have all turned out to be even more resilient than I ever imagined.
The kid that hated everything about the very idea of moving from the only home he ever knew has blossomed, found friends and immersed himself in activity. His grades skyrocketed. He’s as happy as a fourteen year old generally is. I kept telling myself they would learn to love it, and I’m still shocked at how true that has been.
3. It’s hard to make friends as an adult
This is another fact that I knew in my head, but didn’t realize quite how true it really is. In the last year, I have often been the awkward person trying to insert myself in conversations between clearly established groups of friends. I have asked other moms on the playground for their phone number like a nervous 16 year old preparing for prom.
It’s hard to always start from scratch. Friends you’ve known for years have a shared history of place and experience. Now, everyone I meet knows absolutely nothing about me, and having to explain my life in every interaction can be exhausting.
While I understand that some of this is just my personality and everyone I meet does not want to know every detail of my life, I like sharing these stories with other people. I want to ask a million questions to understand their background and motivation and family structure. I want to share the same with them. I like the deep connection of sharing my life with someone else. When you’re the new person though, sometimes a brief run-down of what grades your kids are in is all the interaction gets.
Multiply this about a million in the midst of a global pandemic where you can’t be within six feet of another person and everywhere you would typically meet people is closed. It’s been a much more difficult transition for me than the kids, even though I’ve always been in favor of picking up and relocating just for fun.
4. Living in a rural area is very different
I’ve never lived anywhere I would consider urban, but we were in town. I thought living in a rural area would just mean fewer people and a longer drive to the grocery store. But the whole way life feels is different.
I can sit on my deck and not see anyone else. In fact, it’s unusual if I do. There’s no one to catch up with while walking the dog. There’s no impromptu beers around the fire pit. We don’t just wonder around town, maybe stopping at the library or park on our way home.
You have to plan all of those trips. We drive everywhere now.
The kids? They love rural living. They run up and down the road without worrying about people driving too fast. They yell and scream and no one peeks out the window to see if someone is being maimed in our backyard. They make lean-tos in the woods and scale rocks like feral animals.
I, on the other hand, miss neighbors and noise and feeling like I’m part of a community. I miss having something to do every weekend. I miss being in the know of what is going on and being invited to fancy events that I get to dress up for. I’ve always wanted to live in the bustle of a city and this experience has confirmed- I’m a city girl at heart.
Our experience of the last year has been full of ups and downs. And I know some of these downs are more the fault of it being 2020 than anything else. But, we’re ready to gather ourselves for year two and new experiences.