Monday, October 27, 2014

Moving Across Country

When I moved to NYC 17 years ago, I only had to worry about myself. The idea of moving my entire family to Seattle seemed great and horrible all at the same time. 

3 years ago our living space started to feel very small and loud. Our needs started to change and the prices in NYC were outrageous. After going home from summer spent in Seattle Coolidge and I started to long for life outside of Manhattan. 

To many people moving to Seattle was an easy choice for me because it was my home town but, that was not true. My only connection to the NW is my family. It hasn't been my home for a very long time. Ben and I didn't have job transfers but we did have my entire family to lean on and my mom to live with. 

There were no guarantees it was going to be a good move for us. Ben would have to scramble for work, I would need a part time job, and the kids would have to make all new friends. There were a lot of what if's. What if Ben hates it and can't find any work, what if nobody wants to hire a woman who hasn't worked in over 8 years, and what if my kids hate there new school. Well luckily Ben works for a company that has some work in Seattle and my kids have a few summer friends and cousins to help before they make new friends. 

Packing up a family of four on a budget wasn't easy. To move a 2 bedroom apartment across country is at least $8,000. All of our furniture wasn't worth it so I began to slowly sell it all. We knew we would be living with my mom so we didn't need any furniture and would cost more money to store it. There was a lot of anxiety trying to sell our stuff, pack our clothes, and say good bye to all our good friends and family. I just kept telling myself it would all be worth it so keep on moving forward. After researching it all I found the best way to get our stuff from NY to WA was to send it through Amtrak. They wouldn't take anything with a plug or that is breakable. So I had to send some some items through USPS and UPS. After two shipments with Amtrak and the rest going through the mail we spent about 1,500. Quite a bargain but I did have to let go of quite a bit of stuff I loved. 

We are here now and just like I thought our quality of life is amazing. The boys share a room right now but at least they have their own playroom and bathroom. We moved here in June so we have had plenty of time to enjoy the kids playing outside without constant supervision. At first it was hard for Ben to allow Brody to ride his bike out of our sight. It has been a pleasure to not have a toddler running back and forth above our heads, having to call Dunkin Doughnuts to tell them to turn down their music, to watch a movie/show without competing with outside street noise, or feeling like I have no space to get away for some quiet.

Sure there are plenty of new challenges. We are currently living with my mom and she has been super gracious to let us share her space and all of her stuff. She helps me with the kids and cleans up after us a lot. I know it has been hard for her to go from only taking care of herself to caring for all of us everyday. Coolidge grumbles a little because he wants his own room but he knows as soon as we get ourselves situated he will soon get that. The first couple weeks of school were hard. Luckily I still didn't have work so I could go everyday with them and walk them to their classes. They looked nervous and scared at first but slowly made friends and started to get their smiles back. Ben's work is slowly picking up. I know all his down time will be worth it because he has plenty of time to write and prepare for his new project.

I'm very happy here where I don't have to constantly shift things around so that we don't feel burried in our stuff. I feel I have room to breath. I haven't lived with my mom since I was 18. I get very uncomfortable having to always use someone else's stuff or worry I'm not doing it right. But we are all doing our best to make each other feel comfortable. I imagine next summer we will all be more settled and we should have our own space. Fingers crossed this huge change in life will be all worth it.