After almost 3 years of complaining about my commute and feeling like I’m stuck between communities – unable to truly commit my energy to one or the other, we’ve decided to leave the comforts of our current area and move to a new area. This is a move within the state, 35 miles from our current home. But it may as well be 1,000 miles away in the eyes of some of my family members and friends at the moment.
This whole move shouldn’t really come as a complete shock – when I took a job at Yale University almost 3 years ago, we knew we’d most likely relocate the family closer to the area at some point. I thought it would be 6-12 months. Then, 18 months, then 24 months. We’ve made some errors in judgment on some things and when 2017 started, I thought we’d maybe be able to make it happen. But we just couldn’t get out of our own way with planning. So, we (mostly I) decided to just take a leap and make things happen.
Friends and family have at times treated my frustration as “whining” and pointed out that tons of working parents commute. But the time and energy lost has really mattered to me – more and more so as the years have gone by. I often leave the house before my boys wake up. My commute isn’t outrageous with traffic compared to some people, but active, attentive driving for (on average) 75 minutes each way (2.5 hours total per day on non-bad weather or accident days) can really wear you out.
As I kept pushing off the decision, I thought about the possibilities. There are affordable towns with great communities and wonderful schools closer to work (and cutting the distance down to my parents’ house). If we can move, why not? I have been plagued with the voice in my head for years (and now) that picking up and moving my entire family, disrupting their world to save some commuting time is “selfish”.
My commute will go from 2-3 hours per day to 30 minutes round trip. I will be able to attend school functions, put the boys on the bus. Our long-term plan may include Lo getting a more work-week focused job, so we can have weekends back. For the past 5 years, Lo has worked weekends and our days together as a whole family have been severely impacted.
As much as I can’t wait to have a more active role in the daily life of my family (and to not be in the care for 2.5+ hours per day), I am nervous about all of the unknowns. We have a great group of kids and parents where we are now. We have an active neighborhood and a great support system. We have a community that doesn’t even blink at our 2 mom family. We have people we know everywhere we go.
The boys are split on the move. Dyl is ready and embracing a new start. Drew is starting to have breakdowns about leaving his friends and his baseball brothers. He is worried that he will make zero new friends and when I’ve offered to set up “playdates”, he tells me that’s lame.
Lo has lived in pretty much a 10 mile radius her entire life. The notion of a new area plus the notion of carrying our current home (now as a landlord) and making ends meet with some unknowns ahead of us is scary to her (and me too).
I know the schools are amazing. The town has a ton of things to offer from frequent carnivals and festivals to a parks and rec area/community center that is amazing! And, the town has the boys’ favorite eatery: Chip’s. As a bonus, our town is the home of this:
I will admit we are struggling a bit together emotionally to make this all work. The logistics of the move will be hard and it will be a stressful August. And we are all nervous and going through some ups and downs as this is sinking in.
I acknowledge that I’m working on responding to my 10-year-old’s meltdowns with compassion even though I’d like to say things like “people move all the time” or “you will move away from friends multiple times throughout your life! This is just one blip in a lifetime of adventures!”
Moving is never easy, but I think we are all working through it. And for crying out loud, we are only going to be 40 minutes away and will still own our current home!
Despite my optimism that this will all work out – I’m open to suggestions on how other families have made it through such transitions.