June/July 2014 has been the most stressful time in my life thus far. I realize that this makes me pretty fortunate . . . if this is as stressful as it gets, I'll consider myself lucky. Nonetheless, it's been a lot to handle. The sentimentality over moving our family out of our home, the pressure of trying to get packed up, the busyness at work, the anxiety about living in a trailer for a few weeks, the uncertainty of when we'll close on our new house, the apprehension about baby #4 . . . it's all catching up with me this morning. Here's what's going on with us right now:
Musical Houses. We currently don't own a home, and that's just weird. We closed on the sale of our house on June 30 and we have to be out by July 30. We're in contract on a new house in Spring Arbor, and aren't sure of a closing date. As you can imagine, this is stressful. I think I'll be able to calm down a little when we have that settled. We have a trailer set up at camp and are moving over the course of the next two Saturdays. Once we close, the owners will have 7 days to be out. We'll stay in the trailer until we close on and gain occupancy to our new house. I've been so nervous about things with the new house falling through. I really have no reason to think that, but my mind always goes to the worst case scenario. It's just a gift I have.
The state of our house is like nothing I've ever lived in before. Boxes everywhere, laundry piled in corners, the kitchen is empty, but we have paper plates, dishes and snacks out on the counter . . . it's a mess. Living in a state of chaos has always stressed me out, but the fact that I can't just go clean up is maddening. I'm on a no-lift restriction which is a little unrealistic, given that I have a 2 1/2 year old that often ONLY wants Mom.
Getting ready to leave our house has been so emotionally taxing. We're the only family to ever have lived here and it's all our kids have ever known. It breaks my heart to think that Claire will have no recollection of this home and Ben's memory will be spotty. Jack will remember the most, but those memories will start to fade. This home has been such an important part of our life, and leaving is tearing me apart.
Packing up. We have a lot of stuff. I don't know how that happened, but I've decided that from here on out, we'll pretend to get ready to move once every 3 years to help with clutter control. The craziest thing is the furniture that we managed to get INTO the basement, that we're having trouble getting out now. We're having to move all of our belongings into 3 storage units until we have occupancy of our house. So we get to move twice. Lucky us.
I so badly wish we could afford to higher packers and movers. That would be lovely.
The Summer. We are currently in the middle of our busiest time of the entire year. Right now. In the middle of a very stressful move. It's fun how that came together like that, right? Our patience is so thin and our nerves are fried. I'm finding myself responding to people, my children included, in ways that I'm not proud of. Doing our jobs well during a normal summer is a lot of work, but this summer it's even more so. On top of normal summer stuff, I'm trying to prepare for maternity leave this fall and get all of my late August/September projects done now.
We're also having to think through how things will work at camp with us living about 20 minutes away, instead of 5 minutes away. I don't think it will affect our actual work day all that much, but it might affect how often we eat meals at camp, or just go there to let the kids run around. It's just going to be a change in how we operate as a family, and that's hard for me to wrap my head around.
The Baby. I woke up a couple of mornings ago and said, "I feel WAY more pregnant than I did when I went to sleep last night." I have 5 1/2 weeks left until my due date, and even though I feel huge, I so badly want to be settled into a home before this little girl arrives; but, all of the golf carts at camp are out of order, so I've been doing a lot of walking and I can just feel her starting to drop. Never have I wanted a baby to come after her due date like I have with this one. I haven't been sleeping more than 3 - 4 hours a night, which adds to my lack of patience and energy. She moved SO much . . . more than the other three . . . but she's slowed down in the last few days.
I had an appointment on Thursday and found out that she's flipped and is no longer head down. As you can imagine, this has stressed me out. I'm praying that she gets her little behind back where it belongs before labor starts.
My vision has been getting really blurry and I'm becoming nearsighted. I know this is a common side effect of pregnancy, but I've never experienced it before. Just one more thing.
The Kids. This week I'm realizing how much all of the impending change and uncertainty is affecting them. They know that their lives are about to change quite a bit . . . not just moving houses, but moving farther away from camp. I don't think I've thought enough about how they're affected by this. Plus, they've been getting to bed 2 - 3 hours past bedtime every night. Lack of sleep is really affecting our entire family right now!
I've not been the model of excellent parenting, and they've been yelled at for little things way more than they should have been. Last night, in the middle of me giving them instructions for bedtime, Jack asked for a glass of water and I said, "CAN YOU PLEASE THINK OF SOMEONE ELSE FOR JUST ONE MINUTE!" Let me say this again: He asked me for a glass of water. He was just thirsty. And he's 7-years-old.
I find myself praying daily that they'll not remember this time all that clearly and that no permanent damage will be done to my relationship with them. I've done A LOT of apologizing and even more crying in front of them.
After I put the kids to bed, Jack came into our room crying and told me he didn't really want to move. He feels the same way about change that I do . . . sad. It's hard, too, because I don't want to get them all pumped up about our new house until we have a closing date. We talked about how the only thing that makes our house special is that we all live here, and that once we're not here, it won't really be all that special anymore. I only half believed myself.
Praying. I've been praying so much. Praying that we close soon and smoothly on our new home. Praying that my kids won't be damaged by this move. Praying that I'll be able to sleep in a camper. Praying that Claire won't flip out when we have to shower in the Field House every day for a few weeks. Praying that this baby stays put for a little while longer.
Most of all, I'm praying that this will be a good change for our family . . . something that will bring us closer and that God will use for His good and will draw us closer to Him through it.