I found out I was pregnant on a Monday morning. The next few days were filled with anxiety and questions, trying to suddenly sort through all the unknowns of our future. “We need a bigger house!” “Is our health insurance good enough?” “Will it be too hard to live far away from family?”
Like some sort of twisted gift from the Gods, that same week my husband received a very unexpected and unsolicited job offer from a well-respected company. Wrapping our minds around the idea of a baby and new job all in one week was a bit too much for us, so we shelved the idea for a little while. But bit by bit, it kept creeping out, because long term we knew the job was a wonderful opportunity that would provide long-term stability and resources for our family.
There was just one BIG factor standing in the way. Taking the job would require us to move from Alexandria, Virginia to…Seattle, Washington. Coast to coast! As if learning that you are literally growing a human is not enough to rock your world, adding an additional life change to the mix is nothing short of insanity. But we did it anyways – we moved 3,000 miles away from everyone we knew (while 17 weeks pregnant!), and we lived to laugh (and cry) about it. Here are 5 tips for surviving moving during the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy…
1. Stay organized. The only thing that kept me going through endless weeks of boxes and chaos was my trusty little notebook that was filled with never-ending lists and check boxes. Keeping the moving details organized provided me with something to focus on other than my house in shambles and the scary unknowns of a new city.
2. Accept that things will go wrong. I am admittedly a huge control freak. I knew that with a move of this magnitude, not everything would go as planned. And just as predicted, things went wrong – the movers didn’t show up on moving day, my beloved Crate and Barrel couch would not fit up our staircase, and a few breakables were just that – broken. Despite the crazed control freak yelling from within, I did my best to channel my inner yoga voice and remember that we were all safe, healthy, and most importantly – together. The rest of it would sort itself out.
3. Take advantage of restaurants. We all know that eating is a big part of pregnancy – either you can’t stand the sight of food, or you can’t stop thinking about it. With our kitchen packed up in boxes and zero energy to cook anyways, I decided to stop feeling badly for eating out so often, and embraced it as both a perk and expense of moving. Never have I ever eaten so much from the Whole Foods hot bar!
4. Allow yourself a few meltdowns. Pregnancy is emotional and scary enough on its own, and the added stress of moving is enough to send anyone running for the tissues here and there. Don’t feel bad if occasionally you need to feel overwhelmed, whiny, weepy, or cranky. It’s normal, it’s natural, and it’s necessary. Sometimes a good cry can make a world of difference. Just make sure to eventually wipe the tears, take a breath, and remember that good things are waiting on the other side.
5. Envision your new nest. Every time I would be sad about leaving our old home and old neighborhood, I would try to redirect that energy into making plans for our new space and surroundings. Because if moving and unpacking an entire house isn’t nesting, I don’t know what is! Collect ideas for the new nursery, draw up plans for your new space, and start researching mom’s groups and pregnancy resources in your new area.
Pregnancy and moving are both life-changing events that can be overwhelming and very emotional experiences – even more so when paired together. But it can also be a fun experience to add to an already new adventure. Just make sure to allow others to do the heavy lifting, and treat yourself to a little relaxation and pampering while someone else loads the moving truck.
Ready to Go: Should I move across the country while pregnant?