House Sweet House

31 Aug

They say pregnancy and moving house are two of the most stressful things in life. I did them both at the weekend. It was not fun and yes, if I had a list of my most stressful, hectic and frustrating weekends it would rate pretty highly.

When I told most people I was moving house at 32 weeks pregnant they laughed. Why would you put yourself through it?  Well, because hubby and I had decided about eight weeks ago that we wanted to live in a house rather than our tiny flat and two months later, here we were, bags packed and ready for a new adventure. I finally feel like a grown up. Throw in an estate car and a Labrador and I’m middle aged.

It was a big decision to move. We have lived in Hackney, an area we know and love, for years and in an ideal world we would have stayed put and rented a bigger property. Unfortunately Hackney is now considered a very trendy place to live (must be the chequered shirts, bowler hats and comedy moustaches) and prices are now sky high. So we were faced with a dilemma. Stay where we are, but potentially go insane living in a small flat with a baby. Or move further east into a three bedroom house with a garden. It’s amazing how having a baby can make you reassess your priorities.

We first started talking about moving when we found out I was pregnant. For a while we actually considered moving back to where we came from for a year and saving some money. However one trip back there on a rainy winter weekend soon put a stop to that idea. I left for a reason when I was 18. That reason still stands. I am in love with London. Leaving it is not an option.  

So once that madness had passed we decided to stay in our flat and look at our options further down the line. However, sitting at work one day I started looking at houses in an area in Waltham Forest we had recently been to and thought this might not be bad option. And I found a house. A house that I really liked the look of. Being pretty impulsive I booked an appointment to see it for that weekend. Poor hubby, he can’t keep up.

Now, when looking at properties hubby and I tend to argue. He thinks I get far too obviously excited which leaves no room for negotiation and I get angry with him as he adopts his, ‘I’m really not that interested’ grunt. So we both walk in as I’m telling him to at least smile and he’s hushing me to calm down as I’m already “in love with the amazing front door” before we’ve even knocked.

The woman who owns the house answers and we are shown around. Well we all sort of stand awkwardly in the hallway as we’re not sure if she wants to show us around or leave us to our own devices. After what feels like half an hour of silence, we agree that we’ll show ourselves around. I prefer this. At least that way I can squeal with excitement and hubby can lose the serious face. 

So we walk around and we love it and the best thing is that our baby will have a nursery. My excitement is turning to hysteria. I’m very close to asking owner lady if I can move in now.

Moving day arrives and we’re all set to go having spent the past week packing up everything in our flat. And there is a lot. It’s amazing what you can fit into a flat the size of a postage stamp. Due to the fact I’m pregnant and can’t lift anything heavy we have various friends and family arriving to help. It’s wonderful they have agreed to come and help, but because I can’t lift anything I take it upon myself to oversee the move and ‘direct’. I suddenly feel my stress levels rising. Especially because they all arrive late. My poor baby, I swear it’s going to come out needing Prozac.

Things get more difficult as I arrive at the new house, car packed full to find the owners still moving out. This was not how it was supposed to be. To make it worse, owner lady seems to be struggling somewhat with leaving her beloved home and looks to be on the verge of tears as hubby, his parents, brother and friend arrive and start unloading the van. I suddenly find myself wanting to simultaneously cuddle this woman and kick her out of the door.

They finally leave and my mum and I are left to do what I do best. Organise! Things get very manic as we’re unpacking, cleaning and deciding what should go where. It’s only when I stop that I realise quite how much I’ve been doing – especially now that I can’t even bend over properly. I also didn’t realise quite how much this would frustrate me. It’s possibly the thing I find the hardest about pregnancy – being forced to slow down.

However, even with my enforced slowness, come Monday the house looks like we’ve been living in it for a few years and I can finally relax.  After what feels like the most hectic weekend I’ve had in a long time, I find myself finally accepting that it’s ok to slow down and perhaps even enjoy being able to not do very much. Well, perhaps until this weekend, when I think I might paint the spare room…

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2 Responses to “House Sweet House”

  1. @shellster83 August 31, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    I sympathise with the frustration of not being able to do as much as you want to! I’m 31 weeks and have been frantically trying to get the house “ready” for the baby (I think it’s really for the visitors we’ll be having) only to get told off by husband for doing too much. I have to secretly do housework and painting while he’s at work. I should definitely be making the most of it!!

    • mum-to-be August 31, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      I keep getting told off too and also plan to do it in secret! It’s so frustrating not being able to do as much. I’m not used to it! Hope everything goes well for you in the final few weeks. Nice to finally feel like there is an end in sight!

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