Moving Out Of My Comfort Zone
I’m a control freak. A high-functioning and friendly, but self-admitted planner and lover of control. When we started considering having kids, I planned out the perfect timing so that this temperature-impaired woman wouldn’t have to be pregnant in the dead of summer. As luck would have it, I got my way and delivered a beautiful baby girl in May. When my husband began exploring job opportunities out of state, my six-month pregnant brain began swirling. There were too many details to wrap my head around. You want me to bring a human into the world, sell the house I pictured raising said human in, move across the country, leave the job I love, and somehow find a new home and new friends that make it all worth it?! Talk about stretching the limits of my love for him!
A few weeks of anguish, heartbreak, planning, unplanning, and many discussions during which I really wished I could have a glass of wine, I began to come around. I realized that we could make memories wherever we lived, that our daughter would know no shortage of love from her family, regardless of the distance, and that moving allowed us so many more opportunities to build the family and the life we wanted.
My mental lists grew, but slowly we tackled one thing at a time. We finished the nursery we poured our hearts into, knowing our daughter would only sleep there for a few months. We completed the multitude of DIY projects we’d started on the house we had made our home. We sold said home in a flash, loving that all our hard work was appreciated by the new owners who would start their family there as well. We bought a new house with no outstanding projects! We leaned on family and friends, and we focused on living in the present.
Motherhood changed my priorities. You hear it all the time, “things just change when you become a Mom”. Well, they do. Everything changes. Whatever comfort zone you previously knew is uprooted and you’re forced to find a new one. Unfortunately for me, my new zone was homeless with an 8-week old, surfing from one family hotel to another until we left the state I’d always lived in, and there was nothing comfortable about it. It was living out of a suitcase for three weeks while navigating sleepless nights, sore nipples, and new baby anxiety. It was leaving our fur baby in the hands of a stranger to drive her across the country (side note: my dog hates strangers, and car rides). It was leaning on our parents instead of my husband, who’d been by my side every night of parenthood, as he set up our new home and new life. It was so far outside my comfort zone, and yet, I chose to find the good in it all.
We all made it to Ohio in one piece. We have an incredible family that knows when and how we need support. Our daughter is happy and healthy, and our fur baby is adjusting well. The control freak in me had to learn to let go, and motherhood gave me that gift. Do I still stress out? Absolutely! Do I still attempt to plan every aspect of our life? Ask the color-coded sleep schedule on my fridge. But the gift it gave me was improving my ability to roll with the punches and see the good in change. There is always something good.
My comfort zone looks a little different these days. Instead of running meetings and handling the high-demand job of nursing, I’m stuck to the sleep schedule that keeps my daughter happy. Instead of sun-bathing in my backyard in October in sunny San Diego, I’m layering the family in fleece and cruising the walking paths in our Ohio neighborhood. I have found a new pace of life, and I’m enjoying it, because I know it will only last so long. Soon, I’ll be getting back to work; I’ll be faced with another round of change and daycare and trusting my child’s well-being to someone else, but I know that I’ll find a new comfort zone just as I did this one. We accomplished all the things I never thought I’d wrap my head around. And yes, I still love my husband.
I can’t say we did it the easy way, but I think throwing a baby into the mix of all of this is what kept me grounded. It gave me a reason to fight to find the good. It gave me a reason to stay positive and smile, because my baby has the cutest darn smile in the universe. It gave me a reason to reach outside my comfort zone and find new moms in our neighborhood who have become a village of support I never knew existed (Thank You Fit4Mom Dublin!) It gave me a reason to relinquish control just enough to let each day take us wherever it’s meant to go, because there’s nothing wrong with snuggling our babies on the couch all darn day. Our job is hard enough, we’ve earned it.