Stressed Mom With Cold Feet
Have you ever wanted something with every fiber of your being, but when it became a reality you started to doubt your initial decision?
It happened to me. I got cold feet one evening, but then my husband did something he had never done before.
I went to bed with all the wrong feelings buzzing through my mind.
Everything was new. Nothing felt familiar.
Everything seemed hard to do – because of it’s newness. Even the simplest tasks were hard.
Our house was beautiful, but it was empty and didn’t contain any of OUR things. It was still merely a shell of a home, a shelter.
The outdoors were majestic and magical, but I couldn’t find my way to the end of the street without getting lost.
The weather was beautiful, compared to how it had been a few days prior. But it was wet and cold, nothing like the Florida spring weather we had just left behind.
The kids and I were cold. Putting socks and multiple layers on kids who normally live in flip flops and underwear was as easy as dressing a slippery salmon in a wet-suit, obviously NOT easy at all!
The kids and I kept forgetting our jackets and hats in all the wrong places. Getting out the door with four kids, all of a sudden became a laborious effort, as if we had four cranky infants on our hands.
I went to bed the first night beyond tired, physically exhausted and mentally drained. The last thoughts I recall before a fragmented sleep engulfed me, were full of doubt, and honestly some regret.
Why did we decide to uproot our family of six to move from one corner of the country to the other?
Remind me again, why moving away from the area I lived in since 1992 seemed like a good idea. I would be leaving behind two and a half decades of friends, connections and memories!
I fell asleep feeling sad for our kids and a little sorry for myself. Who am I kidding? I felt quite a bit sorry for myself.
The Stress Melted Away
I woke up to an unusual sound, but then again, every sound in the new house was unusual.
I looked at the time, it was only 5:30am. Was I dreaming or awake? Some times that line is blurred beyond recognition due to my Narcolepsy.
Jonah was sleeping next to me, pressing his warm little body up against my (not so little) body. We were careful not to move too close to the edge of the slightly deflated air mattress.
I realized that I was awake, but I didn’t want the world to know just yet, at least not until I had figured out where that sound was coming from. It was water. Water falling – in a steady stream.
I laughed to myself, of course it’s raining, we are just outside Seattle. Rain was to be expected, although this water sounded closer – and as if it was coming from the inside of the house.
“Great!” I thought, “our new house already has a roof leak, just great!”
But then I heard voices and that’s when everything changed for me.
The Sweetest Gesture – Best Husband Ever!
“Shhh, be careful not to wake up your mom and Jonah. Let me show you how this cool shower works. Step in, I will turn on the water for you… remember to wash your whole body, yes… with soap! Take this shampoo and rub it in your hair – yes… all over your head, not just your forehead. OK, now rinse your body and your hair really well. Shhh, don’t wake them up. Go in your room and get dressed in the clothes I pulled out for you. I will meet you down stairs for breakfast after your brothers are done with their showers.”
The sound of falling water was our new rain shower in action. The voice was my husband’s, as he stood outside of the shower, guiding our three oldest boys, one by one, to take a shower.
We had recently talked about how the three oldest are entering into the stinky-phase and how we need to lovingly teach them about self-care.
Never in a million years would I have expected my husband to help the kids take showers and get dressed in the morning. My guess is, he sensed my exhaustion the night before and simply wanted to help get the day started with clean and refreshed kids.
As the third soaking wet little boy tip-toed past the air mattress where I was “sleeping,” tears started to roll down my cheeks.
Yes, this house was still new and void of our personal belongings, the area was unfamiliar and the weather much colder than what we were used to, but none of those things carried much weight. I realized that the only thing that truly mattered was right here – and better than before: my family!
My husband had washed the grime and dirt off the kids from the previous day’s travel. At the same time, his kind and thoughtful gesture washed away my stress and concerns, and instantly flushed my pity party down the drain.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I started to appreciate all the blessings in my life, including this next chapter for our family.
I remembered the plaque in our Florida kitchen:
QUOTE: “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21
Those words rang truer than before. With my husband and four boys by my side, any place is HOME! Together, as a team, we will acclimate, grow and thrive in our new hometown. Eventually, putting on socks and layers will become second nature and perhaps we will stop leaving jackets and hats behind, like a trail of bread crumbs.
We are now approximately a month away from the big move-in day and I can honestly say that I am excited and ready. Yes… it’s with sadness that I am leaving Florida and all its memories behind, but now I am laser-focused on looking forward and onward.
Thank God for husbands who KNOW when it’s time to step up and do a little extra when their wife is running on fumes.
P.S. I am stocking up on wool socks, so this flip-flop-wearing mama doesn’t get cold feet… ever again!