Unbelievably, it’s now a year since Ellie and I moved in with my partner and his son. A year since we moved area and Ellie changed schools. A year since we took what was a huge leap.
So a year on, it’s fair to say that some things have gone more smoothly than I could ever have hoped and of course some things are still work in progress.
Our new home is just that – our home. I’m slightly taken aback by how quickly it felt like home to me, I’ve moved a fair few times over the years and there was probably in all that time just one house I felt at home in, until now. Our progress on the decorating and sorting is at best steady – but life is busy and it isn’t urgent so it can wait. This relaxed attitude to the house has of course taken a year to achieve.
When it comes to Ellie, she has truly settled into the new school – she loves going, she’s doing really well and she’s made some lovely friends. When at parents evening her teacher said that it was a pleasure to meet the parent of a child like Ellie, I was speechless – something that really doesn’t happen to me very often. It would be an understatement to say that I feel both relieved and incredibly proud of my little girl.
It turns out though that it’s not just Ellie who’s made friends – I’ve made some great friends too. I’ve been blown away by how welcoming everyone has been – the other parents at school, our new neighbours – literally everyone. For this I feel incredibly lucky and it’s definitely helped me to settle.
The hardest part of our little adventure hasn’t of course been the practical aspects of moving but the emotional ones. For a start I’ve discovered that I am a) more stubborn than I realised and b) quite stuck in my ways living on my own with Ellie. Learning to live as a family of four takes a bit of getting used to. In this one thing it isn’t just me either – we’ve all had to adjust and learn where we fit in the new family and to be flexible about things we used to just take for granted. I mean the practical stuff like the how the toilet seat should be left (down and clean please), how bedtime routines work (7.00pm please), how mealtimes work (quietly and at the table please!) and so on. But I also mean our different personalities and emotions; we have different paces to life, as well as different views on families and parenting. There’s also, in my view, the fact that male brains are just wired differently to female ones, (it’s the jumping around craziness versus drawing a picture i’m talking about,) but i guess that’s for another post.
So there you have it, joining two families together really was as big a deal as I thought it would be and there’s no denying we’ve come a long way in the last year. I also know though that we will continue to grow and change over time as a family – I think every family does. The funny thing is that for once I’m not worried about how that might work…….I’m just excited.