Julie Lyles Carr: Moving and Multiples

Friday, December 3, 2010

Moving and Multiples


I've been writing the past couple of days in response to a question by Natonthewall about challenging seasons and transitions in my mothering journey.  You can read my responses on Mommyhood Mojo here and M and M here.  And just to keep the alliteration going....

Moving and Multiples
Just in case you all weren't aware, I detest moving.
We moved quite a bit when I was a kid, following the Space Shuttle program as my dad really and truly is a rocket scientist.  I went to three different high schools in three years.
For real.
It had been my absolute intention that once in adulthood, I would not move. Ever. Again.
Move up, maybe.
Dream house kind of move.
But geographically move from one region to another? Absolutely not.
And I didn't.
Not for a long, long time.
But after 15 years in my beloved adopted home state of Oklahoma, Michael went all Pa Ingalls on me and decided we absolutely, positively must head for new climes.

I was perfectly submissive to this decision.


Extremely.  Not.

But Mike looks really good in jeans and we have that whole covenant marriage thing going on and so, after much whining and many tears, we packed up and moved to an island.

And I figured I had punched my 'Good Wife Card' for a long while.

We began to build a life on the beach and received a wealth of precious friends.  We bought a house.  We got settled.

And I got pregnant.

With twins.

I was a handful of weeks away from delivering the twins when a phone call came in to Mike's office.

It was an offer.  An offer to move a few hours up the interstate to a new city.

A city we loved.

A city a little closer to Oklahoma.

We took the offer.

You should have seen the real estate agent when I came tumbling out of the van to look at lease property.

I prefer the term 'awe inspiring'.  But I think she was totally stunned.

We made the move 5 weeks before the twins were born.

Now let me dispense a bit of Octamom wisdom here.  It is probably not advised to move to a new city when you already have six children and are about to pop with multiples.  It's a little stressful.  And lonely.  And overwhelming.

In retrospect.

But Mike and I were in agreement and were prayed up on the whole deal.  And we made the transition.

DSC04195Now, I had already been about the business of mothering a hoard of kids.  I was a veteran in the questions about our decision to homeschool and the stares at the numbers of small children when I would be shopping at Target and the super original jokes people would intone asking if we knew what caused pregnancy.

And I figured I of all people would be pretty prepared for twins.

Except that I'd never had twins.

With my other singleton babies, I had bounced back pretty quickly.  A baby nursing while unloading the dishwasher and grading an algebra lesson?  Not a problem.

An infant snuggled against me while shuttling my homeschoolers through a museum?  Piece of cake.

Twins?  Twins who tandem nursed and wanted to both be held at the same time and didn't sleep on the same schedule AT ALL for fifteen months while I had no time to make no new friends or develop a support system in my new city?

Wholly unprepared was I.

I was wholly unprepared.

Mike was often unavailable as he was plunged into the depths of dealing with his new position. He actually was in New York and Singapore for parts of that first summer.  Jessica, my amazing neighbor and running partner, often laughs about not having actually seen me that first year.  She knew all the kids, with 1 and 2 of 8 organizing play dates for 5 and 6 of 8 with Jessica's kids.   And I would see her kids when they would come to play in our moving-box-decorated disaster of a house.  But I didn't get out much to socialize.

Now before I go sounding all Eeyore melancholic, that season of moving and multiples actually allowed me to see something very precious.  My bigger kids jumped in to a huge level.  Where as before family support had consisted of our extended family all in the same locale, now family support was our immediate crew.  All the kids helped juggle babies and pitched in more consistently with chores and became more self-monitoring in their schoolwork and generally looked out for each other.  I had the unique privilege of being able to watch the fruit of what we had hoped to impart to our kids come into more mature blossom.  While I did pine for new friendships in our new city, that season solidified the friendships with my own children.  And that has been the sweet reward of a challenging season.

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