We now have just over 9 weeks left before The Big Move. Or 65 days, to be precise. Needless to say, I have not yet managed to tick off any of the items on my lists, the house remains in disarray and our bags are unpacked. My Zillow addiction is as strong as ever, though – I’m picking out pretty houses and swooning over walk-in-wardrobes and 3-car garages before we’ve even booked our flights!
Oh. Yes. And then there’s the panic. Last week, I actually started thinking it all through properly, rather than my usual passing “We’re moving to America – wahoo!!” whimsy. And my heart sank. In order to support my transfer to the US and sponsor my visa, the company I work for required me to agree to a 5-day working week. Additionally, because the Pacific Northwest timezone is pretty inconvenient for everyone else (8 hours between UK and Seattle, 9 hours for the rest of Europe, so I’d be arriving to work as everyone else logged off for the day), I had to agree to commit to attending all our usual thrice-weekly meetings. At 5.30am, Seattle time.
And so, over the weekend, I finally had an epiphany! In all honesty, I just don’t love my job enough to do that to my family. Poor Evie – imagine! In 9 weeks time, we will be removing her from the nursery she loves, and she’ll have to wave a sad goodbye to “Auntie” Aimee and “Auntie” Ellie, who have played with her, cuddled her and danced with her 4 days a week for the last 6 months. We’ll be taking her away from the only home she’s ever known, and bidding an undoubtedly tearful farewell to all of her grandparents. And then. And then…we would have sat in a big metal, winged box for 9 hours, picked up a hire car, moved into our temporary accommodation and said “Right, darling, I know you’re jetlagged, confused, disorientated and exhausted. But Mummy’s got to work, so I’m going to now leave you with a complete and utter stranger with a funny accent 5 days a week. And some days I won’t be able to have breakfast with you because I’ll be on the phone. Oh, and at weekends, if you could play quietly and not ask to go outside too much, that would be wonderful, because Mummy’s going to be far too exhausted to go on adventures with you. I know it’s not ideal my love, but….we’re living in America, wahoo!”. And 2 months later, we’d have had to do it all again, once we found a more permanent home.
The more I thought about it, the more heartbroken I felt. This is not the mother I want to be. This isn’t the life I want for Evie – moving to America is supposed to be the start of something wonderful and exciting for the Pepper family, not a path to miserable loneliness, while I sit in my home office wondering how on earth I’m supposed to meet anyone or explore our new city, and feeling dreadfully guilty about the hours and hours I don’t spend with my daughter.
So, on Monday afternoon, after a day fretfully waiting for the US to wake up and log on, I rang my manager. And I quit. I’ve been a “Pharmaceutical Professional” (according to my LinkedIn Profile, anyway!) for 12 years. My career has taken me all over Europe, to Australia and Singapore, to the US and back home again. It has been such a part of my identity for so long, and now, as of 23rd September 2011..I’m a SAHM. Stay at Home Mom. Or Sexy Ass Hot Momma. Whichever. And do you know what? It feels bloody fantastic!!!
The Big Move is suddenly so much less daunting. I cannot wait to start afresh, spend time with my beautiful baby, take her with me while we explore places with such fabulous names as Cougar Mountain, Beaver Lake, Forest Ridge, Whispering Heights….hell, we might even bake a few cupcakes.
I might have to downscale my dreams of palatial mansions and sweeping driveways, but if it means being able to spend my days watching this little monster grow into a wee Yankie girl, then it’s worth every cent!