Moving house is like having a baby

– how it feels to relocate 120 miles away, with three children, and start your life again after ten years

I’ve concluded that moving house, relocating elsewhere, is a bit like having a baby.

There is a long-drawn out process of waiting, a mixture of nerves and excitement, the anticipation of the unknown. From time to time, a panic grips your heart. Still, acceptance prevails. This is a natural next step in the timeline of your life.

The actual moving day, or the birth of new life, is an intense and laborious procedure which evolves in stages, a relief emerging when the final destination is in sight…and then overwhelming awe when it is attained. The best feeling ever. A sense of how lucky you are and how bright the future is. Plans are made. Success is toasted. Strangeness is a novelty.

But then, four days later, something strange happens. Buyer blues. You haven’t slept well for a week. Drained by boxes and bubble wrap. Everything feels unnatural. Furniture doesn’t fit. Electricity keeps cutting out. Washing machine has leaked. There is also a crushing contemplation of how you may possibly have left your old self behind. Yep, just like having a baby.

So, you grieve, and the following day, the sense of loss has passed, just like a storm. Things settle. You slot books onto shelves, unpack your notepads, find your best pen, take some photos with your prized camera, and it’s as though you’ve always been here, in this new place. You don’t remember life before. Small things reassure. The sight of a blue tit in the tree. A friendly, smiling face at preschool drop off. Flowers on the doorstep. A picture hung on the wall. You find your trainers and run around the streets with springs in your shoes, just as you used to do at your old home. In fact, you don’t think of your old home.

You’re home.

You’re you.