Month Seven: Changing the Meaning of Home

We said goodbye to our first little home as a family this month, good thing the path ahead is so exciting.
We said goodbye to our first home as a family this month, good thing the path ahead is worthwhile…

It has been two weeks since we moved. Despite my excitement about our new adventure, I also had my worries. I did not know if two bedrooms would be enough. I was concerned we would miss our privacy. I feared I would somehow feel rootless, or homeless in a nontraditional sense, without an entire house to ourselves. Most of all, I did not want our little family to lose the intimacy of those precious moments shared just the three of us.

To my great relief, our first two weeks have made any trade-offs unimportant. So far, I do not miss a single item stuffed into our 1,500 cubic feet of storage, (and, yes, we used all 15 feet of vertical space thanks to my clever cousin-in-law). Nor do I lament the loss of the many items I gave away or sold. Life feels simpler with less. And, as it turns out, everyone else is so busy with daily routines that our little family of three is still a little family of three, just operating within a bigger family unit.

The bigger family unit is by far the best part. Household responsibilities are shared and I no longer spend my days obsessively cleaning. Instead, I write every second I can while she is asleep, trade nights on the dinner making, and generally can find someone eager to hold her for a few minutes when I need a break. As I made and cleaned dinner beside my sisters the other night, I felt at home in a soul-nurturing kind of way. When I got back from yoga on a different night and my husband was hanging out in the kitchen while one of my sister’s bounced the baby, another sister made dinner, and my nephew ate at the counter, there was this feeling of community I had missed in my solo days staying at home.

I feel so incredibly blessed to be with my family, in whatever setting life provides. Even if this is just a temporary arrangement, I am trying to make the absolute most of it. I have already realized my call to be a stay-at-home mom is not about baking or cleaning or decorating (which I know can be fulfilling for many). Instead it is about getting to be present for my daughter while also having the opportunity to pursue a piece of myself that would otherwise be lost in a 9 to 5 life.

This month, I decided to dedicate my middle grade fiction novel to E. Somehow, knowing she will someday read it, I am more motivated to craft characters I would want a 10 or 11 year-old to idolize, and in turn, feel much more inspired to finish it. Writing a novel for my daughter is pretty much the coolest project I have ever worked on. After all, she is the most important audience I will ever have.

Month seven has been about so much change, but I can tell it is the good kind because it has all just happened. Nothing has been forced. The house sold, we moved, each step has followed naturally by just putting one foot in front of the other. E. is changing every day, too. She is crawling, teething, chattering, climbing over pillows. As cliche as it sounds, she has shown me home is wherever I am with family.

8 thoughts on “Month Seven: Changing the Meaning of Home

  1. So much good stuff here. You have described perfectly how a supportive and enriching extended family can provide a wonderful environment for raising a child. It’s almost like you’re in a cooperative housing environment only you’re related to the rest of the residents. I love your description of what you came home to when you got back from yoga. There is so much that is right with that picture.

    And, I also really appreciate your description of writing your middle grade novel for your daughter. Zoe Keithley, who leads the writing workshop I got to regularly, always (ALWAYS!) tells us we should write our stories to somebody. It helps to picture your audience while you write the story. It’s something I never do. When I write, my audience is always that vague, amorphous object known as “the reader.” Maybe this is something I can try to change. I’m really, really struggling with writing these days. Maybe if I pick somebody, a person who makes sense as the audience for the story, and make a commitment in my mind that I owe this person the story and they are who it is intended for … well, maybe that will help. It’s worth considering any way.

    Glad you’re first couple of weeks have gone well. Here’s to it continuing on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that Zoe encourages you to dedicate your writing to someone you know– I really can tell it makes a bit of a difference, for me at least. I just feel like it is such a gift to be able to give someone else a book you wrote for them. I would have loved to have received a book written for me by my parents (or anyone, really!). Hopefully it will help me make it to the finish line on this one… And, yes, cheers to this big adventure continuing to work. Although, that’s also part of the beauty of it, when it doesn’t, we move on. For now it is a nice break from the conventional ๐Ÿ™‚

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