So after my last heartfelt post about wanting to move and nest and feeling all unsettled and conflicted an answer came.
Thank you to everyone who left me lovely messages or who supported me in person. I really appreciated the love.
In a conversation with my mum she mentioned a house was for sale again near them, in my home town. This was not the plan. We were moving to the coast. But I just instantly wanted that house!
So I reflected on my feelings and talked to Russ. He didn't argue or try to dissuade me, as he has done in the past (in a loving and wanting the best thing for all of us kind of way). He listened and understood and agreed.
We agreed that living here is not working and that although we have a lovely house and garden our children are missing out socially by living in a pretty isolated place with no cohesive home education community. The local group fell apart and although a couple of champions are rebuilding it we are woefully short on numbers at present. By moving I know I am contributing to that, so I'm sorry, but I know my friends understand.
We had been trying to relocate to the south coast but the jobs had been very few and far between and we had heard nothing on the few Russ found and applied for. Presumably because of the fabulous locations and current economic climate there were just a huge huge number of applications. So we could choose to wait (and wait) for the right job to come along but in the meantime myself and the children were going to continue being isolated (we also have no family near and the area is not good for facilities/trips out).
So after a lot of thought we made a new plan. We called an estate agent we have had out before and our house is now on the market. We are hoping to move back to my home town in Hertfordshire - ideally before Christmas!
Russ will still be able to keep his job. He will have to commute 50 minutes each way, but he can adjust his hours slightly to suit travel better, and he has done this commute before. Also he would be able to apply for other jobs closer to home at his leisure, without the rush and pressure. It's not ideal but it is a compromise to remedy our current situation, which was feeling dire.
The other tricky thing about moving is we will have to downsize our house drastically. I don't have a huge problem with this as I struggle to keep on top of housework here and the garden constantly needs work. I actually love the idea of a more manageable house and garden. But... I do think it is harder living in small spaces when you are a home educating family. Resources take up space. Projects take up space. So we will have to be very creative about storage, as well as how we use the space and what we really need to keep. I am up for the challenge, but not especially looking forward to sorting through and condensing everything. Our new house will be about half the size (literally).
So on to the positives...
We will be near my parents, brother, and extended family.
We will be joining a thriving and busy home education community, including my friend Sam and her children.
We will be living in a town with many parks, woodlands, cycle tracks and amenities.
There are good public transport links so it will be easier and cheaper to get around (both within the town and to other towns and villages nearby, and to London).
We will have more frequent play dates and guests in our home, and make more friends.
I will feel more settled and confident.
We will be closer to Russ' family, and my sister and brother in law.
When I have time to start driving lessons again I will know the area well, which will take some stress out of it.
So there you are! Our new plan. :)
I am feeling really excited about the change, though I have a few really good friends here I will miss a huge amount! But I am reminding myself they will only be an hour away and we can always come back up to visit.
We are currently frantically cleaning, decluttering and making the house look presentable in preparation for viewings. I am really hoping for a quick sale as I so want to be moved by Christmas. But in reality I know it could take a while. Our house is quite big and some will love it but some might be put off by maintaining the garden. Or any number of other things, I guess. We are keeping our fingers crossed though.
Hopefully we will begin the new year with a fresh start! :)
** By the way, we haven't forgotten we are having a baby in October, but have confidence it will all fall into place! ;) **