I had fully intended to start this blog when we first moved to the States, but as with most things, life got in the way. As we hurtle towards six months here, I’m going to rewind about 18 months…
When my husband and I first started talking about moving to the States I was dead against it. I had my career, my friends, our older son was just about to start school (with his friends from nursery), my mum lived up the road and we were trying for baby number three. We had chosen to move back to my hometown from London just before we got married because that was where we wanted to raise our family. Why on earth would we want to move away?
Then things really started to take off for my husband at work. His company head office is in the States. He began to spend one week every 4-6 weeks over here. The move became inevitable. They wanted him to move permanently. But I still resisted.
I can however clearly remember the moment that I changed my mind.
I work(ed) in construction, I had a senior position in a Project Management consultancy and I was always very busy. I loved my job. If I’m honest, I defined myself by my job and my position. I had always been completely focussed on my career, our older two children were in nursery from six months to allow me to go back to work.
My last project involved a lot of travel. Most days I was away from home. I spent a lot of time on trains or in the car. I had a lot of time to think.
Then I found out I was pregnant with our daughter. I was horribly ill for the first 16 weeks, not much fun when travelling! I was tired and I was very stressed. And one day, on a train, I found myself thinking – actually, right now, at this point in my life – I don’t love my job. I realised that, about to have a third child, I didn’t see the two we already had nearly as much as I would have liked.
Now, I’m not saying that I suddenly wanted to jack it all in and spend 24 hours a day with the kids, that would be no good for any of us (as evidenced by how much the boys hated the long summer holiday and became different children as soon as they started school again!). But, I wanted to be there more, not just physically, but mentally – to not always be thinking about the next meeting, the next deadline, the next bid, the next crisis. I was planning to take a years maternity leave anyway, so I felt that I could take time out – to have a ‘career break’ and just enjoy my family. Breathing space to decide what to do next. No stress to cloud my view. No pressure (from myself or others) to go back to anything too quickly. Time to make the right decisions and choices. Time for me. Time for my husband. And most importantly, time for my kids.
So, I went home that night and told my husband that he could say yes. And so it all began!
[Update 17 July 2014: I’m linking this post up with the lovely Chantelle from Seychelles Mama, for the first week of her Expat Family linky. I wrote this post at the end of December 2012, when we had been in the US for six months. On Friday, we will have been here for two years and have recently made the decision to stay for longer. But, this is how it all began!]