The strain of moving house as a pregnant couple

Moving-house-pregnant

So it turns out, Andrew and I don’t do things by halves!  Almost immediately after we discovered we were pregnant, back in January, we took a good long look at where we were living and decided neither of us wanted to bring a baby into that house…

There wasn’t anything majorily wrong with it as such, it just didn’t feel like it had the right vibes for a family home.  Andrew and I have always been very serious about finding a house that felt right as a home, and I’ve often mused over the part the home plays in helping to maintain a happy marriage.

We had been renting for a while, and with no real savings, buying a home was firmly off the cards.  As fortune would have it (although it didn’t feel very fortunate at the time) Andrew was made redundant at the end of last year.  But when he managed to get another job almost straight away (because he’s awesome at what he does 😀 #proudwife) we suddenly found ourselves with a modest pot of money from his redundancy payout.  Let’s save that for a rainy day, we thought.

Still not really considering that this would be enough money to get a deposit for a house together (the UK housing market is notoriously expensive to get into), we didn’t really think much else of it, until our news of a new delivery, arriving around September…

I had romantic notions in my head of being completely free to decorate a nursery as we wanted it, without restrictions from landlords.  And I felt an immediate shift in my thinking that told me we would feel better if we were more secure and settled into our own home.

So cutting a long story short, we did some digging and (somehow) managed to get ourselves a mortgage.

Sounds perfect – and in the whole grand scheme of things, it is.  But boy has it been a struggle to get here.

No matter what stage in life you are in, buying a house can be one of the most stressful experiences, and it’s no wonder that all that stress, anxiety and unsettlement can add some unwanted strain to your marriage.  Here’s where the strain came for…

Agreeing on the right house

Having lived in a handful of houses in the last 3 years, we thought we had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for.  Turns out, we didn’t.  I had always liked the thought of getting a run down bargain and restoring it to it’s former glory with a bit of elbow grease.  I had my heart set on such a house but Andrew wasn’t so keen.  I tried to talk him round, and I’m so glad now that he didn’t sway.  Looking back, that would have been far too much work to take on at this stage.  I had no idea how sleepy I would feel and how much more effort it would take to apply even just a simple lick of paint.

Another 4 houses lined up to view, we found ourselves walking into this house.  At first I wasn’t feeling the vibes – I gave Andrew ‘the look’ whilst the agent wasn’t looking but he either didn’t see it or chose to ignore it – enticed by the detached garage and 4-car driveway…

Despite my initial hesitations, as Andrew dreamed of his future man cave, I wandered through the house, stopping in the kitchen.  It was raining outside and the under cupboard lights let out a warm glow.  Despite the settling layer of dust that caked the surfaces, and a suspect dark patch seeping through the ceiling, I could see the next stage of our lives here.  In a flash I saw myself decorating the christmas cake beside the cooker.  I saw family arriving and making small chit chat as I made a cup of tea.  I saw Andrew sat feeding the blur of our unborn child in a vintage style high chair…

Ok… maybe this is the one… sold!

Sold

 

Should it stay or should it go?

I’m astonished at how much ‘stuff’ we have managed to acquire over just 3 short years.  When I moved into my own place back in 2013, I had next to nothing.  Just the essential furnishings and a couple of cases of clothes.  But as we moved into the luxury of bigger rented homes, so too did we move in more and more stuff to surround us.  Never really getting rid of the old stuff.

Well, buying a house on a modest budget means getting a place at the size you really need.  Which, needless to say, was never going to take all of the unnecessary clutter we had been harbouring.  Time to get ruthless. (Don’t worry – all three cats made it…)

boxes

It’s not just the disagreements on what makes the cut that throws a damp cloth on your relationship – but the time in getting things sorted.  Time that we may have spent cuddled up watching a movie, or talking about our days became time packing boxes and arguing over what we could or would have room for in our new lives.

Looking back I wish we had set out a weekly date night where we agreed, no house stuff.  Easier said than done when there’s an endless list to get through…

Add that wonderful first trimester to the mix…

Now all of this is stressful enough as it is.  Throw in extreme exhaustion and the odd bouts of nausea (on a good day) and the patience levels quickly thin out.  I felt constantly ill, bloated, about as sexy as a pig in a pool of mud on a steamy hot day, and about as passionate as a cold tea bag.

fatigue

With rationed energy, I was conscious I didn’t want Andrew taking on all of the hard work.  So by the time we had worked on ‘house stuff’, I was too beat to do anything else.  And that can really take it’s toll on your romantic connection.

There didn’t seem to be enough time for each other.  Andrew probably had plenty of time – but with my batteries running out at a mere 6pm most nights, that time never amounted to much quality time together.

 

An untimely Spring cold

By April we were finally getting somewhere – all boxed up and ready to go – and flu season enters the household!  With just one weekend between getting the keys to our new home and physically moving in, we had plans to redecorate the living room – so that at least one room would feel like ‘ours’.

decorating

decorating2

I’m not the best patient at the best of times, so with the added strain of a ticking clock, a whole room to sand down, paint, wallpaper and laminate, and the (thankfully) subsiding nausea (replaced by general aches and pains), this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park!

Patience at an all time low, and raging hormones shortening my already short fuse ten fold, poor Andrew got the brunt of it all.  Hardly laying the foundations for carefree, new homeowner passion…

floor

The following week gave Andrew just enough time to catch my cold – bang on time for moving in.  I felt terrible.  On light duties, unable to carry any heavy boxes myself, he trooped on, putting my own complaints firmly in perspective.  Cue the guilt-ridden, pregnancy hormone fuelled emotional hysterics…

in

But it’s all worth it in the end…

Now almost 2 months settled into our new home, date night has finally been resumed, and quality time cherished.  A week following the move we went on our babymoon to Devon, and that was the best timing.  I would thoroughly recommend anyone moving house to have a holiday planned in pretty soon afterwards.  You need the time to recuperate and to reconnect.

With so much else to think about, it’s easy to slip into the habit of ‘all business’, without considering the importance of time for each other.  Devon definitely brought us back together, and enabled us the time and distance to dream together about this new life we were preparing for.

date-night

How did moving home affect your relationship?  Did you manage to make time for each other through the endless list of chores?  I’d love to hear any advice you can give.  Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter @LoveinMindBlog

 Hannah

4 thoughts on “The strain of moving house as a pregnant couple

  1. Whoa! Congrats on the new house! I’m sure it was stressful but it can’t be more stressful than with a newborn or baby so it sounds like it was perfect timing. Way to “go big or go home!”

  2. I got pregnant about a month after we moved into our house and we were still in renovations. We’ve owned our house for 2 years now, and I’m still working on unpacking 😛

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