WMM Contributor

Stress Took the Wind Out of My Sails

By WMM Contributor: Elizabeth Braatz

A few months ago, I wrote about gearing up for moving and how that was one of the most stressful times of a person’s life. The other items on that list included: 1. Death of a loved one; 2. Divorce; 3. Major illness or injury and 4. Job loss. 

In the last two weeks, my husband and I moved our family of six plus one black lab to a new home. We were fortunate enough to have been able to get into the garage of our new home a few days early to put a significant amount of our belongings in there. On moving day, we anticipated our movers to arrive between 8-9am and then pulled up at 8:59am. We had already loaded up our cars with more personal items and sent three of our kids off on the bus and the fourth child and our dog off with my mom. We had hoped to move our closing dates up by a week and on a Friday so we could move over the weekend and avoid any trauma to our kids. No such luck. 

We helped the movers load up the trucks and within about two hours, we were ready to roll. I’m beyond grateful that we were able to get into our new home a few days early, as the new owners of our previous home were ready with a cleaning crew at 11am on closing day. Please keep in mind that our movers arrived at 9am…

We were back and forth to our previous home to gather items that could not go in the moving trucks and finally finished up just before 4pm; the closing time of our new house. 

Night one in our house included our dog urinating on the putting green that is in our basement, our daughter clogging the toilet to the point that we needed to snake it and a two-hour conversation with our internet provider just so the kids could watch TV while we got organized. 

While the children slept well on night one, I was paranoid about the dog going back to the basement to pee, so I had trouble sleeping. 

Fast forward less than a week and we are at Children’s Hospital with our three-year-old to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. He has a history of choking to the point of needing the Heimlich, and snores and has apnea. The surgery was a success but the afternoon/evening/overnight in the hospital with him was like having a newborn with colic who you simply could not breastfeed. He cried and cried and wasn’t comfortable. He kept begging to go home…I didn’t know what to do. We ended up lying in the bed, in the rocker, pushing him in the stroller, up and down and around that hospital room. 

As I sit and write this, we are now seven days post-op. This is when his scabs have started to dry and fall off so he has a lot of pain in his throat, ears and jaw. Again, we have a child who doesn’t understand his pain and is sobbing continually. He just stands and cries while his puffy face and lips get soaked with tears. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been like a ghost at work – only in the office three times in over two weeks and actually appreciate the normalcy when I’m there. It’s hard to be productive and my mind is all over the place; the stress of moving and caring for our son has been almost too much.

It’s hard to be productive and my mind is all over the place...

I asked my children this past weekend what they thought about the new house and they said that they liked it but missed our old house. I feel the same…our routines are off, the space is foreign, and while beautiful, I’m not used to it yet. I desperately want to go home and feel like I’m turning into a child who cannot control her feelings. I’m on the verge of tantrum all the time. 

A few years ago, a therapist told me that when taking a very deep breathe from your gut, not your lungs, but your gut, you’ll instantly feel a sense of calm. She was right. I’m doing a lot of gut breathing right now.


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