I’ve never lived anywhere outside of Indiana before now. I am a born and raised Hoosier and had never dreamed about living somewhere else. All of my family has been in Indiana and so are my in-laws. After having children, my husband and I never thought we’d leave because we had all we could want in our home state.
And then it all changed…
Through a series of happenstances that we couldn’t have predicted – all while I was pregnant with our second child! – my husband got a job offer working for Amazon. It was an amazing opportunity for his career and for our family. The catch? The job is in Seattle and there is no option for remote work. And so we were faced with the most difficult decision we had faced in our relationship yet. Do we stay or do we go? It was truly agonizing to figure out what the best choice was. We dreaded the idea of leaving our families. We have the only grandchildren on both sides and we were about to have a brand new little girl along with our son. How could we take the kids away from family who loves them so much and vice versa? How do we plan on surviving without their direct support and being in place where we know no one? Is it worth it to give up all that we have built in Indiana for one of our careers?
Ultimately, we couldn’t dent the amazing opportunity this job would provide my husband as far as career trajectory goes as well as for our family’s financial future. Moving would be in ours and the kids’ best interest long term, so how can we pass that up? But it meant doing the hardest thing we could ever do…saying goodbye to everyone we love and the only home we’ve ever known.
And I had no idea just how hard doing that would be.
We knew the move would be happening for months before it did. Suddenly I was in my third trimester while taking care of our toddler all day and trying to help my husband get our house ready to sell. There was always something to do or finish so we could be ready to travel across country. And then along cane our little girl. I had a c section and so we had a newborn, our toddler, working to sell the house, planning our move, and taking care of me while recovering from surgery. I think having so much to do helped keep us from focusing on the goodbyes. We didn’t have to acknowledge what we were feeling when there were things needing our time and attention. But there was only so much time we could keep our focus on tasks.
Eventually everything was done.
There were no more tasks on the to do list and we had our stuff shipped out. All that was left was for us to fly out and start our new adventure. But how? How could we say goodbye? How could we look at our mothers and say goodbye to them? How could we hug our siblings for the last time for who knows how long? How could we smile at our dads and keep everything together? It seemed so impossible…and yet we had to do it. Many tears were shed and we all couldn’t bring ourselves to say goodbye for the last time. But it finally happened. The last hugs were given. The last kisses were placed on the kids’ cheeks, and we disappeared through TSA.
We’ve been in Washington for almost a month now and I am still struggling with the grief of being away from what I consider my true home. I selfishly want to “go home” often and sometimes just feel sad about being here, even though the area is starting to grow on me. And often I feel guilty for taking my kids away from family who love them so much and worry I won’t be able to give them all they need without our tribe around. This change has been a struggle for all of us but we’re still in the beginning stages of it. And I have to remind myself about it constantly- that not everything is going to be completely ok yet, and that’s ok. We’re doing our best to integrate into this community and find our footing again, but Indiana will still always be home for us. And I’m looking forward to the time I can finally call it home again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Abby Mounts is a native to Indiana who recently moved to Seattle. She recently became a stay at home mom after giving birth to her first child but before that, she was an addictions therapist. She still covers group therapy sessions when she can to keep her clinical skills strong.
Abby likes to identify herself as “quirky” and would rather spend days making other people laugh and having fun. Abby enjoys being a mom and wife but also has a passion for other things in life- such as animal advocacy, writing, singing, and travel.