Is Salmon Arm home?

Hmm...that is a complicated question! Many people have asked how life is going for us in Salmon Arm. How has the change been from big city to small town, from no family to lots of family, small church to big one, working from home instead of the office etc.
It has been an adjustment, that is for sure. Probably a bigger adjustment than G or I expected. Throw into that the addition of a third child, and it is HUGE! We think of our life in Calgary as when we had only two children (as Shea only arrived right before we left), so in some ways our comparisons of "how it was" do not include him.

I had thought that people would be less busy in a small town. That we wouldn't need to make "appointments" to visit with people, that they would drop by or just hang out more. Not so. If I didn't call and plan to see my siblings on Friday nights, I wouldn't see them. I hardly see my parents, or G's as both are busy with work and other things. Most mothers work, as the cost of living in Salmon Arm is super high. I know a few SAHM's, but we've got house-fulls of children, so getting together gets pretty loud and crazy. Many people are involved in projects or skiing, church activities and extra-curricular sports, so unless you are part of those things, again you don't see eachother. I have said "no" to teaching SS or Awana this year as I have a baby to nurse, and in a lot of ways I don't know many church people because of it. Just as in a large city, unless you're involved, it becomes hard to meet people, especially in a larger church setting.
Having Greg at home has its pros and cons. One of us runs Riley to school while the other stays with Liam and Shea. Greg will often join us in the afternoon for lunch or a much needed "wrestle time" with Liam. I get to have the van. He can listen for the napping baby while I run quick to the school to get Riley. He is done work right after 5pm and doesn't have to deal with traffic...this gives me an extra hour or more of his time before/after work than I used to have. Those are the pros. I do notice that when he is away (like he is now for four days), that I tend to be more organized...I'm running on my own schedule and not working around his or depending on him to help me out. He doesn't get to interact with other people during his work or lunch break anymore, which means if he wants to get to know people in Salmon Arm... it has to be done during "family time". The kitchen is slightly messier as he eats and makes his coffee here. Having him working in the house makes it hard for the boys who think daddy is home, and maybe they think he's ignoring them and hiding out in his office most days. Even for me, it seems slightly "unfair" that he gets to go run away to his little room while I deal with the tantrums. In my head, of course it's my job and I know he isn't just playing on his computer, but it's more in your face when the office is just around the corner and not across town.
I think the boys are better off in a lot of ways, to grow up knowing their cousins and grandparents (even though we see less of them than I had thought), and being in a smaller, safer neighborhood and school. They see more of their dad, and are more surrounded by elders that I trust and know. There is more accountability in a lot of ways. I am working at getting them signed up for swimming and soccer in the spring so that they will have more to do.
Many many evenings in Calgary, we would wish we were in Salmon Arm, hangin' out with the family...maybe a little rose-colored dreaming...thinking that any issues of loneliness or unhappiness would be miraculously whisked away if we lived here. And of course, that is so not REAL LIFE. In that sense, I am challenged to just make the most of the way things are! I could sit here and wish for things to be more the way they were before...but then I will have spent my whole life wishing for things that don't really exist. There is no real easy place for us to live...it wasn't perfect in Calgary, and it isn't perfect here. It can't be. Earth never will be ideal. Life with three active boys is tough, especially on a social life, no matter where we'd live. Who knows where the future will lead? We do want to be here for our kids, but I wouldn't say we feel at home here. We need to work on that. We're still figuring out how.

Comments

Bri said…
I keep thinking how much free time I'll have once the kids don't need to be diapered, fed, clothed, changed, driven and entertained...you know, when they're 6. Then I think, more like when they move out and all I'll want is someone to fill my time. Thanks for being honest about moving 'home' it's one of those things that we all do. This year I'm trying to be very conscious of when I do that...thinking that I need one more thing or another to be 'more' happy, more settled. I'm always shocked when I realize that once I got what I wanted something else quickly takes it's place and then I'm 'wanting' again. One of these days I'll figure it out.
The Foulds said…
I appreciate what you had to say, I often wonder what a move will be like for us. I am trying to prepare myself for the fact that where ever we end up is not going to be perfect, just like where we are not is not perfect.
Anna said…
(whisking tears away) I LOVE you!
Anonymous said…
Oh Sarah, I miss you! I miss our back alley/backyard times with the boys, walking to/from school and trying to keep up with the boys, and our chats over mint tea! I'm sorry life isn't exactly as you may have pictured, but I'm sure it will get more comfortable soon. Having cousins and grandparents around is so important. We, too, are considering our future options in life...I'll have to find time to call you and chat more!
Love, Lisa
Anonymous said…
Isn't being content a hard thing to be?? It's funny that from when we're we little we always think the grass is greener on the other side...only to find out that whatever we were hoping for isn't all we thought it would be. I've been thinking about that alot lately and am trying to be a more content person and trying to enjoy where I'm at. Thanks for your honesty - it's encouraging.
Michelle

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