After four days of painting and two days of moving, the new house finally broke me on day 7. We’d done well – we’d painted the bedrooms, we’d moved stuff in, we’d started unpacking…
We were getting up early and going to bed late. All the paint and cleaning was affecting my eczema and my hands were cracked, bleeding, swollen and throbbing. By the evening they were so painful I could barely move them.
But in the end it was my old nemesis, the dishwasher, which was the straw that broke this camel’s back. Along with his good friends, the washing machine and packed lunches. It wasn’t the move that left me broken, it was trying to carry on with every day life on top of the move.
I’d been concerned that the new house would have no dishwasher. This is pretty much my worst nightmare, as I absolutely hate washing up. We’d spent most of our time at the rented house without a dishwasher, as it had broken, and I was desperate to get back to a life without washing up. So we were very pleased when the dishwasher was plumbed in on only our second day in the house. We hadn’t done any washing up – we didn’t need to! We were going to have a dishwasher!
We started the dishwasher. It stopped after a couple of minutes. We started it again. It stopped. We tried a different programme. It stopped. We drained it. We started it again. It stopped. We started it again and again and again.
Eventually my husband found the problem, but it was too late. All the endless starting it up when it hadn’t wanted to work had burnt it out. Our dishwasher was broken. And we were surrounded by dirty cups, plates, bowls, pans and cutlery. They were on every surface. It was so bad that I WANTED to wash up. But the sink has no plug! So the only way to wash up is in running water, squirting washing up liquid. A VERY inefficient way to wash up.
I got up early to wash up. I lay in bed worrying about washing up and lunch boxes and water bottles. I felt like maybe if I simply gave up sleep altogether, I could probably cope.
And so to my next challenge – the packed lunches. Making three packed lunches (plus my own on work days) is really flipping time-consuming. Obviously my kids don’t eat the same. That would be too easy. Luckily my younger son has school dinners four or five days a week and the other two usually have it once a week. Making two packed lunches is so much easier than three.
But the school dinner company at our primary school has gone bust. So I’m making three packed lunches a day, five days a week. And I’m struggling to get everything clean because I’ve got no dishwasher.
But at least I’d have my good friend, the washing machine.
Would you believe there isn’t proper plumbing for the washing machine? There is an in-pipe, but no out -pipe. The old lady who lived here before must have drained her washing machine straight into the sink.
Our washing machine is still plumbed in at the rented house. So I’m currently walking my washing round there to wash, then bringing it home to dry. It’s not ideal. Especially when I’m at work. If the washing machine is in the kitchen, I switch it on. If it’s up the road, I don’t. And it doesn’t take long for tween boys to run out of school shirts.
I see the dirty cutlery and crockery and the overflowing laundry baskets and I feel broken, overwhelmed and quite sad. I’m physically tired from the manual labour and the lack of sleep (I’m getting up at 5.40 to do the packed lunches and get everything clean before work) and I’m stressed.
It took a week, but the move has broken me.