6 months in Hampshire

It has been a whole six months since we moved to Hampshire. That is half a year since we said goodbye to Swansea and headed across the border, walking away from our old life and towards something new and exciting.

If I am honest, I still don’t feel settled here. I miss my friends and miss my parents only being 90 minutes away up the road. I miss the beach and the toddler groups Leo and I used to go to. I even miss my bar maid job in the theatre and I never thought I would ever say that.

Life here is different to what we have been used to. Oli is working longer hours, his job is stressful and even when he is home his mind is often still in work. All things we were expecting when he got a job as a care home manager, but nothing can quite prepare you for how that added responsibility at work can impact on your family life. Living in a bungalow around the back of Oli’s work has often added to the feeling that he is never off call. Staff come tapping on the door all hours of the day and Oli disappears to sort out something at work, this happens on the weekends too. Once we are out of this house and in a place that actually feels like home I am hoping I might start to feel a bit more content here.

I also can’t get used to having no money I can call my own, my job in Swansea wasn’t amazing but at least I had one. Settling back in to being a full time stay at home Mum has been easy, although I often still crave those few child free evenings a week I used to spend at work. I did spend the first few months here applying for jobs but there are only so many rejection emails you can get before you need to take a break and scrape your self esteem back up off the floor.

I am finding it difficult to make friends too, this makes me feel miserable and a bit pathetic. There are a few mums I chat to at various toddler groups but they are more acquaintances than actual mates. Six whole months and not one person has suggested we go for coffee or take the kids to soft play or something. I am not going to get too upset about it, I do have lots of friends, they are just scattered all over the country and I don’t see them very often. I am sure I will meet some lovely people here, I just need put myself out there a bit more I guess.

It has not all been doom and gloom for the past half a year though. I have loved exploring our new area with Leo and Oli. We have been on lots of days out and made lots of fun memories exploring new and exciting places. Ignoring the lack of money, friends and general contentment, life in Hampshire isn’t so bad. With Spring and the promise of sunny weather just around the corner, who knows what we will be up to over the next half of our first year in Hampshire.

Here are some of the things we have been up to since we moved in September. These are the happy memories and the positives to living here I am going to force myself to remember everytime my heart pines for the life I loved so much in Swansea.

We have had lots of fun exploring all the local woods and forests..

We have enjoyed several Welly Walks around the beautiful New Forest

Family have come to stay and we always take them on the train for a browse around the impressive shopping centre in Southampton..

We have been on adventures to exciting castles in Basingstoke and Titchfield

There was that lovely walk we went on along Basingstoke canal..
We found our new favourite place when we spent the day at Bournemouth beach..
We have been able to spend time with and get to know family we rarely got to see when we lived in Wales..
And, of course, we have spent lots of lazy days being silly, playing games, watching films and cuddling in this funny old building we now call home..
We may be living in England now, but we will always be Welsh..
Have you recently moved? Are you also struggling to feel at home in your new town? I look forward to discovering what the next six months hold and hopefully as the months go by I will start to feel happier and more at home here.

This post is linked to..

My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy

Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky
A Cornish Mum

Pink Pear Bear

Reflections From Me

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  1. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    March 28, 2016 / 8:34 am

    Ugh, that sounds tough. I'd hate to be on site for a job like that and never really be off duty. I move tons, all the time. Have you asked the mummy acquaintances for coffee or soft play? They might be waiting for you too. Alternatively I find facebook group and Meetup groups as a good scouting ground for new friends. If there aren't any in your area make your own. Best of luck. Hope you feel more settled and happier soon x

  2. Louise W
    March 28, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    Oh I feel your pain! Took me ages to adjust to moving away from Wales. It is so much friendlier there!! Not saying people in England aren't friendly, just much less likely to strike up a conversation, or chat to each other on the bus. It took me about 18 months to feel really settled here & 4 years on I feel like this is home. I'll always miss Wales though! I'm not even Welsh, but I did grow up there. It will get easier. Promise. Especially when things like pre-school start, (I know that feels forever away!), thanks for linking up, feel free to call on any of us for a chat! #bigpinklink

  3. Kat Candyfloss
    March 29, 2016 / 9:02 am

    It's always tough moving around to new places, I've done it myself a fair few times, once on my own and then again when I became a single parent I moved back…to Hampshire! I don't know how far you are from me but I know all of the places you've mentioned and I went to college in Basingstoke. If you'd ever like a Hampshire mummy blogger friend then feel free to chat to me! Hampshire can be a lovely place, the new forest is beautiful, we were there yesterday for a Wedding. Heading on over to Isle of Wight is really easy and a beautiful place for a holiday, and within the county…it's like a different world over the water there. The town I live in is a bit rubbish but it's great to be so close to nature and a lot of great things. Bournemouth and Weymouth beaches (Dorset I know, but only around an hour or so to get there by car) are lovely in the summer too. #TwinklyTuesday

  4. March 29, 2016 / 11:49 am

    I have been fortunate enough to stay in the same area although I still felt very isolated when Aspen was young. Steve used to be at work and I was home, all my friends were working (I was the first to start a family) and it felt like I was so alone. Aspen was really shy as a toddler and it made it difficult to connect with other mums at play group because she would actually cry when people looked at her! I found that once my children started school life got so much better for all of us. Connections were made and Aspen was ready for friends and I finally allowed myself to open up and be more honest about how lonely I had felt. I found other mums were feeling very similar and I made great connections. I did have to learn to put myself out there though. I had to be open and explore new friendships. Sometimes if we sit back and wait people don't realise we want to be their friend. So feel free to invite people to go out with you, jump in and just be yourself, it will get easier. Make sure you do nice things for yourself too, make sure you feel special. I hope things brighten up soon and it will help with better weather I am sure. Thank you for linking up with me at #mg and I also saw you at #TwinklyTuesday. I loved your photos too!

  5. March 29, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    I love the photographs and your wonderful adventures! Perhaps you could do the initial inviting and ask a new friend to come along and explore together. I bet there are moms feeling just like you do 🙂

  6. March 29, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Hampshire took a few years to grow on me but I love it here now, especially the South Downs.

  7. March 30, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    My youngest daughter is randomly born in Hampshire, so have a special place in our family. It must be tough moving so far away from the home that you have known and making a new one. Hampshire has so much to offer and I am sure the next 6 months will be even better as you find your feet x #BlogClubUK

  8. March 31, 2016 / 7:17 am

    It's so hard settling in to a new area and making connections there – hope that you do manage to move beyond the acquaintance stage very soon. I'm a Hampshire girl originally – was born in Portsmouth and went to uni in Southampton – although I live a bit further north these days. The New Forest is a lovely place for walks and love the photos of your Welly Walks there.

  9. March 31, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    Aw I felt sad for you reading this, it is hard moving somewhere new and so far from your family. At least you have all those new places to visit with your kids and there's much more to discover I'm sure! xx

  10. The Pramshed
    March 31, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    Ah hun I feel a bit sad for you reading this post, if I was in Hampshire I would definitely be your friend and go for coffees with you. I hope that now with Spring around the corner, people will come out of hibernation and make it easier for you to make friends. I agree with you the Welsh are so friendly, I would find it hard leaving Wales (I still do every time we holiday there). Claire x #FamilyFun

  11. April 2, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    Hello lovely – I am in Hampshire! There are good places: West Wittering is an amazing beach (OK, so it's West Sussex but it's close), Portsmouth, the South Downs … and genuinely, if you ever fancy a walk in East Hants (I'm in Petersfield), let me know; I have a large dog, a 2 and a half yr old and a 6mo old and lots of coffee. And I'm not going back to work til July 🙂 #KCACOLS

  12. Mommy's Little Princesses
    April 3, 2016 / 7:23 am

    Moving can be so hard sometimes and I don't think it's unnatural to feel the way you do. It might take sometime for you to settle into your new life and it might not happen over night as it's a big adjustment. It's been years and I still find myself in the exact same place you are sometimes. I don't think I'll ever stop miss London mind you. Having a friend really does help though. I don't have very many here just the one really and the others are all acquaintances as you put it. I really hope you make at least one good friend there as it really does make all the difference. I am just loving the pictures and the positives that they represent in your life.Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.xx

  13. Sara HandyHerbs
    April 3, 2016 / 11:22 am

    It is always hard moving to a new area so I understand how difficult it must be for you. I hope you manage to find some new friends – it might be a bit easier at this time of year when people are out and about more. It does look like a lovely place where you are now, although I am sure you will always think of Wales as home. Good luck with meeting some new people over the spring and summer months. I am hopeful that you will be feeling differently by the end of the summer 🙂 #KCACOLS

  14. April 3, 2016 / 11:15 am

    We have moved to Jersey from Yokshire so I totally get how you feel. I am also now a stay at home Mum after being a working Mum before. It's really hard to start again when you are so far away from home, family and friends. But hang on in there it does get easier..#KCACOLS

  15. Saffy Mumzilla
    April 3, 2016 / 4:10 pm

    Hang in there you'll meet people. And those acquaintances you talk to? Invite them over for a playdate or for that coffee. Carpe Diem and all that. Good luck 🙂 #KCACOLS

  16. Rachel Bustin
    April 3, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    Moving to a new place can be stressful. I hope it gets better for you soon. Sending hugs xx


  17. April 3, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    I hope it starts to feel more like home soon and you make some good friends! I'm so lucky to have my family around, but other than that I only really have workmates – all my friends either moved away from my home town, or stayed put when I moved back from university. It doesn't normally bother me, but sometimes I wish I had friends I could just go for a cup of tea with or something without hours of travel involved. x #KCACOLS

  18. Rebecca Roversi
    April 3, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    Aw I really felt for you when I was reading this post. As a complete home bird I can only imagine for hard it is to move away from everything you know and love.
    Maybe you could invite some of the Mum's from playgroup for a coffee or soft play?
    Good luck. You live in a beautiful part of the U.K. #KCACOLS

  19. April 3, 2016 / 6:56 pm

    I hope you find the next six months a little easier and more settled. I've moved across the country a few times in my life and it never gets any easier.

  20. April 3, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Hope your next 6 months go well and things settle…I moved to Brighton when I was pregnant – about a year ago and it took a good while to feel at home here. My husband commutes to London every day – leaves early and is back late & I just didn't know anyone in the city. A year on, I've made a few lovely friends and it's made the world of difference to have like-minded people to go to baby groups with. Before that, i really felt like the mums I met didn't really 'get' me. Are there any nice playgroups you can go to? All the best, I know how tough it can be to move to a new city xxx #KCACOLS

  21. April 4, 2016 / 7:30 am

    My in-laws live in the New Forest – it's such a beautiful placex #KCACOLS

  22. Dot Makes 4
    April 4, 2016 / 8:32 am

    My heart went out to you when I read this. I still find it strange to be across town from my family and couldn't imagine being further afield.

    I really hope that the next six months are easier and more settled for you 🙂

    Laura xx

  23. Mudpie Fridays
    April 4, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    Oh hon this seems like a common problem, I have an American friend who I met on my NCT class and she's like you British women are odd when it comes to making mummy friends! I think she definitely has a point! Whereabouts in Hampshire are you? It must be very difficult when it feels as though Hubby is never off call 🙁 I hope it gets better. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerclubUK xx

  24. April 5, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    We are in Dorset and near Bournemouth beach so if you ever stop by and fancy a coffee on the beach then we are often about:) It can be so hard to move and make those bigger connections. Little by little it all clicks into place. Good luck with everything:)

    mainy – myrealfairy


  25. April 5, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    Moving house and area is a massive upheaval, no wonder you don't quite feel settled yet. We moved just over three months ago and there have been difficult moments – like last month when we all got ill and we had no family to help. However in general we've had it quite easy. My other half is in the Navy so when we move its to a community of people who are as transient as us. Everyone gels a lot quicker as they know how it feels. My advice would be to be that person who suggests soft play. Don't rely on other people to make the first move. Best of luck for the next six months! Hampshire is lovely in the sun 🙂 #kcacols

  26. April 9, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    It is so hard living on site, I can't wait to move. No I haven't asked and I know I need to, I'm just a bit if a baby when it comes to making the first move. Definitely need to just put myself out there though because it's horrible having no friends living close by xx

  27. April 9, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    Thank you for your lovely comment. People in Wales definitely are more chatty, I've lived there my whole life so I am finding the change in people's attitude difficult go adjust to. There are lovely people here too obviously, just finding it hard to make the jump from people I chat to to actual friends. Glad I'm not the only one who's found leaving Wales difficult xx

  28. April 9, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    Hello fellow Hampshire blogger! I'm just outside Southampton. Yes I can't wait to visit the Isle if White, heard so many good things. Thanks for the twitter chats, so nice to find someone so close who is also a blogger xx

  29. April 9, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    I bet it was tough when Aspen was small and used to cry at new people. I have found it difficult because Leo has such bad tantrums over sharing toys and stuff so at toddler groups I am always busy calming him down..it is difficult to sit and have a proper conversation. I do know I need to start putting me self out there and being the one giving the invitation but it is so hard when I am quite a shy person. Everyone says things will change when Leo starts school, I hope they are right xx

  30. April 9, 2016 / 8:10 pm

    Aww, thank you. I am sure you are right and there are lots of other lonely Mums out there. Maybe we all just to shy to arrange a play date haha xx

  31. April 11, 2016 / 10:36 am

    Ohh I've not been there yet. Glad Hampshire has grown on you xx

  32. April 11, 2016 / 10:37 am

    Aww that's lovely. I think that's why I'll always love swansea as that's where our boy was born. Thank you, hopefully things will get better xx

  33. April 11, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Thank you, I'm sure things will start to improve soon. Yes I love the New Forest xx

  34. April 11, 2016 / 10:39 am

    I bet it was soo difficult to a different country, I don't think I could do that. Thanks, hopefully I'll make some friends soon xx

  35. April 11, 2016 / 10:40 am

    Aww don't feel sad, I'm ok just a bit lonely. I am sure it won't be this way forever and I'll start making connections with some lovely people soon xx

  36. April 11, 2016 / 10:41 am

    Aww thank you, well of you're ever in Southampton let me know :). I think you're right, once summer arrives things should be easier as more people will be out and about xx

  37. April 11, 2016 / 10:42 am

    That would be lovely and so sweet of you to offer. I'm in Southampton so not sure how far that is from you. We went to west wittering the other day, it's so nice there xx

  38. April 11, 2016 / 10:45 am

    Thank you for your lovely comment! You're right, these things don't happen over night, I just need to five myself more time to get properly settled in. That's all I want right now, is just one nice friend who I get on with really well, just someone to be there for a laugh and a chat xx

  39. April 11, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Thank you! Fingers crossed that you're right xx

  40. April 11, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Thank you! I am really hoping summer will bring lots more opportunities to meet new people and make friends. It is lovely here but like you said, I'll always Wales as home xx

  41. April 11, 2016 / 10:48 am

    Yep you're right, I just need to invite them instead of waiting around..if they say no its not the end of the world xx

  42. April 11, 2016 / 10:49 am

    That's how I feel! Sometimes I just wish all the friends I already have just lived closer. You're very lucky to have your family around you xx

  43. April 11, 2016 / 10:50 am

    Thank you xx