December 10th, 2013 by Dionna | 16 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family

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Welcome to the December 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Change . . .

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about life changes.



Early this fall, my family stood crying in the driveway, waving to my parents as they drove away. They’d just packed up their home of 25+ years and were moving to Florida.

It wasn’t so much the loss of the family home that bothered me; we’d moved to Topeka when I was 12 years old, so I hadn’t really grown up there. Instead, it was the perceived loss of my anchors.

For those readers who have lost a parent to death, I realize that mourning the relocation of my parents might seem silly. Regardless, it was hard for me to watch them go.

We moved back to Kansas City from New Mexico when I was pregnant with Kieran in order to be close to family. Since that time, both my youngest sister (my best friend) and my parents have now left the state. And while we do see Tom’s father quite a bit, we have virtually no relationship with the rest of his family, even though they live in the same city.

Now that I’m the last member of my family of origin to live in the area we all know, I’m feeling . . . rootless.


I keep researching different cities and asking Tom about a 5-year plan to move. Somewhere warmer. Somewhere closer to family.

Or maybe we’d be happier moving west – to Seattle, Portland – places where I know I could find my people. My intentional family and community. I know you’re out there.

What surprises me most is that I’m not dreading leaving our home (although it’s not really happening yet). Even though we’ve only been living in our house for 6.5 years, it’s been in our family for decades – my mom and her parents moved in when she was a toddler. It was a house I’ve spent extended time in growing up. It is the home where I held my grandmother’s hand as she passed away, and the home where Ailia was born into Tom’s waiting hands.

And as much as I love our home and the memories and the work we have put into it, the family that has helped me feel at home in Kansas City is gone. Yes, we have friends here (although two of our best friends have also moved out of state recently). Yes, I’ve poured time and energy into creating community here. But I feel like there is something waiting for us elsewhere.

We’ve just got to figure out the when and the where.

Have you experienced your family relocating away from you?

What helps you feel rooted?


Photo Credit: SingleDadLaughing shared with permission via Flickr CC


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Mature StudentAmber Strocel is embarking on a new adventure in 2014, by returning to a space in her life she thought she’d left behind – that of being a university student.
  • And then there were four — Jillian at Mommyhood learned how quickly love can grow when welcoming a second child to the family.
  • Handling Change As A Mother (And Why That Takes Things To A Different Level) — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she helps her young daughter navigate change and why it is so important, as a mother, to gauge her own reactions to change.
  • Without Dad-One Year Later — Erica at ChildOrganics shares how her life has changed one year after losing her husband suddenly.
  • Family Ties — Lori at TEACH through Love realized that her most significant, most painful wound paved the way for her to share her greatest gift.
  • Rootless — After Dionna @ Code Name: Mama‘s parents packed up their home and moved to Florida this fall, she is feeling rootless and restless.
  • A Letter to My Mama Self in the Swirl of Change — Sheila Pai of A Living Family shares a letter she wrote to herself to capture and remember the incredible changes from the year, and invites you to do the same and share!
  • Junctionssustainablemum explains how her family has dealt with a complete change of direction this year.
  • Planning, Parenting, and Perfection — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook explains how most of the plans she made for her adult life have worked out differently than she planned, but she’s ended up getting a lot of what she really wanted.
  • Why First Grade Means Growing Up… for Both Me and My Daughter — Donna at Eco-Mothering discovers that her daughter’s transition into first grade is harder as a parent.
  • First Year of Mothering — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot reflects on the quiet change that took her by surprise this year.
  • Building the Community YOu Desire — A recent move has Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children working toward setting up a new support network.
  • Slowing down in 2013 — A car fire and a surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome made 2013 a very different year than the one Crunchy Con Mommy and family were expecting!
  • The Seven Year Cycle — After 7 intense years of baking, birthing and breastfeeding 6 kids, Zoie at TouchstoneZ wonders, “Will I be enough for what comes next?”
  • Rebirth — Kellie of Our Mindful Life has found that each of her births leaves her a different person.
  • When a Hobby Becomes a Business — This year, new doors opened for That Mama Gretchen‘s hobby of writing and blogging – it has turned into a side business. She’s sharing a bit about her journey and some helpful tips in case you’re interested in following the same path.
  • 5 Tips for Embracing a Big Change in Your Family — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells about a big change in her family and shares tips that have always helped her family embrace changes.
  • Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes — Ana at Panda & Ananaso ruminates on how having a child changed her priorities.
  • Homeostasis — Lauren at Hobo Mama is finding that even as elements shift in her life — in cosleeping, homeschooling, breastfeeding, & more — they mostly remain very familiar.
  • Sally go round the sun — A new baby brings joy and unexpected sadness for Douglas at Friendly Encounters, as she is diagnosed with a rare genetic condition.
  • Embrace it — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen muses about the changes in her family this year and how she can embrace them . . . as best she can anyway.
  • Big Change; Seamless but Big — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how one of the biggest changes of her life was also a seamless transition.
  • Celebrating Change — Change feeds Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep‘s soul. And all the work that seemed like monotonous nothingness finally pays off in a clear way.

16 Responses to:

  1. My family all lives near each other and I moved out of the state. That leaves me very homesick. It is different than what you experienced but I can somewhat relate.

    Good luck with you relocation decision when the time is right.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      We moved out of state before kids, and yes, that’s different. But it can still be lonely, even if it’s by choice!

  2. Mandy

    Jillian, I am in the same situation. All my family and DH’s family live in the same metro area (where I grew up). Over the summer, we moved 4 hours away for DH’s job. It’s terribly lonely here sometimes. Especially on Sundays which were always family dinner days…

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      I bet! I really wanted a family dinner day, but so far that hasn’t happened. I’ve also tried to have a regular “intentional” family dinner event, but that hasn’t happened either. Very frustrating!

  3. Crunchy Con Mom   crunchyconmom

    Yes! My parents have lived in Seattle and KC and the west coast and now a bit East. They keep moving, and it makes it hard to plan to visit them because we have no idea how long they will be in their current city. It’s just the nature of my dads work. But I selfishly hope someday they will come back to the Midwest and live near enough to us that we can visit regularly. Since they moved away from KC we don’t really visit our other relatives there hardly ever. It’s unfortunately but having parents as an “anchor” to visit really makes a big difference!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      It does make a difference! And I totally get that it *shouldn’t* be up to my parents to be a physical anchor. I mean, it’s their life – they get to move too! But it was so nice having them where I knew they’d be ;)

  4. Amber   AmberStrocel

    I live about 20 minutes away from the hospital where I was born, and 45 minutes away from my parents and in-laws. Other than a brief 4-month stint in another city for a work placement in university, this has always been my home. I feel very rooted here.

    Not that long ago I was feeling restless, however. I was wondering if I would be happier elsewhere. It took visiting New York City and a small rural island not far from home for me to realize that I’m actually happy here in the Vancouver suburbs. I have come to a place where I’m not just here by circumstance, I’m here by choice. It was a revelation to me.

    I hope that you find your home, too. I know it’s out there waiting for you!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      I can’t fathom that, Amber – my dad was in the army national guard, so I moved a ton when I was a kid. I guess it just feels normal to me! Maybe I’ll always be restless ;)

  5. Lori Petro - TEACH through Love   TEACHthruLove

    Dionna, I totally know what you mean. I love my east coast hometown for the same reasons (even though I stayed away for 14 years.) My husband moved into his family home when he was a baby and his mom still lives there. I love to think of the memories and history in a home that’s been lived in and loved for almost 50 years. Thanks for sharing! :) Lori @

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Family memories is one of the reasons my mom hasn’t sold the house yet, although she totally could. :)

  6. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    You know you’re moving to Seattle! ;)

    We’ve been the ones who left our parents, and I sometimes worry that we’ve made the wrong choice. Am I making my kids grow up as rootless as I felt as an Army kid? Not that it was a bad thing — I enjoyed it — but I definitely never had a deep connection with my grandparents, so will the same (likely) be true of my kids with my parents? Family decisions vs. personal preferences and other situational circumstances (jobs, illnesses, whatever) can be such a hard thing to figure out and come to terms with. No matter what you decide or what happens, you’re always wondering what if you’d chosen something else.

  7. Amy Phoenix   presenceparents

    Good stuff, Dionna. I can relate in many ways… our family has moved nearly a dozen times in the last six years.

    Grace and I started doing something that came spontaneously one day and really helps. We remember our true home, our home in our hearts.

    One day she was talking about going home. We’d just moved from Missouri to Michigan so I asked her which home. Then I asked if she wanted to go home to the home in her heart, the home that is always with us.

    So… we started doing that. We close our eyes, feel our heart, notice our breath and bodies, feel rooted right where we are and share some gratitude for whatever we feel in the moment. It may be just for the moment, or for our hearts, or for whatever.

    It’s calming, grounding and helps us both realize that our true home is always with us…

  8. I hear Cincinnati is nice…

    And we have definitely struggled with having family and friends in more than one state. It is hard to be away, even when you are already with family and friends somewhere else.

  9. Erica @ Childorganics   ChildOrganics

    TN is where it’s at!! :-)
    I grew up moving about every 5 years because of my Dad’s job. Even though we never lived very close to extended family, our intermediate family has always been close. So as adults, my parents moved from NE to TN, my brother and I stayed behind. However, within a few years we all ended up moving to TN, and now all live within a half an hour of each other.

  10. Deb @ Living Montessori Now   DebChitwood

    I can totally relate, Dionna, although it was our kids who grew up and moved away, making our home feel empty. My very happiest times are when my husband and I can be together with our kids, kids-in-law, and new grandbaby.

  11. Like Lauren I am the one who has moved away, although the distances in my country are much smaller! I do worry that my children’s grandparents are a days drive away whereas I grew up much closer to mine. Family are important to me and it has made me work much harder to ensure that we fit regular visits into our schedule. This is made much easier as we are home educating so we can be flexible.:)

    Hope you find somewhere to rest your head and feel rooted, but remember that your home is where you are now and is made by you, your family and your posessions, you can move them anywhere to make a new home in a different house.

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