I think it's nine months. Well close enough anyway. That's the time it takes for me to settle into a new city or a new country. Nine months has nothing much to do with me and babies. My pregnancies last around 15 months. (Just ask my husband) which is why I am most definitely not doing it again. Sit down Mum, sorry I got you excited.
I remember hitting the nine month mark in Melbourne. (We moved two months later.) I hit the nine month mark in Auckland a month or so ago. I feel really happy, I thought. I like it. Life is pretty good. I have friends. I know what I am doing tomorrow and next week. I know where to find things.
New friends have invited us to their bach in the summer. People have now started letting us in on the local secrets for day trips and weekends away. We can even give some tips of our own.
I can say some Maori words without stumbling too much. You pronounce all the vowels, 'wh' is 'f' and you listen to Radio New Zealand a lot. You try it... Whangaparaoa, Tawharanui, Komokoriki. Heavens, our first few car trips into the countryside were fun with me trying to match the signs we whizzed past with the map in my hand.
Ah yes, and if it's wet you say "wit" or if you're five years old "it's wit as, Mum." Sorry couldn't help it. Apologies for poking fun at the accent... there go at least half of the new friends I've made.
Three months in to our move I was depressed and a little snappy. "Why won't these bloody women just talk to me," I thought. Now I don't mind as much if someone doesn't chat back. Australians I think (or maybe just me) love a bit of a chat without consequence. I have now found other people do do that here too. Just not as often.
I think what I've learnt with the whole moving chore (I used to say adventure but it's worn off) is that you can't rush the process. Just wait and slowly but surely it will be fine.
I lied a lot in those first nine months, telling people "yes, we're feeling so settled now."
I am not lying now when I say we're feeling settled. Must be about time to move.
(By the way my husband read this and muttered, "pregnant for 15 months? More like two years...")