The kids have been adjusting. They’re settling into their new life with mostly Mommy, they’re both doing well in school. They seem pretty happy most of the time. I haven’t heard “I wish you and Daddy were still married” for at least a month or two. They’re starting to get used to holidays being a bit different. Both Mommy and Daddy usually aren’t there – just one or the other. As the kids were heading to my in-laws for Thanksgiving (where Daddy was going to join them later), Baby Girl said, “But Mommy! It’s Thanksgiving! You HAVE to come!!” Those moments are hard – on everyone. But those moments are few and fleeting.
The good side of this change far outweighs those moments. The kids went to Ottawa for Christmas Break – from Boxing Day until the day before school started. They had a great time with Daddy. I missed them, but got some time to focus on me. They went to Ottawa over the March Break and will again for a good chunk of the summer. In fact, I’ll only see my daughter for TWO WEEKS of the summer! And my son only three! They’ll be gone for the first five weeks. I’ll try to go up to Ottawa once during that time to see them. Five weeks is a bit long. I’ve never been away from my babies for that long. It will be new for all of us.
There’s another huge change on the horizon. We’re moving. Things have been going extremely well with G – my boyfriend (for lack of a better word). His kids and my kids get along very well. They’re all in the same age range and each of us has an older girl and a younger boy, same age spread between siblings. His are a couple years younger than mine. We were looking at moving into an “our” house instead of “my” house or “his” house, but we haven’t found an “our” house that suits our needs – us, 4 kids, and his mom with a separate(ish) space for her. Currently she resides in a basement suite in his house.
We spend a lot of time at his house – which we’ve been starting to refer to as “our new house” to my kids. The kids love playing together, especially Minecraft. And his house will work well for all of us. I feel comfortable there. My kids feel comfortable there. The kids even went as far as to measure my son on his daughter’s door – in marker. We’ve decided to make “his” house “our” house.
I had reservations about always feeling as if it is “his” house. For the kids, I didn’t want his kids to feel invaded, and I didn’t want my kids to feel as if they were guests.
We decided before Christmas that we were going to blend households and that it would be in “his” house. We also decided not to rush. The most important thing to both of us is that our kids feel comfortable with everything. We’d have been living together long ago if it was just about us.
My kids are very different from each other. Baby Girl has always gone with the flow. She’s very que sera sera about life. She does love traditions, but isn’t adverse to change, sometimes even embracing it. She excited about the move. Excited to paint her new room. She also remembers our last move almost six years ago.
Now, my son…. He doesn’t remember a move. My water broke that day we were to do a second look at the house. We bought it a couple weeks after he was born and moved when he was two months old. My house, his house, his room, it’s all he’s ever known. And he is, of course, my child who doesn’t like change. He was the poster child for separation anxiety when he was wee (and it’s actually starting to manifest again). Going to kindergarten was fine, though. He’s always loved and thrived at school.
Oh, and they’ll be changing schools, too. So this is a lot of change for these two babes.
I have my son signed up for a couple weeks of day care/day camp at the school to help him adjust. My daughter will go for one week.
My son goes from excited to move, excited about his new bed (a really awesome loft bed), and excited to play Minecraft, to not wanting to ever move. “But I love my room! I love this house!” And when he gets like that, it’s best just to let him ride out his feelings and comfort him, rather than trying to change it. Then once he’s feeling a bit more secure, to talk to him about what life will be like in “our new house”.
We have a few more weeks before we really move in. We’re aiming for mid-end of May. We’re staying over more and more. We’ve now done a couple school night sleepovers. My kids and I even stayed there one weekend when it was just the three of us. That helped make it feel like our house. I think one of the best things we’ve done is have my son’s birthday gathering at “our new house”. He got to have our family and friends there. He saw them hanging out in our new place. He got to show them all his new room, his new bed.
And me? I’m excited. I can’t wait to spend every night next to the person I love so much I can’t describe it with words.
I’m looking forward to purging most of my stuff.
I’m also nervous. The boys will be sharing a bedroom. I hope they don’t chain react every night and wake each other up. Our boys both have habits of crawling into bed with us – not every night, but fairly frequently.
I hope G’s mom and I can live together peacefully, as we find our balance between parent and grandparent roles – which definitely blur when the grandparent lives in the same house.
Thanksfully G and I have similar parenting styles. It will be an interesting evolution, living with each other’s kids and how those relationships with transform. We can be much more objective with another’s child. There isn’t that internal connection. I’m excited to see how that develops.
Life is good. Life is about to get even busier. And in all this change, I’m so extremely happy – and I know that is what is best for my kids.
And words of wisdom or caveats as we blend families? Have you moved into someone else’s home before?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, stories!