Monday, December 22, 2008

To move...or not to move

I’ve been having this conversation with several of you for several days now. Who out there still looks for, and maybe needs, their parents’ approval?

I like to think that I’m a big girl, that I’ve moved past that point in my life where I need mom and dad’s nod of approval on things. But I’m afraid that deep down I really haven’t. I want their acceptance of me and mine and what decisions that I make with my life. Is that abnormal? Am I past the age where that should matter?

I’ve been wrestling with trying to figure out whether to move in or not move in with my fiancé. We both have kids, although neither child is with us 100% of the time. My daughter is 6, and she’s with us ½ of the time, and his son who is 10 (almost 11) is with us every other weekend. Luckily, our weekends to have our kids matches and most of the time, we spend the weekend over at my fiance’s house. (I still live in an apartment, and although it is a spacious 2 bedroom, an apartment is still an apartment. And with two rambunctious kiddos, it’s a TINY apartment!) So that being the trend, and for financial purposes to save $ for the wedding, my daughter and I are moving in with my fiancé at the end of my lease. I’m not going to break my lease early or anything, but when it expires, we will move in with him.

And I struggle with this. I think that I’m only struggling with it because I know that at least one parent won’t approve. But I’ve asked myself time and again if I struggle because of that or because I struggle with myself on it. If I am the one with a problem with it, and I’m trying to pass off the blame on my parents.

Do I think that this sets a bad example for my daughter? To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. Or I should say that I didn’t know. I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching to find the answer that lies within me. And here’s what I came up with:

My main concern is that I don’t want her to grow up and think that it’s ok to just move in with a guy. I want her to understand that there needs to be a deeper commitment level before such a step is taken. Do I think that commitment level needs to be marriage? No, honestly I don’t. I always said that if I had had the opportunity to live with my first husband before we were married, that I would never have married him. And I stand by that statement, even after 13 years have passed. Living together would have stopped me from making that mistake, but it wasn’t an acceptable solution for me at the time. But I do want her to understand that a deep commitment needs to be made before she makes a step such as living together.

An engagement is one such step. And to her 6 year-old mind, we are already married. She thinks that we’re having a “ball” where she gets to wear a pretty dress. She doesn’t get that we’re not already married. So with that being said, is there really any harm to it? No, I don’t think that there is.

Some might disagree with me on this. Wait. Let me take that back, some WILL disagree with me on this. And that’s ok. The right to have your own opinion is what makes this place such an awesome place to live. Your opinion doesn’t have to agree with mine, and even if it does bother me that you don’t agree with me, it’ll be ok.

And although it went against what I really wanted to do, all of this was discussed with my ex-husband. (I don’t feel the need to consult with him on many things but as this could have an effect on my daughter, if there was someone to raise a concern then he would be the one that I feel should have a vote in this decision.) And he’s ok with it. He agreed with my points of there needing to be a deeper commitment, and surprisingly he agreed that engagement met that need. Who knew? I was shocked.

So I’m hoping that by sending out this post today, I’ve gotten the last of it off of my chest and I can quit thinking so much about this. I’ve made my decision and hopefully the parental figures will accept it. If not, then it’s only like 10 months until the wedding, and then it’ll be a moot point.

Yeah, I think that I feel better about it already…

1 comment:

  1. Obviously you've thought this through very well. I don't see how anyone can disagree with your decision. As you explain it, it sounds right for you and your daughter and that's what's important.