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moving with DP away from his daughter... (long) - Page 2

post #21 of 23
Originally Posted by MeloMama08 View Post
Shouldn't HE be the one making himself happy here if he really can't leave?

Look -- and this is coming from a single mother -- I feel your pain. I do. I'm not a native Midwesterner, I don't belong here, I've had a nice long rest here, but it could make you cry, what these people do with trees and buildings and landscape. I'm not passive-aggressive, I'm aggressive-aggressive, and the distinction is no longer amusing to me. And I've forgotten what it is to go to a decent museum just because you need to feel you some art. I'm also watching my daughter grow up without knowing the arts and taking them for granted, and this is not something that can be communicated later in life.

However, if I moved, I'd be moving her away from her beloved daddy and grandparents, and the entire world she knows. She's 5. There's no way I'd do that to her.

Really, as prison sentences go, it's not so bad. I remember thinking, when I was a young writer, that prison didn't sound so terrible -- you could knock out a novel or two, you wouldn't have to worry about making the rent or cooking, the noise might be a problem, the company might not be phenomenal, but on the whole you'd be mighty productive. Well, now's my chance. And that's exactly what I'm doing. Yeah, I still have to make a living -- more than before -- but as long as I'm stuck here for the next however many years, I can recognize that it's peaceful here, cheap to live, good libraries, decent people, on and on, and I'm probably more productive now than I've ever been in my life. Am I having a ball, no. Maybe eventually I'll figure out how to balance all this with having more fun, too. But I have this responsibility which I mean to carry out, so OK, and the truth is it's a good place for a kid to grow up. So's New York. It does leave your dh's kid in danger of being unwilling to live anyplace else later on, but on the whole the song is accurate. (Incidentally, I think this is true for half the faculty families I know, too. Most of the rest are probably just being polite. But most enterprising people don't really want to be here forever.)

If your husband is being a pill, he's going to be a pill anywhere. Honest, I've seen this happen, the New Yorker who leaves the city and proceeds to make everyone in a smallish town miserable for the next fifteen years, until he decides everyone around him is a hick and moves to a DC or Boston suburb. Let him take some vacations upstate, go pretend to be a lumberjack or whatever, go fishing. Just getting out of the city for a couple of weeks can help. I mean a good 200 miles away or more. Let him clear his head. But moving away from a small child...you really have to think back to what it was like for you, then, what a month was like, if you were even able to conceive of a month. Probably you weren't. It's an endless time. I recall that we say my paternal grandparents about once a month, and I'd forget their existence between visits. It was just too long to feel that they were really in my life.

There are others here who will say yes, we did it, the kid is fine. I would just point out, as others here have, that children can survive quite a bit and look fine in the moment. They'll cope because they want to be big and grown up and are proud that they can handle anything -- weren't you? That doesn't necessarily mean they're fine. At 6, even at 10, they're still very vulnerable.

So, long answer, but yes, making himself happy is your husband's job. And it's possible. Maybe there are less radical things he can do to get his head out of the city on a regular basis.

Good luck to you and your family -
post #22 of 23
Here's my perspective as a stepmom to a very far away DSD beyond our control. Long distance parenting is challenging for the child, the marriage and the finances. You need to know that you are making parenting MORE difficult by being far away. Is it doable? Yes. But it is drain for all involved.

Second (and I don't mean to sound judgemental) but if you aren't married to the father, I would keep my mouth shut with respect to opinions on relocation until you are in a long-term committed relationship like marriage or a civil union. Added to the fact that you two haven't been together long, I just don't think you are in a position to try to convince your DP of anything without jeopardizing your own child's ability to be near his or her father. If this goes south, you may be blamed and he may pull up stakes and move away from you.

Finally, I am not a big advocate of geographical cures for emotional problems. Yes, a move can certainly help finances but not so much for stress and depression. Even a WANTED move without complications is a very big change and all change (even good change) brings stress. Take an unhappy person, separate them from friends and family and plop them into a new place with few family or close friends and add a big scoop of stress...well, that certainly wouldn't make me happier.
post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by MeloMama08 View Post
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am really impressed with how selfless you have been. You say "trust me, it is worth it." Do you mean that seeing how well she is doing with you guys nearby is enough to make it worth it to not have moved? And what do you mean when you say moving would just "test you more?" Is that because seeing his daughter only on holidays/summer would be stressful for her and for our family?
I find myself faced with a very real adult situation. To be honest, (and I feel a bit vulnerable admitting this), I feel like I just became an adult recently. I'm 25 years old and I have a baby with a man whom I love but have not known long and am not married to. He is a good and honest man and a great father and partner. I have faith in the future but I also feel worried that I am being faced with a situation that will radically change the course of many lives- my own, my daughter's, his, his daughter's.... I guess I have been a functional "adult" for awhile but now that I am a mom I really see how the way you make decisions totally changes when you have kids...
Anyway thanks again for your input.
I hear you on growing up quickly, too. I met DH when I was 20yo and had to grow up quickly when we moved in together a short time after we started dating. We then started our own famly when I was 23yo. I am now 27yo and still feel like I am growing up.

As for what I meant by it being worth it is you simply can not replace time spent with a child. You have to look at what really matters most to you in life. It is a deep question. For us, family is the most important in the end. We have always stressed that value with DSD, and we had to live it. Of course, another main value of ours is to act the way we feel. Show and not just tell you we love you. kwim Moving away from DSD would not have shown her that we love her at all. It isn't like DH can't make a living here. Which, IMO, would be the only reason we would move anywhere else and we would look to stay in-state if that were the case.

Long distance relationships of any kind will test you more. You will have to work harder to have a bond with his DD. He will have to work harder to stay connected. It will be harder financially to deal with the commutes. That isn't to say that it can't be done, but it certainly takes a major committment to do so.
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