I was waiting a little bit before writing about this but Facebook had an announcement and then questions. I was going to let Stephen talk to two more people that need to be talked to.
We’re moving to St. Louis.
officially. really. moving.
in May. after Olivia’s first birthday.
I know I’ve hinted around at it, spoke vaguely about it, talked about my homesickness and “wouldn’t it be nice if…”
But now it’s real as of last night when we told Stephen’s parents. And, as expected, they’re really upset.
The reasons are many. And that’s what I primarily want to write about. Hopefully to help people understand the [why] even if it’s unhappy and not desirable.
Stephen and I have been talking about moving to St. Louis since last August. Like, really, seriously talking about it and when and how and what would need to be done to make that work. When we visited last summer to surprise my mom, Stephen remarked to me offhandedly that he could live there with no problem. He knows my homesickness and my ache at being so far away from my family so for him to say something like that was [big] and not something he would have just flippantly said. There was intent behind those words and an unspoken promise at that point.
Then the wheels began to turn, rolling towards a destination known but down a path unknown. How could we move there? What about Stephen’s job? What about the baby? What about Stephen’s family?
I’ve spoken of my homesickness many times on this blog. You guys know that the ache to be home runs deep in my soul. Ever since my mom and I repaired our relationship about five years ago, we’ve become incredibly close. When it was just Stephen and I, living 600 miles away from my family, while not ideal, was live-with-able. I was fine with it and fine to visit and talk on the phone and what not.
Then I had a baby.
And this ache to be near my mom became more than just a desire, a [wouldn't that be nice]. It became a need. I don’t know if it’s a mom thing. Or a daughter thing. Or a me thing. Maybe some of you other moms can weigh in on that one.
I find myself [needing] to have my mom around, sad when I get off the phone with her, despondent for days when we return home from a visit to see her.
And it’s not just my mom. I haven’t lived at home, in that city, in that house, in over a decade. My brother and I, while we get along famously, don’t actually know a ton about each other. I don’t know my sister in law at all and that upsets me. She’s the mother of my brother’s children and I know hardly anything about her. What did she want to be when she grew up? What does she love? What does she hate? Does she enjoy these things here that I enjoy?
I have no idea.
and that bothers me
And my nephews. Olivia’s cousins. Oh the joy there in those two boys. The instant affection between them and Olivia. The gentle and the happy.
I had that growing up with my uncle’s daughters. I loved being around my cousins pretty much any time I wanted. Stephen had a cousin he was extremely close to and visited constantly. We want that for our daughter and all our future children.
So, there are my reasons. And they are all [I hope] understandable…and valid…
He has lived his whole life around his family. and that is not meant in any way to demean or discredit that AT ALL. In fact, that has made him the man he is today. I have never met anyone who has a stronger sense of family, community and loyalty. He is proud of his family and loves all of them deeply. And that love and that bond has, in turn, helped him become an amazing husband and father and I would [never] have it any other way.
He knows the value of having family nearby always. And he wants to give that to me. He also wants to see what it’s like “on his own” away and off and yonder.
a change of scenery from this state to a different one
new opportunities come what may
Yes, he is moving largely because of me. But I don’t want to be “that wife” or “that daughter in law” or “that mom” that spirited him and Olivia halfway across the country for my own selfish purposes. He wants to go, too, and he has his own personal reasons for it that actually don’t have anything to do with me or my family.
I hope that makes sense.
The financial part of it is actually the last piece to the puzzle. The last impetus.
Originally, we wanted the move to be to our own place in St. Louis. A house. That *maybe* we bought and owned and all that happy.
But then our debt became too much. Threats of collections have caused us to use credit cards we didn’t want to use. Our rainy day fund was used up paying off medical bills and the like. And we’re left with a pile of accumulating interest that eats away more and more of Stephen’s paycheck each month.
We never wanted the financial to be a part of it. We never wanted that to be a motivating factor. We never wanted it to come to this.
But we’re drowning and this gives us the ability to get back on our feet.
My parents own a nearly 200 year old farmhouse that was added onto twice over the decades. The result is a large, beautiful home that they only, actually, use about half. So they have ample room for us to live there while we get our finances under control.
I haven’t lived in that house since I turned 18 and left for college.
It’s not ideal but it’s a solution to this very real and very stressful situation.
But it’s not just a house to move into. If it was just that, we’d accept the offers we’re getting from family here in Atlanta. It’s more and what I’ve said above.
Everyone here is upset and I’m trying to find the excitement I [should] feel at getting to go home and be with my mom and my brother. But all I feel is guilt. I do feel like “that wife” and “that daughter in law” and “that mom” … Whether there’s a modicum of that in reality or it’s all just in my head, I can’t get the weight of it out of my heart.
The reality is this.
We’re moving in May after Olivia’s first birthday. Stephen, because his boss is AMAZING and AWESOME, will keep his job here in Atlanta and [maybe] even score them some St. Louis clients in the future. He will return for probably a week every month to attend meetings and work in his company’s office and see his family. Every few months (or as often as we can manage it), Olivia and I will come back with him for a visit.
It’s not the ideal solution. I mean, if I could fold the map and put St. Louis and Atlanta side by side, I would in a heartbeat. If we could have both families all together in one city, that would be perfect and wonderful.
But it isn’t.
and we have to do what’s best….or, rather, the best option at the time….for our family.
Like I said, we’ve been discussing this since last August. We’ve gone through all the ramifications of it in our heads and hearts. We’ve weighed every option and every alternative and thought and talked and prayed and thought and talked some more.
This wasn’t made lightly.
I miss my family so much it hurts. Stephen wants what’s best for us and to forge his own relationship with my family. Our finances are dire.
I don’t actually really know how to end this.
I just hope something I’ve said helps to explain the reasoning, the impetus, the motivations, the thoughts behind it all.
My heart and head are in turmoil now. I feel like I’m ripping something apart that has so many roots and ties. I feel like there will be resentment. Stephen tells me not to worry. That the sadness will pass; that there will be no resentment; that there is no “blame” or “fault”; and after the sadness passes, there will be support and understanding.
My head believes him.
My heart still feels guilty.