The addition

by singlemomseeking on December 31, 2010

“I want to make some space for you.”

That’s what Chris says as he pulls random T-shirts from his closet and carries them into the hallway, where piles of clothes are lumped to give away to Goodwill.

“I know it’s not much space yet,” he goes on. “But I’m emptying these drawers for you.” Then he points to the small dresser inside his closet, now half-empty.

Since getting married this fall, we have continued to “live apart together– Chris in his one-bedroom home that he owns, and my daughter and I in our one-bedroom bungalow that I rent a few miles away from him. (Yes, we do spend most nights together — but still.)

Before and after our wedding, we house-hunted every weekend. I was adamant on staying within a one-mile radius of where we currently live.

Along the way, we crunched the numbers (why is talking about money so hard sometimes?). In the meantime, I’ve spent a lot more time at his beautiful, sunlight hardwood floor home with redwood trees in the backyard, and the fact that his home is just a few miles from mine …and guess what? His sweet house is growing on me.

You’ve heard me voice my fears on this blog: I’m NOT moving into HIS home, I’m NOT moving my daughter to another school. My daughter has been through so many transitions and moves since she was born — so, she has been my biggest worry. As Kat Wilder pointed out to me when I blogged about moving in together, “The main focus must be your daughter, her school, her friends. It gets harder and harder to move as they get older, as their social life is everything, Mom! (eye roll, there).”

My resistance has been stubborn and exhausting. However, I did more research and found out that if we do move to a new neighborhood, I can keep my daughter at her current school. And after doing yet more math, building an addition makes sense in so many ways.

Of course, making his home into our home is going to be a challenge — one I truly think we’re up for (gulp). We’ve been drawing out imaginary plans and making our wish lists, dreaming. Still, we have had some intense conflicts already — and not about square footage — as we learn how to make space for each other in so many ways.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

bad mummy December 31, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I like the idea of the addition and moving into his home if your daughter will go along with the plan (she might be tempted by the promise of a transit pass and cell phone). Reno-ing would give you an opportunity to empty TP’s home of everything and decide together what goes back in, along with things from your and M.’s home.

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Glenda December 31, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Happy new year. May the new year be filled with much love, health, happiness and that new addition so that you, M., and Thunderpants can be under the same roof. Home!

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Crazy Computer Dad January 2, 2011 at 6:39 am

Happy New Year!
We have done something similar here. I was renting and SGG owns her home, so when we combined households I threw all my stuff away, er, brought it all over to her place. :-) Our houses are in different school districts though. Before we discussed the move, we talked about my son and what we would have to do about keeping him in his current school. I grew up as a military dependent (brat) so moving from school to school is normal for me. There is a program my son is in at his current school and I wanted to keep him in that and let him stay in his school for his last year of Middle School. The interesting situation here is that I was already out of district for this school and for the past three years I have had to provide transportation for him to and from the school. SGG and I looked at our schedules and decided she could take him to school in the mornings, and I could pick him up in the afternoon. Coming up on halfway through the year, this has worked out pretty well. We are both glad it is the last year of this though. Next year he will go to the high school in our district, and though I hate to think about it, he will be getting his driver’s license in 2.5 years. He does a lot of activities where we are now and is making friends that he will see next year in the new school.

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T January 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Wow honey, this is tough. My ex and I, during our marriage, completely redid the inside of our home one summer. I thought, “If we survived that, we’ll survive ANYTHING!”

Well… anyway…

So, yeah, that’s tough. But his house is pretty dang awesome. Hmmm…. I’ll send prayers for you guys that it gets resolved. I’m with you. Working on “allowing” is the toughest work there is.

Love you.
.-= T´s last blog ..New Year New Perspective =-.

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littlemansmom January 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

We were sooooooooooooooooooo there! I didn’t want to move out of the neighborhood because I wanted littlebigman to stay in area. That’s where he has grown up, had friends, built a life. TBM family lives an hour away in one direction, my folks live an hour away in the other direction. So we agreed on the middle LOL…now, agreeing on the house was a completely different story!
.-= littlemansmom´s last blog ..New Year- New Life… =-.

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Kat Wilder January 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

First of all, thanks so much for the linky-love!
As for the housing thing, well, that’s a tough call, but I’ll say this — what is your biggest problem with moving into “his” house? You have to look at the expense of getting a new one and factor that in. As well as exploring what’s driving your reaction to having it be “his” house; will you added to the deed?
If your daughter can stay at her school (perhaps the district allows that?) or if you can stay separate until she goes into middle school, a logical time to start fresh (everything changes in middle school!), that’s another thing to consider.
I moved into “his” house then I bought it from him when we split. Because, really, it’s The Kid’s house, the only one he’s known. I know that’s different than your situation but it can work out to everyone’s advantage. Well, I hope! Happy New Year. xo
.-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..He’s fit- she’s fat =-.

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Empowerment Guy January 4, 2011 at 10:42 am

My mother remarried and split homes for the first few months until the new family home was done. The only thing that mattered to me was that I knew how loved and important I was to my mother and that my new step dad was a great guy who treated all of us (my mother, my sister & myself) with Love & respect. As long as kids know how important and loved they are there will be no problems (kind of like adults huh?) Good Luck w/everything!

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SDMktg January 6, 2011 at 12:54 am

I struggle with this all of the time. My kids’ school was based on their mom’s home up until last year. When she moved away I moved back into the neighborhood so the kids could stay at the same school. Now as I think about marriage and the housing market in my area I still worry about keeping the kids in the same school because they are doing really well there. I’ve also made a really nice home for me and the kids and I’m worried about the blending process. I hate the idea of “man caves”. I don’t want all of my stuff relegated to one room. I’m sure it can all be worked out but change is stressful. Good luck Rachel and congrats.

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BlueBella January 6, 2011 at 8:08 am

Wow – you’re right – we’re definitely in a similar space right now!

It can be hard to accept change after being a single Mom for so long. You have all the responsibility, all the decision making, all the blame to take. . . but you also don’t have to share any of those things, either – it’s your way or no way. Letting some of this go to another person can be very scary, especially when it comes to something as huge as your home!

I hope you can both be kind to one another and trust that each of you is making decisions based on what’s best for your new family.

I am lucky in that our transition has been quite smooth, though we still do own MM’s house as well . . . so mentally he still has that space to house his ‘former life’. I imagine when that goes away we’ll have more shuffling to do, and maybe a bit of panic, but hopefully in the mean time the trust we have for each other will continue to build and his comfort in my house being our new home keeps pace.
.-= BlueBella´s last blog ..Things I Make My Husband Do =-.

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Dean Kaplan January 19, 2011 at 11:36 am

I agree about money conversations being tough. I don’t know why they are. When my wife and I have a scheduled time to speak about finances, it’s always a dreadful spot on my calendar. I can’t put my finger on why it’s so tough to talk about. Is it a hard subject for people that have excess money? That’s what I wonder.
.-= Dean Kaplan´s last blog ..Hate Your Ex =-.

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