If you found the love of your life a little bit later on in life, and now either you’ve both got children, or one of you does, dating can become a bit tricky. And if you want to live together and create a family, moving in together with kids can make things very complicated. Here’s everything you need to know and how to prepare for this exciting yet life-changing step.
When you’re younger, moving in with a boyfriend, or in the other case – moving in with a girlfriend, is pretty simple. You’re in love, you’re happy, and you want to move in together. You don’t have to question your decision on how to move very much. You find a place, go to IKEA and buy some things, and that’s pretty much it when it comes to dating and living together in your twenties. However, things start to get a bit more complicated as you grow older and have children. Now, not only do you have to worry about your job or finances, but you also have to worry about whether your little ones will be happy in the new home.
One of the biggest relocation mistakes you can make is to move in too quickly with someone. But how soon is too soon to move in together? Rushing the process can have a serious effect on your kid, and it can lead to emotional damage. That’s why it’s best to take things as slow as possible. You can’t just spring such a major, life-changing decision onto your kids.
This is not something that can be done in under six months, and you need to take a lot of things into consideration before deciding on such a big step because if you do decide to take this step, you will be turning your kids’ lives upside down. Relocating for love is one of the most wonderful reasons to move, but you can’t go through with it if your children aren’t on board.
Before you go any further and mix your tiny humans into this whole thing, you need to have a serious talk with your loved one. Be very real and honest with each other. Children are very sensitive, no matter how old they are, and you have to be careful about who you expose them to. You don’t want them to get attached to your loved one and the family you’ve created, only to have everything blow up in two months.
The situation gets even more serious if you are planning on relocating to another city together because your loved one needs to move for a job, or whatever the reason may be. You shouldn’t introduce your kids to each other if you’re not both committed to making this situation work and if you’re not on the same page about fundamental this like:
The hardest part of relocating with kids is trying to explain to them that their surroundings will be changing drastically, that they might be getting a sibling, that they will need to make new friends in a completely unfamiliar place, and so on. You should prepare yourself since it will definitely be a tough conversation, especially if your kid will be moving out for the first time. It might not go as you had hoped, or it might go even better than you could have imagined, but you will never know unless you try.
Probably the best-case scenario for you is if your child is still a toddler or a baby. All that you would have to do is baby-proof the house and buy a few new toys since you can’t really talk to them and explain what’s about to happen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try with a few drawings or bedtime stories. Your kid will need extra love and attention during this period because they will be aware of the change, they just won’t be able to comprehend the importance of it yet.
Another close-to-perfect scenario is if your kid is older and will be relocating to college soon. In that case, they probably won’t care who they will be living with for a few months until they get their independence. The real problem arises if you have teenagers in the house. They might be a bit harder to reason with.
As a parent, you’re programmed to always put your child’s needs ahead of yours. It’s completely normal, and it’s what separates good parents from bad ones, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a chance to be happy. Every parent has a fear of relocating when it comes to their little ones because they don’t adjust well to changes at first, and you will feel like you’re letting them down because you will be changing everything that’s familiar to them all at once.
While it is a major change, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to your son or daughter about the possibility of starting a new family. Your kid might get really excited about getting a new sibling, so by not asking them, you’re depriving them of that opportunity. If you’re really nervous about talking to them and you could use some more help on how to tell your kid you might be getting remarried, watch this video.
Before you drop the bomb and talk to your babies (they will always be your babies no matter how old they are) about living together, you might want to start by dipping your foot into the water and just slowly introducing everyone. The first step in this long journey is to talk everything through and think about the best possible way for you all to meet without it being overwhelming. If they do, you and your partner have to create a schedule and have a step-by-step plan on how you will pull off the introductions.
Don’t be too forward with it. There is no need for you all to merge together and go out for dinner. Start slowly. Have your loved one pop in on a weekend afternoon to say hello and hang out for a while. Of course, your plan might change depending on the child’s age. If the kid is little, the best course of action would be to spend a lot of time together, but if the kid’s a teenager, you might want to dose the time spent together, at least in the beginning.
The next step will be introducing each other’s children to one another if that’s the case. Have them hang out together in the hope they will click and like each other. If no one has any issues so far, you can raise the bar by spending more time together in each other’s houses. Have your partner sleep over and slowly start bringing their things into your home.
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If you’re in a relationship where only one person has a kid, no matter how much you talk it through, you will never be able to explain to the other person what parenting is like. The only way you will be able to see if they’re the right fit is if you let them into your life. They have to see how many responsibilities there actually are and that it’s not just all fun and games.
Another thing people always think of, but can’t always say, is that you will always be the third wheel. If your loved one has a kid and you don’t, you have to be aware of the fact your needs will always come last. You can end up having the best possible relationship with the kid, and it still won’t be enough. The birth parent will always come first. So, this is the stage where you should think about if you can live with that.
Once you’ve all gotten to know each other and you’re practically living together already, start introducing the idea of marriage to your little ones if that’s what the both of you as a couple want in the future. Explain to them that you would all become a stepfamily. If the process has been smooth sailing so far, this shouldn’t be a problem.
People often confuse the two, but while they are similar in many ways, there is a big difference between the two types of families. A stepfamily is where two people come together, and they have children from previous relationships. In blended families, that part is the same, but the couple also has a child that they have made together. However, in both cases, the term “step” is used even though it can have a negative connotation. That’s why people have started to switch that term for the term “bonus,” such as:
There are countless benefits of relocating and living as a family. Of course, every situation is unique and different, and there are no perfect families. But in the ideal scenario, there are many advantages to lying in a stepfamily or bonus family. The most important one is that you will have emotional stability and a real family you can always count on for support and love.
The most practical advantage is the fact that your household will now be bringing in two salaries, so you will be financially stable. But the most important thing you should know is that it would make your kid happier and healthier if they grew up in a stable home with good role models.
No matter how excited your tiny humans will get, this transition could still be pretty tough. But don’t worry, there are many ways you can help make relocating easier for them. And bribing them with toys and money does not count.
No matter how old they are, every kid loves attention, and they crave it in difficult periods such as moves. So remember to be there for your kid and spend more time with them than usual. Even if you get caught up with the move, try to find the time. You can throw a packing party where all of you can bond. Even if you hire long-distance movers to take care of the packing services, leave something behind for you to pack.
With everything you already have to think about and take care of, organizing a move can be overwhelming. The only way you will be able to have an efficient move is if you hire cross-country movers and let cross-country moving services handle all the heavy lifting. Do some research and find the best long-distance moving company you can, and keep in mind those people will be around your children, so double-check the company’s license.
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