Hi, everyone! This first week with Joanie has flown by, but we’re all starting to settle in and adjust to new family dynamics (Jackson, as to be expected, is having a bit of a rough time — more on that later). So far, Joanie is the easiest, sweetest baby ever (she rarely cries and literally sleeps about 22-23 hours a day, waking only to eat quickly — and more often than not, we have to wake her to eat — and have her diaper/cute outfit changed), and yet somehow my domestic duties seem to have doubled, if not tripled. (This is exacerbated by the timing of Jackson’s summer camp ending last week and his second one not starting for a couple weeks, and the aforementioned jealousy issues). Bear with me if posting is a little slower than usual as I find a balance in this haze of new responsibilities. Here we go:
You ask only one true question here: whether you and your husband (and kids) should keep living halfway between your two sets of parents or move to your husband’s hometown, but within that inquiry are many more unanswered questions:
1. Are you ready for the responsibility of caring for a farm house? I’d assume it’s much bigger than the “tiny house” you currently live in, which means more maintenance (costing time and money) and much more cleaning.
2. Is the house on an active farm that you and your husband would have to manage and, if so, do you both have the experience and interest to take on farming? That’s an enormous job and, if you already rely on assistance just to care for your two children, I’m wondering how you expect to add “farmer” or even “farm wife” to your already busy load.
3. What kind of community surrounds the farm house and how would it affect your children and their lifestyles (school, friends, activities, etc.)? You say you live in a city now, so what kind of urban amenities would you sacrifice by moving to the country and are you prepared to give those up?
4. You say you’re hoping to have a third baby, but you don’t have room in your current “tiny house,” and you rely on your parents’ weekly help caring for the two children you already have. Without the help of your parents and in-laws, both in childcare and in selling you a house/farm you may or may not actually want, can you even afford a third baby? What if you stay where you are with the thought that your parents will continue helping you and, God forbid, something happens to either or both of them? What if simply getting older limits the amount of help they can give you? Can you and your husband truly care for three children on your own? Can you care for them and potentially care for aging parents should they need your assistance in the future?
5. What kind of expectations might your in-laws have for you and your husband if you buy their farm house? Are they so attached to it that they would expect you to leave it as is and not renovate or decorate to your aesthetic? Have you talked price with them? If they give you a good deal, do you think they’d continue to feel an ownership of the home? Are you worried about their dictating how you run the farm or being overly involved in the business (if there is, in fact, a farming business involved)?
Obviously, you have a lot to think and talk about with your husband. Living close to your parents is kind of the least of your concerns in all of this, but, if you think you need their assistance in order to comfortably care for a third child, then obviously that’s a big part of the picture. But I would think rather than frame the question as whether you should move, you should be asking: “Should we really be having a third baby?” It can be difficult to be brutally honest with ourselves, but before you bring another life into this world that you’ll be financially and emotionally responsible for, I hope you will address and deeply consider with your husband all the questions I pose above. We can desperately want something (like another baby), but that desire doesn’t always (or even usually) mean it’s the wisest decision for us…
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.