I miss my job as a massage therapist in a beautiful spa, I miss my friends, I miss camping and living in the mountains. I feel like part of my freedom has been taken away. My husband misses his family and friends, and he also misses mountain life. I started off thinking this move would be temporary for a couple years to help us get back on our feet. My husband completely hates it here: the people, the weather, his jobs…everything.
My mom has been very helpful and is just over the moon about our little baby girl who is now almost four months old. It’s great to have my mom around for this very special time in our lives. My step-dad is also having a blast with the baby. Unfortunately, though, he is starting to lose his vision as well as his hearing. He’s ok for now, but I worry about his health in the future and feel like my mom is going to have her hands full taking care of him. But how am I supposed to leave and move back to Colorado someday when I feel like I’d be ripping myself and my daughter away from my mom after she’s been so helpful? Do I stay in Ohio and make my husband miserable? I’m so consumed by this decision that it’s interfering with being able to just enjoy the time I have with my mom and step-dad now. Any words of advice? — Consumed By Thoughts of Moving
First, congratulations on the new baby. I know from experience that this is both a thrilling and exhausting time. I’m sure having your mother’s support and love means the world, but I also imagine that having a husband who is miserable takes a toll. I also wonder if you might be suffering from PPD. To feel so consumed with worry and anxiety to the point that it’s interfering with your ability to enjoy your life is… well, it’s not healthy. And it could be a sign of something wrong (but treatable). Talk to your doctor about what you’re feeling just to rule out anything medically-related.
Next, start having some heart-to-heart talks with your husband about your future. You say that you believed this move back to Ohio was temporary — two years or so. Was your husband on-board with that? What are your feelings about that timetable now? Are you wanting to stay longer out of guilt? Are you wanting to move sooner because you’re both so unhappy? Are you concerned about how you would manage without your mother’s help? Talk these things out with your husband. And remember that this is YOUR life. It’s not your mother’s life. You don’t owe her your happiness because she’s helped you with your baby for four months. You don’t even owe her your happiness because she raised you. Would you want your daughter to live somewhere as an adult where she was miserable just because she felt indebted to you for raising her or for helping her out when she needed support? Of course not! You would, I hope, want her to live as fulfilling a life as possible, following her heart and dreams. You’d want her to live where she felt happiest, even if that meant being away from you. That’s what loving parents do: they want what’s best for their children even at the expense of what would make them happiest.
Colorado isn’t on another planet. It isn’t even in a different country. It’s a flight or two away from your hometown. You can visit. Your mother and step-dad could come see you in the mountains. You and your husband would make it work. You’d find or reconnect with a support network in Colorado — his family, your friends. Maybe you’d work outside the home and maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you’d get childcare help. Your baby will grow up. Things will get easier. And you would live in a place you love, with people you care about, doing things that make you happy.
Life is short. Follow your heart. Your mother will be fine and she’ll understand.
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