After weeks upon weeks of searching, DH and I have finally (sort of ) decided on a place to live. We haven't been approved yet for the house we want, but we at least have decided on WHERE we want to live for now. The WHERE happens to be the little town that DH has lived in for the past six years. It is a very small town with one grocery store, a one-screen theater, one Dairy Queen, and all three schools on the same campus. The houses are mostly old and Victorian style, and the streets are paved just enough to not be called "dirt roads." The down town area consists of one block with a hardware store, a car parts store, a few nic-nac shops, and a diner or two.
Why would this city girl ever consider moving here? First, because of WP. We have discussed over the past few years, the idea of him moving in with our family on a semi-permanent basis. I like having family nearby and I sometimes worry about him living alone with all his family an hour or more away. The idea works better in theory than in real life, though. WP likes his space and DH likes to be in charge. Those two things can cause fireworks in the best of situations. Moving to the same (very) small town is a good compromise that lets us all be near, but not too near.
Second, I like this town because it is so small. In spite of the lack of major grocery chains or take-out restaurants available country living has its advantages. I can see stars at night and I never hear sirens - ever. I can let the girls walk to the library all by themselves. It is two blocks away and the area is safe enough that I don't feel the need to stand on the corner and watch them all the way there. The entire school district is about the same size as my senior class was in the city. For such a small area, their schools are surprisingly advanced technology-wise. They have all the same internet tracking for grades, attendance, and school lunch accounts that they have in the city but they also have an very current computers in all the classrooms. They even have brand-new interactive white-boards that I haven't seen in the city yet.
Third, my kids like this place. We have been here for almost three weeks (staying with WP while we wait on the rent house) and my girls have spent more time outside than they have in the last three summers put together. We received a personal call from EG's teacher today, even though we only registered (late) on Monday. All three girls are on a first name basis with the neighbors, the librarian, and the people who work at the grocery store. They have never had this sort of freedom or safety before and they seem to be thriving in it.
Our application for the house is awaiting approval and we won't hear anything back for a few more days. If we arent' approved (heaven forbid!) I have a few other houses that I will try for. What that means is that we will be staying with WP for a little longer than we had hoped. Our plan was to be moved in before school starts. That obviously isn't going to happen. Once we are approved (hopefully!) we won't be able to move in until September 1. If we have to look further, it might even be longer.
Until then, we all are snuggled quite cozily in my dad's one bedroom apartment. My girls are learning how to cope with less space and less STUFF and I can totally get behind that. I have been working towards this goal for many years and moving here has really helped that little dream along. There is one thing I have to learn to cope without that I really don't want to - DH.
Because the commute to DH's office is too far to make daily, he is staying at his parent's house during the week and driving up here to stay with us on the weekends. We all really miss him a lot. Thankfully, WP is here to be an extra set of hands and eyes for me. I seriously don't know how single moms so this. I couldn't imagine handling all of this myself. But, even after we have our house, things will be better but not perfect. DH can telecommute on Thursday and Fridays, but he will still have to be in the office Monday through Wednesday. That means he will still be living in his parents guest room three days a week, at least for the foreseeable future.
Anyone who didn't know us would think we were having "issues" and that this was an attempt at a trial separation. Nothing could be further from the truth. We talk on the phone several times a day and we chat online almost every night. I don't want him to be away from us any minute longer than is necessary. It doesn't seem as though he is enjoying this anymore than we are. He misses his girls so very much. I now really understand the advice given that said, "Don't marry the person you can live with. Marry the person you can't live without."
Our hope is that he will not have to keep up the double household gig for very long. Since he already telecommutes two days a week, extending his job to a full week telecommute is really just a matter of approval for the HR department. The house we have chosen (so far) is a lot smaller than we even had before so having a dedicated office will be difficult. If it means having him home every night, I am willing to do whatever it takes.
Things in my life have been so hectic for so long I don't even remember what peace feels like. When DH and I talked about moving to make changes in our life, we both knew that we would have to make sacrifices and changes. I never knew how big those sacrifices would be. For the sake of my family and our peace and happiness, though, I will be willing to give up whatever I need to.