Saturday, May 30, 2009

My latest huge decision

I have never created a blog because, really, my life was not all that interesting. I'm not sure it's all that interesting now, but it definitely is different. I was married for 10 years, so I wasn't really required to make too many life altering decisions on my own. Now, though, it's all me. I am now supposed to decide what is best for my little family of three. I have to balance what's best for me, what's easiest for me, what's best for the kids, and what's easiest for them. I have to think about short term and long term impact.
I will not-so-briefly tell you what I am having trouble deciding and hopefully someone will respond in a way that makes me realize what I should do. I have gone back and forth so many times between the two decisions that I now question my sanity. So here goes..
I have this 2 year degree in Business and Management and aside from the fact that it is the most generic degree possible there is the fact that I am not interested in using it for anything and it is still only a 2 year degree.

Choice #1... I can move up to NY, stay in the little pseudo apartment upstairs in my mom's house for free. The kids will go to RP Connor full time. I will have to wait a year to establish residency but then I can go to school up there for sonography and it will take 2 years. I'll have help on the weekends and at night but as far as the day to day stuff I won't. Because the kids' school starts so late and ends so early, I'm concerned about how exactly I will get them to and from school because my classes will start earlier and end later than theirs. Then there is the weather and the cost of living issue. I hear it is really cold and really expensive to live up there! Everyone that I talk to that lives up there thinks I'm crazy for wanting to move back because of those reasons. But the kids would have family nearby and we have never had that. Plus I could get away with working a little part time job and be fine financially since I get child support and have savings.

Choice #2...I can stay down here, find a cheap apartment, take my pre-requisite classes and start sonography school in a year (regardless of whether I stay or go it looks like I will be starting school the same time). The kids would be closer to their Dad, but since he can travel extensively (takes contracts for months and months at a time), I'm not sure how much he would actually be here. In fact, he has told me not to base my decision on him b/c he just doesn't know what the future holds. But the kids are familiar with Florida, it's cheaper to live here, the weather is sooo much better, the kids would still be able to see their friends, and we wouldn't have to make the big move. I would however have to get a more full time job while going to school. Then there is the issue of the little one not being able to start school here yet. the cut-off is earlier than NY so he wold actually have to do a year of pre-k. it's free down here though, so I would just have to pay for after care. There are a lot of stay at home moms down here so I could probably find people to help out with getting them to and from school easier than up there. I am not so sure if we could stay in this exact area though so I may have to start over anyway.

I have always regretted not moving Suffern when I had the chance, I think it's so important for the kids and for me to be around extended family. I hate that I miss all the bridal and baby showers, bbq's and birthdays. But down here is familiar to me and we have so much fun going to the beach and playing at the parks all winter long. Truthfully though, I'm wondering how often I could enjoy that stuff if I stay down here though since I will have to work and go to school. Maybe I should move up there until I finish school then move back down here if the climate and cost of living bother me too much? I'll tell you one of the main reasons I have trouble with the idea of moving up there is b/c of the kids' friends. They have tons of friends on our street and they are all running between the houses constantly. They are sensitive kids, I'm afraid of moving them from their buddies. Truthfully though, I can't stay in my house so we will be moving regardless, it's just a matter of how far we go. I have emailed the teachers at RP Connor and asked them to give out my number to other 1st grade parents so I can have my kids meet their kids before school starts so my kids won't feel so out of place. No response. Another random problem with moving up there is my school will cost twice as much. I imagine I'll get some financial aide since our divorce papers say I am the one who claims the kids on my taxes. So maybe that won't be an issue. Do you see why I can't decide?? There are so many pros and cons on each side! So, anyone that has made it this far..could you please tell me what you would do if you were me?


  1. Erin...this is a tough decision for anyone to definitly have the pro's and the con's all worked out...have you talked to the kids to see how they feel? And honeslty it really does come down to money...I don't have kids and can't give you my opinion on that...however they are young and can make new friends wherever you go...the only other thing I can support is by sending you love and prayers to make the decision which is best...and you will know when it is time...SAM

  2. I can't really talk to the kids..I mean I have but it became clear they are just too young. Only 4 and 7.

  3. Erin,

    This is really hard and you have really thought it out well. From reading what you have to say here's my thought. Moving is a big change - staying is easier for starts. Whatever decision you make right now in no way needs to be final. You could commit to a year in FLA in an apartment and by then you will know for sure if you want to stay or go. Deciding between two unknowns is very, very hard. If you stay one year then you will know if you want to move or not.

    On the other hand, if being near family and being home with the boys more is your top priority then you should just go. You have a place to live. The boys will absolutely make new friends, especially at their age. This is truly if being with family is #1. If that is so then weather, cost of living, etc don't matter.

    I would be SO torn also if I were you.


  4. You certainly have the list of pros and cons down, and when you look at them individually they're quite compelling. It's just when you place them side by side and have to compare... It's easy to see why this is such a difficult decision.

    As you know, we made a huge change four years ago. It resulted in us making a huge change a year ago, and will soon result in huge change again. I can tell you that the kids ARE resilient. Tremendously so. I can also tell you that being near my family has been more wonderful than I could have imagined. Not only has the support been wonderful for me, but it's been AMAZING to see the relationship between the boys and their grandparents develop into something really, really beautiful.

    At 7 and 4 the boys are obviously too young to help you make this decision. That pressure shouldn't be placed on a child. However, they're not too young to talk to about it. We're doing our best to prepare the kids for what is to come. They know that we'll have to move, they know that we don't know where yet, they know that it'll probably be far away, but more importantly they know that we'll be there for them. We try to remain upbeat about the coming changes, leading by the example that this is going to be a fun and exciting adventure (even though in reality the entire prospect terrifies me).

    Whatever decision you make I know that you and the boys will be fine. And in the end, even if you make the wrong decision now it doesn't mean that you can't make the right decision later.

    Good luck!

  5. Hi Erin, it's such a tough decision. The trial period sounds like a great bet. I believe that you will make it work out no matter what you decide. It just seems to me like you need to follow your heart and your instincts on this. If you go up there for a month as a trial, I think the answer at the end of the month will be more clear to you. Of course it won't be cold there, but you will know how you feel being up there and have a much better idea if you could be happy there permanently. I know the cost of living in NY drove me down here, so I hear you financially speaking. I cannot afford to live up there no matter what.

    If you do decide to stay here, what we talked about is always a part time job option, even when you're in school.