Remember the infamous Brady Bunch? The hit series revolved around the trials and tribulations of two parents moving in, who had children of their own.
While the sitcom exuded hilarity, moving in with a significant other while kids are involved can be pretty tricky. Taking a big step with a spouse is one thing, but it becomes an entirely different ballpark when little ones become part of the equation.
Luckily, there are many steps you can take to help make your transition as seamless as possible. Here’s how you can create a happy, healthy family environment.
Make Moving In With Your Partner and Children Easier
Open Communication with Your Children
Your child may seem too young to grasp the reality of moving in with a significant other, but you should keep communication open and transparent with your son or daughter.
Children are incredibly intuitive and tend to pick up on a lot more than we initially realize. Rather than keep them in the dark, be sure to sit them down and prepare them for the changes that accompany making a move.
Let them know about the environment they’ll be living in, and be sure to take your children’s feelings into account, as they are human beings, and it’s only natural that they’ll be experiencing a range of emotions.
Sit Down with Your Partner
While both you and your partner may have your own parenting skills, you should understand that the person you’re moving in with may perceive things differently.
Be sure to have an open and honest discussion about how both of you intend to raise your children and the values you wish to instill in them.
There will be obstacles such as curfews, TV times and restrictions, and how to react when a child misbehaves. Be sure this is all discussed beforehand and not after you’ve already made the transition, as that would be a recipe for disaster.
Everything Changes, Be Ready for It
When moving in with someone, even without children, you will undoubtedly run into conflict – especially if you’re used to living alone. This is the joining of multiple people with their likes and dislikes and their way of doing things.
Different cleaning styles, different sides of the bed, different tastes in silverware. You need to learn to compromise to prevail in this journey you are embarking on.
With a child, there will be toys scattered about and most likely arise in the consumption of chicken nuggets – so be sure you open the doorway for meeting in the middle.
Bring Your Ex-Partner and Current Partner into the Loop
You should certainly work on forming a bond between your partner and your child without forcing anything right away.
It’s crucial to speak to your ex-partner about the upcoming move and be sure to make your current partner know that this is not a replacement for your child. They will still have their mother or father in addition to your partner in their life moving forward.
Don’t force your child to refer to your significant other as a step-parent right away; let this happen naturally; that way, both your partner and your child can happily interact with one other without any pressure.
Keep a Sense of Normality
As stated by NDMS, If you are moving within the same area, make sure you keep your child in the same school. Invite family and friends to come over, just as they did when you lived without your partner.
This will help keep a familiar tone to your living situation for your child, and this will not make everything feel so intense, and the child will not dread this kind of change.
The transition will be more comfortable without feeling like such a severe riff from tradition.
You do not need to go through these experiences alone. This is just as much of a new situation for you as for your partner and child.
Be sure to really find comfort within your loved ones and experience this journey together. There is a lot of information on the internet that can be researched, and what you are going through is probably something similar to what a friend or family member has gone through. Consult with them to gain advice and comfort when you believe something is becoming too complicated.