I’m wearing my big girl boots this week. In fact, I may have to keep them on for a while. We are moving out of our 5-bedroom home in a lovely, close-knit neighborhood… and into an apartment. I’ve got to be straight with you and admit that I threw myself a pretty big pity party the day we made the decision. And then I put on my boots.
In a blended family, you’ll find lots of unexpected and uncontrollable expenses. For example, child support. Whether or not my ex pays it is out of our hands. And sometimes what we’re asked to pay one of the EWL’s goes up unexpectedly. (click HERE if you don’t know what an EWL is) Unfortunately, sometimes these situations happen at the same time.
We rented our house last year, with the plan to buy a home in the area as soon as we saved up & repaired our credit. (You probably already know the havoc divorce can wreak on your credit) What we’ve learned over the last year is that when your rent is too high, you don’t save much. Then life happens and you don’t save much. Then unexpected expenses come up and you haven’t saved squat. Time for the big girl boots.
WHY IT’S HARD
Downsizing from 5 bedrooms to 3 brings up some tricky questions…
Where do the kids who don’t live with us sleep on the weekends they visit? Will they feel like they’re not part of the family if they don’t have their own space, or even their own closet?
Or, do we ask one of the kids who does live with us full time to give up his room when the others are there? Or do we just go to bed early and let the kids sleep wherever they fall? (please tell me I’m not the only one who likes this option!)
Now to be totally transparent I must share the other part of this move I’ve been struggling with… and the bull I’m taking by the horns with this admission. I worry about what people will think. There. I said it. Other parents from school frequently give our kids rides home from events & activities, and I wonder if they’ll think less of us than they did when they pulled up in front of our big impressive house. I know this is not right thinking, but it’s real. And I’m sure the kids (especially the teenagers) have had the same thoughts. So I’m trying to model a willingness to let go of this pride. I know that people who would judge us are not people we need to have as friends anyway. And if I’m expecting judgement, perhaps I’m selling them short.
WHAT GIVES ME HOPE
So far in talking to others about our decision & preparations for moving I’ve actually gotten some really positive feedback. Many people are applauding our decision to downsize and reduce our debt load. Just about everyone agrees that it will be a valuable time of building and bonding for our blended family.
And here’s another exciting part… I know that God will bless us for being more financially responsible. I know that the money we save will be multiplied by His favor. We’re already seeing indications of great things to come.
So perhaps I don’t even need my big girl boots. Maybe this won’t be so hard after all. Like most of the hard choices we’ve made, we’ll look back and be so glad we stepped out in faith. But you will understand if I keep them on a day or two longer, right?!
Have you ever had to downsize? I’d love to hear your stories!
(archived from Nov. 13, 2013)