We took the next step as a family and moved in together. It didn’t happen in one day, we did it gradually to help Ella get used to the idea. I was worried she wouldn’t like sharing her Dad with me and wanted her to get used to the idea of having me around all the time.
Moving In And Routine
First, it started with me sleeping over some nights, so she would see me around in the mornings… then I would slowly bring my clothes over. And after I brought my dog Moochie over, I think it was clear to Ella what was happening. I remember Ryan was moving stuff in our room and he said to Ella, “Ella, did you know Victoria is moving in?” she said nonchalantly, “Yea” and went about her business like it was no big deal. I was prepared for us to sit down with her and answer any questions she had but it didn’t even phase her. She was already used to having me around. To her, having me there was a sense of normal for us. The three of us had become a family.
Moving in together takes a lot of adjusting… well, mostly for Ryan. He has to adjust to no longer having room in his closet, sorry love! But the adjustments have gone smoothly. We just had to find a routine that worked for us.
On the nights we have Ella we make it a point to be home right after work. Usually Ryan starts dinner and I start homework or projects with her. We unplug from the rest of the world, no phones, just quality time together. After homework and dinner it’s time for Ella’s bath; she’ll run in her room excited to see what pj’s I laid out for her and what outfit I have ready for the next day. Lately she asks for me to put sponge curlers in her hair while Daddy reads her a bedtime story. We work well as a team, and when she knows what to expect each night, there are no battles. Routines are very important for toddlers — to help them learn time management, create good habits, and to grow a stronger bond while you spend quality time together.
I still haven’t moved all my stuff over, yet, so right now it’s organized chaos, but we have found our groove and what works for our family. I’m glad Ryan and I waited a year to take this next step. Much like my relationship with Ella, it happened at our own pace and naturally. I really had nothing to worry about. Ella expects me to be around and loves our nighttime routine.
I thought I knew what I wanted in life, until God gave me what I needed. Even though it can be chaotic, the best part of coming home at night is spending time with my family.
Guest Writer — Victoria May