We were going to move.

I was ready for a change. We talked about it, my husband and me, about moving to the coast for a change of scenery. We visited subdivisions, builders, cities on the outskirts of our destination of choice. We shared our dreams and made plans, confident that a change would be good for us—good for our children, good for our marriage. We were preparing ourselves for the biggest move of our lives, away from everything and everyone we knew.

Everything seemed to be falling perfectly in place.

Then when we returned home after our vacation and a week of scouting the ideal area, I watched, really watched, how my daughter’s face lit up as she ran to her grandmother.

And then I knew what I had known deep down all along.

We weren’t going to move 600 miles away.

Although my children haven’t started school yet, I suddenly knew I could not put 600 miles between them and their grandparents. The love and bond between them is so strong that anyone would see the connection. In the evenings during tuck-in, my daughter asks about going to see Mamaw and Papaw, every night. This child adores her grandparents and wants to spend time with them. I am convinced we could visit every day and still she wouldn’t get enough.

The joy on her face and the love in her eyes warms my heart, and I know I cannot take something so important to her away.

So the coast is going to wait. It’s going to wait until my children are grown and can make their decisions. It’s going to wait until I don’t lean so heavily on their grandparents. Because my children having that bond not only makes their lives richer but it also makes my life so much better, so much easier. Here, I have the support of family in times of trouble, or the set of extra hands when I just need some time to myself or time with my husband. I have people who I trust my children with and my children have a safe space and an extra support system they can count on.

Moving my family 600 miles away and ripping them from the people they love most would take its toll on our family. And to be honest, I like how close we all are and how I don’t feel like an outsider at my in-law’s house. I like being part of a family that wants to be there for you. I think I need our family just as much as my children do, but perhaps I was too afraid to admit it until now. I am more than just their son’s wife to my in-laws. I am embraced as part of the family and as one of them. I am not alone and I am important to them. This is where I belong, where I am surrounded by people who love me and who love my children.

So, although it would be an adventure to move away and start somewhere fresh, as I’m sure most of us dream about, I’ve realized that what I would be taking away from my children—and from myself—outweighs the need I feel for a new adventure.

My time will come when I don’t have to think of my children first, or depend on extra hands and hearts for help when I need it. But for now, I feel that the relationships they have with family and the support system here is too much to give up. The coast will be there when my children are grown and can maintain their own lives.

Besides, who says adventures can’t happen without uprooting our whole lives, anyway?

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Then Came the Grandparents

To the Grandparents in Our Life, We Couldn’t Do This Without You

Raising Our Kids Near Their Grandparents is the Greatest Gift We Could Ever Give Them

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Anastasia Smothers

Anastasia is a mother of four children under four and a proud wife to a veteran. When not with her children, she works full -time and also has a part-time position as a substitute teacher.