Blended families can be complicated, and there’s a lot of ground to navigate. That’s especially true when you’re physically combining households.
Moving in with a significant other when you have a child is a pretty big step. Generally, you want to make sure you and this person are on the same page when it comes to expectations and ideas surrounding this budding family unit. One woman took to Reddit after she found out she and her boyfriend were very much not on the same page.
The original poster explains that she’s moving in with her boyfriend of two years. When they picked a place, they had different ideas about how the space within it would be used, leading to a heated argument.
OP explained the situation that led to this debate. “So my boyfriend (30M) and I (24F) have been together for two years, and we just bought our first house together. We move in at the end of the month,” she wrote.
“My boyfriend has a four year old daughter ‘Kate’ from a previous relationship. I love Kate with all my heart. She lives with my BF’s ex, and comes to visit us for short stays and sleepovers, more often in the summer time.”
OP notes they’ve moving a little farther away, but they’ve reassured Kate it won’t impact their relationship.
“Our new house is about a 30 minute drive from Kate’s mom’s house,” she explains.
“It has three bedrooms: a master bedroom and two smaller bedrooms. We are converting one of the rooms to be an office for my BF and me to work from. That leaves just one spare bedroom.”
“Kate was really nervous about us moving so far away, and my BF has reassured her that she will still get to visit all the time – and she will have her own bedroom waiting for her whenever she wants,” she continued. Therein lies OP’s problem.
“My issue with this is that I don’t want Kate to treat the only spare bedroom as her personal bedroom. Rather, I want it to be thought of as a ‘guest’ bedroom.”
OP says that doesn’t mean she’s trying to limit or police time with Kate. “Of course Kate can stay there whenever she wants to. This isn’t part of the debate, I want her to feel welcome all the time,” she noted.
“But I don’t want it to be only her room. I don’t want it to be filled with her toys and clothes, so nobody else feels comfortable to sleep in there. I don’t think it’s fair that a room is reserved for someone who is not there 90% of the time.”
Then, OP shares another factor influencing her feelings.
“In addition, my BF and I are planning to have a child of our own, and I want to make sure that when that happens, we will have space for them to live,” she adds.
“I can only imagine the circus in a few years if we have to tell Kate we are taking away her room to give to her new sibling. That’s why I want to set expectations now – that Kate is always welcome, but she will be welcome as a ‘guest.'”
OP’s boyfriend was not happy with the way she was looking at the situation.
“My boyfriend thinks I’m being unreasonable, that Kate needs her own room for stability, especially as she feels we are moving away from her,” she shared.
“He says we can keep a pull-out sofa in our office for guests to stay on, and call the spare room ‘Kate’s room.'”