I'm reposting this since it didn't go to any of my groups originally.
My daughter is 14 years old. I got pregnant with her when I was in high school. Once my parents got over the sheer shock, they were very supportive. My "baby's daddy" lived (and still lives) a couple of hours away. While my daughter didn't always see her dad, she saw his family regularly. His family made me feel part of their family.
When I was 19, I met a nice guy and got married. We had a nice life. After six years of living as roommates and not man and wife, I left. I bought a house and we adjusted to life as the two of us. Shortly later, I met the man I knew I was supposed to be with. He moved in with my daughter and I, and we got married the next year.
Two years ago, we experienced some more major change. I happily became pregnant and then tragically the company my husband worked for closed without warning. Without many job choices due to the time of year and Michigan's economy, my husband finally took an entry level position paying less than half of what he used to make. We lost our house. We filed bankruptcy.
Recently, we were given the opportunity to move into a beautiful, large home at a deeply discounted rent rate right next to the restaurants my husband and I work at. We were thrilled, but my daughter not so much, as it meant she will be starting a new school in the fall. Overall, it's been a very positive change. We don't drive at all hardly. We're surrounded by great businesses we can walk to, and my daughter has gotten a job. We're in the town my parents live in. Morgan still goes to the same church, same youth group, etc...
We have always had a great relationship, so I was shocked when she told me she wanted to go live with her dad.
I can understand her nervousness about starting a new school. I remember how I hated my parents at times. But I'm not going to let her move across the state without better reasons than she doesn't want to go to Frankenmuth or she feels like I have a new family now. I'm reminded of how immature she really is when she answers my questions with an "I don't know" and a shrug.
My mom and I both went to college. My brother is a youth pastor. My daughter and I have already begun talking about colleges for her to pursue her nursing careeer. Living here, she is held to a high standard that she may not like now, but she'll appreciate when she's an adult.
I fear that same standard won't be upheld if she lives with her dad. There aren't college graduates in his immediate family. It's a bigger city, with more access to temptation. Her dad doesn't go to church, so she doesn't have any plans to go to church over there. She doesn't know exactly how she'll get to school (here, she walks; it's a small town and we're blocks from the school). Her dad, his girlfriend and the majority of their family smoke; I'm sure if she moves over there, it's only a matter of time before she picks up the habit, and the idea of my girl smoking makes me want to cry. The idea of her with less supervision and ending up pregnant makes me want to cry as well.
I told her, and her dad, that it isn't my job to make her happy at 14; it's to give her the tools, guidance and direction to make her happy at 44. I am sure if I just let her go, she'd come back to me years from now and ask why. The two of them now have to decide if they want to pursue custody, and if so, petition the court.
It's so heartbreaking.