Monday, June 06, 2005

Bigger isn't Better

Saturday night DH, the little girls and myself went to a birthday party for the wife of one of DH's longtime friends. We had been out of touch with them for awhile, partly because they had been busy for the last two years building their new house.

Their house is beautiful. Old brick and curved lines. It is also big. And I feel very sorry for them. I can look at their house and realize how in debt they probably are. The rooms are filled with expensive furniture, all brand new. Their only daughter (age 7) has a large suite and another large playroom, all designed to be as far away from the parents as possible. The husband has an office and a large den and the wife has her own rooms. They are rarely home as they are either working all the time to pay for this or shuffling the daughter around to all of her activities.

Yet, as DH and I were catching up wth his old high school friends I kept getting comments like, "baby making machine" and "aren't ya'll busting at the seams in that little house?" and "Will you be going to work when the girls are in school?" I actually just began to zone out. It stopped being worth my time to try to explian.

But I will let all of you in on a secret I have learned, Big Houses are not better. I look at their house and admit that yes it is a beautiful house and the decoration is also very nice, but it looks like a lonely house. A show house.

My 1500 sf house on the other hand would never be described in that way. But I like to think that it is a happy house. We don't separate and go off to our own space very often. We have to do things as a family, we have no choice. The girls have to grow up learning to respect each other's personalities and need for time alone, like they will eventually have to do.

DH and I have considered finishing off the garage and making another room out of it. To use as a playroom or maybe another bedroom. We have even gone as far as having estimates done. But when it came down to it we realized that right now the girls like to play where we are and that means the family room. We could build them a room, but if it was away from the other family happennings they would not use it. So we have put it off.

We talked about moving since DH is now working in another town and has a fairly long commute. But we looked around, and even though we could probably get something a bit bigger, we could not find anything we liked as much as our little house - warts and all.

Other reasons bigger isn't better:

that much more space for the kids to wreck
that much more space for me to try to keep clean (5 bathrooms - 5 toilets to clean)
imagine the power bills as the cost for power keeps rising
property taxes
big house - itty bitty yard

I did come back with a little envy though. Her house was so clean and my house has not known the true definition of cleaned and organized since before EM was born. So yesterday DH and I went to work.

I cleaned an organized the toys and books in the family room. Cleaned off the kitchen table. Added casters to a cedar chest that serves as a coffee table in the den (it has to be moved when the sofa bed is opened), and put away all winter clothes.

DH borrowed a power washer and went to work on the outside of our house. It looks so good. He plans on finishing the deck this week.

Today I hope to clean out a built in bookshelf that serves as a resting spot for everything that doesn't have a home and clean the kitchen. If I can still move after that I may start tackling the girls room again.

Have a blessed day,


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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.