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#61 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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For me it's much more about the family's priorities and the emphasis they put on being together, even when they aren't forced to be together.
yeah, and I also think it's OK for all members of a family to enjoy doing things without the others. Sure when your child is very small they want to be with you all the time, but as they get older, wanting time and space to themselves is healthy. It's normal for teens and tweens to want privacy. Denying them that on principle seems controlling.

I don't agree that living in a small space means that people have to work things out. Sometimes it just means that the person with the strongest personality always gets their way.

I don't think sharing bedrooms would be good for my kids. One has mild special needs. It really wouldn't be fair to either of them. I'm grateful that we can easily afford for them to have their own spaces. They get along very well and consider each their best friend. Being able to get away from each other HELPS them stay close!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#62 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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As with everything in life, there is more than one "right" way of doing things. You said that in a small home, family doesn't have a choice but to work it out. I don't agree. People always have a choice in how they relate, interact, and behave. If the parents foster an atmosphere where respecting other's space and possessions is important, then the children will learn that. If the parents model skills like conflict resolution, having patience, compromise, sharing, etc. then the children will learn because that is what they live. What I am inferring from many posts is that having a small home is the "right" way to instill things like compromise, patience, and functioning together well. I heard alot of this same crapola when dh and I were considering not having a second child. We heard from practically everybody that only children can't learn to share or to compromise without a sibling. Now what I am reading is that unless siblings are forced to share a bedroom or living on top of one another then they will not learn skills like compromise or creative problem solving.

IRL I know many families in homes of all sizes who have, whether by conscience choice or not, fostered a life of isolation. The kids may share a bedroom, but if they are always on their computers or texting their friends, or watching TV they aren't communicating. I also know many families who are so overscheduled that they are literally never home. The kids are growing up in the backseat of the family car as they are being driven to and from various extra curricular activities. The size of the home is completely irrelevent in their cases.

For me it's much more about the family's priorities and the emphasis they put on being together, even when they aren't forced to be together.
Well written!

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#63 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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As with everything in life, there is more than one "right" way of doing things. You said that in a small home, family doesn't have a choice but to work it out. I don't agree. People always have a choice in how they relate, interact, and behave. If the parents foster an atmosphere where respecting other's space and possessions is important, then the children will learn that. If the parents model skills like conflict resolution, having patience, compromise, sharing, etc. then the children will learn because that is what they live. What I am inferring from many posts is that having a small home is the "right" way to instill things like compromise, patience, and functioning together well. I heard alot of this same crapola when dh and I were considering not having a second child. We heard from practically everybody that only children can't learn to share or to compromise without a sibling. Now what I am reading is that unless siblings are forced to share a bedroom or living on top of one another then they will not learn skills like compromise or creative problem solving.

IRL I know many families in homes of all sizes who have, whether by conscience choice or not, fostered a life of isolation. The kids may share a bedroom, but if they are always on their computers or texting their friends, or watching TV they aren't communicating. I also know many families who are so overscheduled that they are literally never home. The kids are growing up in the backseat of the family car as they are being driven to and from various extra curricular activities. The size of the home is completely irrelevent in their cases.

For me it's much more about the family's priorities and the emphasis they put on being together, even when they aren't forced to be together.
I think you are reading WAY to much into this. There are more ways to raise our children than there are children I am sure. House size is a contributing factor. EVERYTHING we do is a contributing factor. Each choice we make contributes to the way we live. And WHERE we live changes how we live.

Living on an acreage would make a huge impact on the kind of life one leads. There are experiences that cannot be replicated in an urban setting even if you grow a big garden or keep a couple of chickens. Living in an apartment will be different than living in a house with a yard. Living in a giant house is different than living in a tiny house. Living in a tiny house with lots of kids is different than living in a tiny house with one kid.

Our life is so much different than the lives of our friends and relatives with bigger homes. That doesn't mean they aren't amazing people with amazing kids. But it is an obvious difference in lifestyle. Just as the kids growing up on acreage. Many of those kids do more work in one morning than mine need to do in a week. They have a great work ethic and the families are amazing in their teamwork. That doesn't mean I think they are judging me for living in the middle of the city Different lifestyle choices based on different values and desires of the people involved.

It seems so obvious to me that growing up with 4000sqft will lead to a different experience than growing up with 800sqft. Just like growing up in a family that moves every year will be different than growing up with one that lives in the same house forever. Or growing up with no siblings will be different than growing up with 6 siblings. A different set of circumstances means a different outcome based on different day to day experiences.

That doesn't mean it is better or worse. Life is so much more interesting with variety. If you choose to make that a judgment against your choices I guess that is up to you. I just don't see how it can be claimed that where we spend the majority of our time will have NO impact on our families.


 

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#64 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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We are in a house that is just under 800 square feet and a family of four. It is perfect for now, but ideally I would add one basement rumpus room or something... because as the kids are older they don't have any privacy at all. If they have a friend over they are right in the middle of all of the action! I would like the kids to feel comfy bringing friends over, and to have a space to safely hang out.
That said, we manage really well in this space, homeschooling, spinning, knitting, weaving, writing, cooking, canning, gardening and all of the regular family goings on! It is a struggle to keep it from being cluttered or messy, and requires constant rearranging to keep it so that it works well for our needs. We definitely need to have a place for everything! Thrift stores are our best friends... both to get things out and to bring things in to fit our current needs. Nothing is designer or current, but it helps to not be attatched to one layout that looks good and stays the same for years!

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#65 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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We live in a very small space which is smaller in total than the OP's living room.

I am frustrated by our situation and I don't really like it but I am not unhappy as a person, neither is my dh nor is any of our children.

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It's normal for teens and tweens to want privacy. Denying them that on principle seems controlling.
We could put our youngest two in school and daycare and I could go to work full time which could mean that we could get an enormous mortgage to buy a bigger house. That I refuse to take this option could be construed as denying my children privacy on principle. Am I controlling? I don't believe so.

Attaching personal happiness to material things has never really been my thing; I was very, very unhappy in a destructive relationship in a much larger house.
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#66 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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We could put our youngest two in school and daycare and I could go to work full time which could mean that we could get an enormous mortgage to buy a bigger house. That I refuse to take this option could be construed as denying my children privacy on principle.
I don't think that living in a space that your family can afford is denying privacy on principle.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#67 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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(..) I just don't see how it can be claimed that where we spend the majority of our time will have NO impact on our families.
I don't think anyone said that. I don't think you understood the point from mama1803's post, or my post, that were actually commenting on your other one.

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#68 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 08:28 PM
 
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I don't think anyone said that. I don't think you understood the point from mama1803's post, or my post, that were actually commenting on your other one.
I understood perfectly, but thanks for the concern


 

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#69 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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I understood perfectly, but thanks for the concern
Then I don't get your second reply, that's just weird if you got our points. Particulary since I qouted you on something that wasn't the point at all, that nobody said or meant.

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#70 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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I think the overall point isn't that where we live might impact our family... I think the main point is that it doesn't have to be a deciding factor in how close knit your family is.

Overall, I hear it being said that families in larger homes have a tendency to retreat and do not have to work things out. That is a very broad generalization and really quite inaccurate. My children are still learning to live harmoniously in our large home just as much as kids who live in a small home are learning to do so. For example, it would be rather silly to think that a kiddo living in a small home doesn't learn how to be comfortable on their own, have a private moment, or how to seek solace in themselves simply because there are other people around much of the time. Clearly, these kids learn to value their privacy, and my kids learn to live with one another.

Again... the size of the home DOES NOT matter in how close knit your family is. That has a lot more to do with how you live your life, the values you teach your children, and how much you make an effort to show your love for each other through time and touch. Trust me... you can live in a small space and make very little effort to show love and to genuinely work things out .
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#71 of 85 Old 02-16-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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I think the overall point isn't that where we live might impact our family... I think the main point is that it doesn't have to be a deciding factor in how close knit your family is.

Overall, I hear it being said that families in larger homes have a tendency to retreat and do not have to work things out. That is a very broad generalization and really quite inaccurate. My children are still learning to live harmoniously in our large home just as much as kids who live in a small home are learning to do so. For example, it would be rather silly to think that a kiddo living in a small home doesn't learn how to be comfortable on their own, have a private moment, or how to seek solace in themselves simply because there are other people around much of the time. Clearly, these kids learn to value their privacy, and my kids learn to live with one another.

Again... the size of the home DOES NOT matter in how close knit your family is. That has a lot more to do with how you live your life, the values you teach your children, and how much you make an effort to show your love for each other through time and touch. Trust me... you can live in a small space and make very little effort to show love and to genuinely work things out .
Very well put.

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#72 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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This has been a fascinating conversation for me to read through! The only time I jump on the environmental bandwagon so to speak is when urban sprawl comes into play. I live in a city that is huge on the sprawl, and I totally don't agree with it. I think a smartly designed small house is a great way to use our resources versus a huge house. I don't think it necessarily HAS to do anything with a family.... after all, I was extremely close to my parents and we were just three people living in over 3000 sq ft growing up.

Now I am married and live in a 540 sq ft apartment (that is NOT designed well, can't wait to move!) with a dog. I hope that no matter how many kids we have that we never go over 1500 sq ft, and preferably stay under 1200. The key is build a space the way you would use it... for example, I need my person space. However, I can totally get that as long as I get a bath every other night, and when we have the money we will totally be renovating a condo so that I can have a decent bathroom. On the other hand, we don't need big bedrooms. We are rarely in there. I also hate cooking so the kitchen doesn't need to be huge either.

I understand that people have different desires. I have one relative who lived in an apartment that was probably 900-1200 sq ft (it was 3 tiny bedrooms, 2 baths) with seven people and another that lived in a 4000+ sq ft home with 5 people.

I am a huge fan of small-space living IF it is designed well. I don't think it makes or breaks a healthy family, but I think it is something that is good for the community. Smart-small-space homes are often in communities that are built to be pedestrian friendly. Walking around, chatting with the neighbors, etc... all great things in my books!
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#73 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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Then I don't get your second reply, that's just weird if you got our points. Particulary since I qouted you on something that wasn't the point at all, that nobody said or meant.
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I'm rather surprised by all the responses that imply that a small house is more conducive to fostering a close knit family. I've always felt that when people truely enjoy being together and put a priority on spending time together doing things as a family, the size of the house is irrelevant.
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House size doesn't matter here. Siblings can still share a room even if the house is bigger.
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No, and we have a very close knit family (also well functioning), and size of house doesn't matter in this for us.
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I don't agree that living in a small space means that people have to work things out.

These are a few examples of where it sounds like *to me* that people are saying that house size doesn't impact families. I am just saying that of course it does. But I am not "inferring" that it is a superior choice, just that different living arrangements contribute to the way our families operate (either by choice or by necessity).

I am not actually arguing with you though, just commenting on the subject at hand. Perhaps you are reading a tone or sensing an attack on your post that isn't really there? Because I was mostly agreeing that there isn't ONE right way. Just that whatever way we choose will have an impact, so whatever the OP chooses should be what will make her happy and be in line with her values and goals in life.

Does that make more sense to you, because I am not sure why you are confused?


 

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#74 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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These are a few examples of where it sounds like *to me* that people are saying that house size doesn't impact families. I am just saying that of course it does. But I am not "inferring" that it is a superior choice, just that different living arrangements contribute to the way our families operate (either by choice or by necessity).
Well, since you qouted me, for one, I can say that no, I didn't say that.
What I said was exactly what is put into this post under here, but maybe this is better put:

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I think the overall point isn't that where we live might impact our family... I think the main point is that it doesn't have to be a deciding factor in how close knit your family is.

Overall, I hear it being said that families in larger homes have a tendency to retreat and do not have to work things out. That is a very broad generalization and really quite inaccurate. My children are still learning to live harmoniously in our large home just as much as kids who live in a small home are learning to do so. For example, it would be rather silly to think that a kiddo living in a small home doesn't learn how to be comfortable on their own, have a private moment, or how to seek solace in themselves simply because there are other people around much of the time. Clearly, these kids learn to value their privacy, and my kids learn to live with one another.

Again... the size of the home DOES NOT matter in how close knit your family is. That has a lot more to do with how you live your life, the values you teach your children, and how much you make an effort to show your love for each other through time and touch. Trust me... you can live in a small space and make very little effort to show love and to genuinely work things out .

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#75 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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I thought the OP was asking what size house made the easiest for family members to be happy and to enjoy each other.

Obviously, there are other factors that are for more important than the size of the house in our happiness. Some families would be miserable in any size home, and some would be very happy in an size home.

None the less, it's easier to be happy in a home with a good floor plan that is the right size for one's family. For us, it's a medium home, where we all feel sort of close together and yet we all have some space to ourselves. For us, it's about balance.

I think that kids do need privacy as they get older, and in a smaller home where that is harder to come by, parents who are sensetive to that will find ways to make it a reality for their kids. On the other hand, parent's can ignore their children's need for privacy in any size home. The attitude of the parents is really the deciding factor.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#76 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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Well, since you qouted me, for one, I can say that no, I didn't say that.
What I said was exactly what is put into this post under here, but maybe this is better put:
Actually the posts I quoted were from mama1803 not you, but I wasn't arguing, just commenting on the thread with no intention of derailing it

The OP asked
Quote:
what is your experience with home size and raising kids?
We are all sharing experiences. MY experience is that because we are close knit and "well functioning" (since that was so popular ) it works well even though we have more kids and less space than the OP. I feel it works well BECAUSE we are close and have good (respectful) dynamics. We have not necessarily become close knit because of the small home, but I am sure it has shaped our family in many ways because this is where we live.


 

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#77 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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Actually the posts I quoted were from mama1803 not you, but I wasn't arguing, just commenting on the thread with no intention of derailing it
Sorry, I have to point out that in your last post, #73 to avoid confusion, you qouted three sentences from me, and two from mama1803, the first one with my nick, then the second one with hers. And the third and fourth with no nick were mine, and the fifth hers.

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#78 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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This has been a fascinating conversation for me to read through! The only time I jump on the environmental bandwagon so to speak is when urban sprawl comes into play. I live in a city that is huge on the sprawl, and I totally don't agree with it. I think a smartly designed small house is a great way to use our resources versus a huge house. I don't think it necessarily HAS to do anything with a family.... after all, I was extremely close to my parents and we were just three people living in over 3000 sq ft growing up.

Now I am married and live in a 540 sq ft apartment (that is NOT designed well, can't wait to move!) with a dog. I hope that no matter how many kids we have that we never go over 1500 sq ft, and preferably stay under 1200. The key is build a space the way you would use it... for example, I need my person space. However, I can totally get that as long as I get a bath every other night, and when we have the money we will totally be renovating a condo so that I can have a decent bathroom. On the other hand, we don't need big bedrooms. We are rarely in there. I also hate cooking so the kitchen doesn't need to be huge either.

I understand that people have different desires. I have one relative who lived in an apartment that was probably 900-1200 sq ft (it was 3 tiny bedrooms, 2 baths) with seven people and another that lived in a 4000+ sq ft home with 5 people.

I am a huge fan of small-space living IF it is designed well. I don't think it makes or breaks a healthy family, but I think it is something that is good for the community. Smart-small-space homes are often in communities that are built to be pedestrian friendly. Walking around, chatting with the neighbors,
Well said this is exactly how I feel on the matter. I want to be a city planner in the future and design smart growth communities that are NOT suburban sprawl and are very walkable. Desity doesn't feel that way if it is well designed. It is so goood for communities to be walkable as well as the environmental benefits which are hughe. Sprawl is just not sustainable and neither is everyone having big houses. There just aren't enough resources for that. I want to live in a small but well designed house that doesn't feel small. We will hopefully have 3 kids and I hope to stay under 1200 sq ft. I would like a nice kitchen, small walk in closets, a mudroom with lockers and lots of storage. I'm in 1100 sq feet condo now with 2 and 1 on the way. It not designed the best but it it is ok. Some major decluttering made it better.

Dianna environmentally educated tree hugging mom of dd 9/06 and ds 10/08 newbie dd 9/10
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#79 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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We are expecting our first and live in an apartment that is about 700 square feet, including indoor/outdoor storage space. I'm a major clutter crusader and LOVE to organize things, so I do a good job making the most of space.

I've got plans for how we'll adapt to baby. We'll probably ditch a chair that's in our bedroom now to make room for a crib. The baby will be an Arms Reach for awhile anyway. We've cleared a space in the hall for another bureau for clothes. We're ditching a futon (twin size) in the living room to make a play space and may store our coffee table at my parents house.

When the baby is older, hubby and I may move into the den and shift our desk into the hall, moving baby's bureau into baby's new room. Baby will have to deal with mom and dad needing to store our clothes in his room, but I think he'll survive. At that point, I could move the play space into his room too, freeing up some living room for office space/books.

It's tight. Our space is decently adaptable, with the exception of the den, which is full of unsafe things that are 1) used often 2) there is no other place for. That's why hubby and I will probably have to transition into it some day. It will be blocked off from Day 1 by a gate.

I've got it figured out how we can stay here with up to 2 children, depending on financial circumstances. We may not be here that long. But this apartment helps keep our living expenses low, which is crucial as we live on my teacher's salary and a seasonal gig at the moment. Plus, with an infant on the way, the washer/dryer combo in the kitchen is extremely hard to give up. And for one more fantastic feature, my apartment is small enough that I don't need a baby monitor.
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#80 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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Sorry, I have to point out that in your last post, #73 to avoid confusion, you qouted three sentences from me, and two from mama1803, the first one with my nick, then the second one with hers. And the third and fourth with no nick were mine, and the fifth hers.
I meant BEFORE that post, the other one you were referencing. Listen, I have no need to argue with you. I am not sure WHY this is still an issue as I wasn't disagreeing with you and all the things I said were directed at posts that weren't yours. I am not going to pick apart your every quote, you are reading something into my posts that wasn't there. You can choose to feel offended if you choose to, but I am not criticizing ANYONE in ANY HOUSE.

So if it makes you feel better you are totally right, I am totally wrong. The last word is yours (even though I wasn't really disagreeing with you). And have a wonderful day!


 

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#81 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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Maybe this is slightly OT, but this thread got me thinking about the vast differences in how I live and in how my parents live. I posted earlier that we live in a one bedroom apartment in the city, and it works great for us so far. I grew up in a large house and everything that I have lived in since has gotten progressively smaller. My parents, on the other hand (both who are approaching 70 years old) just bought a house that's bigger than anything they ever lived in! I scratched my head on this one, mainly because my mother has more to clean (refuses to use any outside help) and we (as in my brother and I) only go to visit them maybe twice a year at most because it is nine hours drive for both of us. As far as I know, they rarely entertain.

My parents are forever reminding my brother (who lives in a two-bedroom apartment with 4 children) and I that we need to think about getting bigger apartments. It is the topic of almost every conversation! Their minds are literally boggled that we both can make it work. I think a major issue that they have and why they think they need a lot of space is that they are both pack rats. Getting rid of anything (whether it be sold, given away or tossed) sets off some sort of bizarre psychosis in them and they really have a hard time coming to terms with the idea that maybe they don't need all the stuff that they've acquired. I'm not talking about collections and fine furniture here, I'm talking about everything from furniture they find on the street to plastic grocery bags. My mom's most common line is: "It would be a shame to give it away, we may need it some day." While there is some truth to the concept that they may, remotely, need such item some day, what is the cost of keeping that item into perpetuity?

Don't get me wrong, I love my parents, but our life philosophies have diverged.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#82 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama View Post
I meant BEFORE that post, the other one you were referencing. Listen, I have no need to argue with you. I am not sure WHY this is still an issue as I wasn't disagreeing with you and all the things I said were directed at posts that weren't yours. I am not going to pick apart your every quote, you are reading something into my posts that wasn't there. You can choose to feel offended if you choose to, but I am not criticizing ANYONE in ANY HOUSE.

No, no! I'm not disagreeing, or arguing, or reading anything into your post.

We must have misunderstood each other somewhere, but otherwise, I haven't been arguing with you at all really, just discussing some things. But I don't think we've disagreed that much at all.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#83 of 85 Old 02-17-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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For us it's about sanity. We lived on a 50 ft (not exactly sur the sq. footage) sailboat with four kids, it was great, lots of quality family time, travel and adventure, but after a while in that small a space? Forget it. I can only take hiding in a tiny bathtub at midnight for 'me time' for so long. Seriously, I love the children dearly but not being able to swing my arms without clocking somebody really gets old fast. The next (and present) house we built is 5000 sq.ft. of space, privacy, storage, and room to run.
It's funny though, in our house although all the kids have their own rooms the three younger ones always end up sleeping in one child's room.
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#84 of 85 Old 02-20-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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We have a 1,500 sq. ft. home. There are 7 of us and we are expecting a baby in August. Childrens ages are: 7, 6, 5, 3, and 2. We have a big backyard, and we are just fine and happy in our home!

Wife to sweet hubby and Mama to ds 11, ds 10, ds 8, ds 7 dd 5, dd 2, and ds 6mo.
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#85 of 85 Old 02-21-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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Overall, I hear it being said that families in larger homes have a tendency to retreat and do not have to work things out. That is a very broad generalization and really quite inaccurate.
I agree. Living in a 800 sq ft apartment with no yard, no local parks, very little storage space and two spirited children, in the dead f winter I tend to retreat more often than I should, simply because I feel so darn smothered at times!


 

 

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