Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is something that has been bothering me for a while now. Dh and I have lived in an apartment since we were married (we're now on our 4th apt. due to moves), and no one said a word until dd was born (she's now nearly 3.5) and then suddenly so many people would give us pitying gazes and say, "Oh, but she needs a house, and a backyard, and neighborhood kids, etc." For the first few people who commented I let it roll off and just would say something like, "Well, we think she needs people more than all of that, at least for now" or "Well, when the time comes that will be nice," etc. But it keeps happening. My mother and father, who live in the same apts. we do to be near us (they sold their house to move close by) will make snide comments every few months about, "Oh, won't it be nice when you can have a house!" or "I wish Cecily had a big backyard to run around in," etc. My grandmother just the other day acted surprised that apartment living has worked so well for us with a child, as if raising a child in a house was the "right" way to do it and we had somehow surprised her by actually doing a good job under these circumstances. I dunno . . . it just baffles me. I know I'm sensitive to this because in my heart of hearts I'd love to have a nice house with a big yard, so when people act like I'm somehow hurting my child by not having those things then I feel guilty and worried. We will probably get a house eventually once we can save up a good downpayment and have the time and energy to devote to upkeep, none of which we have right now. Dh just graduated with his doctorate after 6 years of graduate school and living on one student income so that I could be a SAHM. We are currently paying off our student loans because we do not believe in being in debt. With the current economy there's just no way we can get a house any time soon, and truth be known I enjoy not having to do maintenance or yardwork. I like spending our precious family time at the park or going to the zoo, etc. As she gets older she can help us with housework but she's currently still a toddler. It's not like we live in a dump either. We have a nice apartment, nicely furnished with furniture that we've worked hard for and lovingly picked out (as opposed to having an interior decorator like some of my relatives have done). We will not be featured in Fine Living or anything like that, but it's home, ya know? Our apt. complex has nice green spaces for play, a small playground, activities for kids, a swimming pool, and gym. We have friendly neighbors. We have parks nearby that we visit regularly, along with a children's museum and a zoo. I just don't understand why people think this is so bad. If we had a house we would not have nearly the time or the resources to do all of the fun stuff that we do. I would just love to know what it is that having a house can provide that I can't. This sort of classism and consumerism just irks me to no end. Of course, we are the only ones in my family to ever live in an apartment, as well as do all the other weird things that we do, so I'm sure we make for good gossip. Please reassure me that I'm doing my best for my child with what I've got and that she's not going to grow up to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle simply because she doesn't have her very own jungle gym in a backyard. Has anyone else dealt with apartment snark?