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We feel a lot of pressure to move to a bigger house-- we have about 1400-1500 sq ft and will soon be 6 kids. Aside from clutter, though, we don't feel too cramped.<br><br>
My mother constantly lays into me that we need a larger home and that it's somehow child abuse to have kids in close quarters or that they are doomed to be miserable. She thinks each child should have their own room. But my kids move around the house as a group, so even if we had a large house, they would still all congregate in one or two rooms. None of them are able to sleep alone without someone to keep them company.<br><br>
We could afford to move to a larger home if we sold this house, but with a larger home comes higher heating and electric costs, taxes, insurance etc..<br><br>
For now we seem ok, and I wonder if it might be prudent to remain here and save money instead of pouring it into a mortgage.<br><br>
Does anyone intentionally remain in a space that the average american might consider "too small?"
 

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We're getting ready to move to a smaller home for financial reasons. We have 3 kids and have a little under 1400sf now. 3 bedrooms. We're moving to a 2 bedroom with about 1000sf to pay off bills and get some money into savings. I know it will feel squished sometimes but I'm tired of stressing about money! I want to get OUT of debt and be more financially secure! I figure we can do a 2 bedroom for a good while yet. We have a bunk bed with a full bed on the bottom. DD2 is little anyway and will sleep with us for a lot longer!
 

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Yes! We are looking to buy a house and we have 3 kids. Right now we're in a 3-bedroom townhouse and we think it's plenty big. We're only moving because we want to buy instead of rent. But we do get the family pressure to buy something bigger. They expect that we "need" a 4 bedroom house, but we don't. Then, they just bought a 5-bedroom house for themselves and their 2 kids because they were "bursting at the seams" in their 3-bedroom 2-storey with a finished basement <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">. We are going to a large family function where I'll be staying at a hotel for a few days with many of them, so I anticipate some questions. If you don't mind me borrowing this thread, could anyone suggest answers for me when they inevitably ask things like: "how many bedrooms are you looking for?" and then "but don't you need 4?" when they hear my response?<br><br>
Ditto the question about space: "how much space are you looking for?" then questions about whether we'll be able to actually live in that space.<br><br>
I'd like to come up with some vague answer that conveys that we will be plenty happy with just enough.<br><br>
Some ideas so far (and, OP, perhaps you could use these and other ideas on how to reply to family on this topic):<br><br>
"we're looking to buy something that has enough space for all of us"<br>
"we don't need more space; we just need less stuff"<br>
"the girls can share a room like children have shared rooms for millenia" (rude, maybe?)<br>
"we'd like to have enough space for all of us, but not so much space that we spend all our time cleaning!"<br>
"we try to minimize our 'stuff' so that we need less space"
 

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We have five kids and truly it's only been in the past year or so that my older kids have wanted/needed their own space and they are 16 & almost 18. Before then they would 'move in packs' like yours, haha.<br><br>
We have a four bedroom house and recently moved my dh's office into our bedroom so that my 16yo son could have his own room. It was NOT necessary, just a luxury that we wanted to give him for a short time(we're moving soon). If we did not have the space he could have easily continued sharing w/his younger brother(s).<br><br>
The younger boys really spend most of their time in the living room or our bedroom. They only sleep and change clothes in their rooms. Obviously, no one needs 100-150 sq. ft to themselves for sleeping.
 

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We have a small house (when we got it, we estimated it to be about 800 sq ft, but we're pretty sure it's less than that) and we're expecting our third baby. We talk about moving, but for now I want to find ways to make the best of our space efficiently. Decluttering is where we're starting...
 

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I need a bigger house because DH and I have NO space like office space that is needed for our sanity and work. We're in about 1,000 to 1,100 square foot.<br><br>
We need an office, storage and a bigger kitchen. Plus we're renting and we want to be in a place of our own.<br><br>
But otherwise, it sounds like you're all set where you are! Maybe think about moving later when the kids are older and IF they require more space then. But otherwise, small homes seem to lend to closer families who know how to live together.<br><br>
My family lived with two kids in a 3,000 square. The upstairs was a bedroom for each of us and a bathroom. I could go a week at 10 years old never seeing my parents once. That wasn't the big house thing, but the fact that my family didn't know how to be a family.<br><br>
Still, I had all kinds of space, but didn't grow up learning closeness and compromise and patience.
 

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We need a larger home for our family of five. ANd we fully plan to move in the next two years but the market is too bad right now to think about selling. We *could* move now, but I dont like being strapped every month. Things are tight enough without spending another $500-$800 a month for a bigger house. All of my friends that moved to bigger houses were forced to go back to work and I dont want that. Not yet anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sanguine_speed</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10270211"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you don't mind me borrowing this thread, could anyone suggest answers for me when they inevitably ask things like: "how many bedrooms are you looking for?" and then "but don't you need 4?" when they hear my response?</div>
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I need some pat responses for my mom. She tries so hard to keep her mouth shut but once she lets loose it's really hurtful and condescending.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"we don't need more space; we just need less stuff"</td>
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Good one!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"the girls can share a room like children have shared rooms for millenia" (rude, maybe?)</td>
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I've tried this one many times... at least with my mom, it falls on deaf ears.<br><br>
I also tell her, "The kids are happy, they don't complain about space." To which she answers, "that's because they don't know any better." Ugh.
 

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It's kind of a way of life here, the small house. We're getting used to it, and still weeding out junk.<br><br>
We're descended from pack-rats and it's a constant battle, but it's necessary.<br>
Not just for financial reasons, but so we don't get swallowed up by our stuff, yk? It's kind of a challenge finding ways to create storage where there isn't any.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sanguine_speed</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10270211"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yes! We are looking to buy a house and we have 3 kids. Right now we're in a 3-bedroom townhouse and we think it's plenty big. We're only moving because we want to buy instead of rent. But we do get the family pressure to buy something bigger. They expect that we "need" a 4 bedroom house, but we don't. Then, they just bought a 5-bedroom house for themselves and their 2 kids because they were "bursting at the seams" in their 3-bedroom 2-storey with a finished basement <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">. We are going to a large family function where I'll be staying at a hotel for a few days with many of them, so I anticipate some questions. If you don't mind me borrowing this thread, could anyone suggest answers for me when they inevitably ask things like: "how many bedrooms are you looking for?" and then "but don't you need 4?" when they hear my response?<br><br>
Ditto the question about space: "how much space are you looking for?" then questions about whether we'll be able to actually live in that space.<br><br>
I'd like to come up with some vague answer that conveys that we will be plenty happy with just enough.<br><br>
Some ideas so far (and, OP, perhaps you could use these and other ideas on how to reply to family on this topic):<br><br>
"we're looking to buy something that has enough space for all of us"<br>
"we don't need more space; we just need less stuff"<br>
"the girls can share a room like children have shared rooms for millenia" (rude, maybe?)<br>
"we'd like to have enough space for all of us, but not so much space that we spend all our time cleaning!"<br>
"we try to minimize our 'stuff' so that we need less space"</div>
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Humor goes a long way too. If you can poke fun at yourselves a little, it tends to shut the conversation down. Or you can just say, "Not sure," listen to their advice and "mm hmm" a lot but never go anywhere in the convo.<br><br>
You can also remind people that sharing space lowers the amount of time spent cleaning and costs (like buying one toy box instead of two, lower utilities) and waste, and increases a child's ability to learn compromise, patience and harmony in a family.
 

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We have 4 kids in 1500ft^2 and one room is a dedicated office... I feel like this is large, but then it seems like so many have homes this size plus a basement and even fewer kids and consider it small, so I don't know. Really, the only time I think we need more space is when we go outside... I really, really wish we had more outdoor space (we are on a 7000ft^2). We can't afford to move and most places that we would really be struggling to get into would be smaller anyways, so we don't have any plans to ever go bigger, but I do fantasize about more land. The only reason I think of more space is to have a place for a pool table or a place to set up construction stations that don't have to come down when it's time to eat or have guests over, otherwise it feels like we have lots of space. If not for the office (and really we could use a nook for that... when our kids are past the age of screaming and squealing loudly all the sudden for no apparent reason that is!) I could easily see having at least a couple more kids without really feeling any more cramped (I just say this from the times we've had a few more kids staying over for awhile). We really keep the bedrooms as bedrooms... it is challenging as my eldest is entering her teens she does want more 'space' but really it is more a matter of respecting her need for private time than an issue of actually needing her own room and I tend to think this is a valuable life skill we are all learning that unless forced into most people wouldn't bother, because it can be so challenging.<br><br>
Oh, I wanted to add, I'm not sure, unless with a really good floor plan, I would want to go much smaller because one thing I really feel a need for is a large space for a large table for everyone to gather around for meals... but I suppose our living room could be smaller, our bedrooms are pretty small though (about 80-90)
 

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Yes, we bought our 3 bed / 1.5 bath 1700 sq foot house because when we were looking 2 years ago, the market was on a downturn and we found that so many houses had things we didn't like about them. We were originally looking at houses which were bigger - 4 bed / 2.5 bath / 2200 or so sq ft. Well, I felt like I didn't want to spend all my money and still feel like there were all these things I needed to fix about the house, kwim?<br><br>
We decided to buy our house, which was $150K less than the bottom of the price range we were looking at before and live here for a while, then rent it out when we did decided to buy a bigger house. It's a good house for a rental around here. I'm so glad we did it. First of all, the housing market decline has not affected smaller houses the way it has affected bigger houses (my parents are real estate agents in the area) - my house may have lost $10-20K in value, but the houses we were looking at before have lost $70-100K in value, no lie - proportionally a much bigger drop.<br><br>
And from a financial standpoint I'm so glad we did it. We are maxed out with what we have now, some of which is optional like the preschool we send DD to, but we would not have been able to afford what we have now if we had that bigger house.<br><br>
I do however get comments from my mother about it, she's settled into a 'this is fine for now' thing, but I'm sure when we've been here 5-7 years (it's been almost 2 now) she'll start in with the comments about when we're going to buy a bigger house. I personally am pretty happy with my little house, my only probably is its very broken up, so it doesn't work for entertaining large groups. I think I could be very happy with the same space just laid out differently. We are debating somewhat how much money we want to put into the house to make it more what we want.
 

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Honestly, most folks are not going to get it.<br><br>
We live in an 1800 square foot house, 3 bedrooms. I think it is waaaaaaay to big for us and we have tried to sell it twice. People treated us differently when they found out why we were selling -- less mortgage, less energy, smaller footprint -- they figured we were so broke that we were going to lose the house. Money is tight, but we are in no danger of losing our home.<br><br>
Now that we are having a third baby, people tell us we are lucky to have stayed here and we should start thinking of adding a bedroom! Agggh...no, no, no. I want a smaller house. A smaller place.<br><br>
I guess I just wouldn't worry about what people think. Be honest, but don't expect them to truely understand your perspective. Bigger is better seems to be the American motto.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ygle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10270761"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, I wanted to add, I'm not sure, unless with a really good floor plan, I would want to go much smaller because one thing I really feel a need for is a large space for a large table for everyone to gather around for meals... but I suppose our living room could be smaller, our bedrooms are pretty small though (about 80-90)</div>
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The dining room here was too small for a table that seats more than 4 (6 had us spilling over the tile into the living room) and we wanted one for 8-10.<br><br>
Because the living room was so long and easily accessed by the kitchen, we converted the dining into crafts and pantry/storage space and moved a large table into 1/2 of the living room space, dividing the two spaces with a couch. It's not ideal (the living room is now tiny) but it works!
 

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We are a family of one child, two parents, two big dogs, and three cats in a 1200sf rowhouse. It feels cramped because we have way too much stuff. Whenever I start to think that we have "outgrown" this house, I remind myself that lots and lots of people used to raise families with 4, 5, 6 or even more kids in houses exactly like this one. It was the norm. In fact, since this house is 100 years old, families that size might very well have been raised in this very house. Space seems to be much more a matter of what we've come to expect than of what we actually <i>need</i>.<br><br>
We could afford a bigger house, if we sold this one, but we don't want to. We like the fact that our mortage payment is <i>tiny</i> (because we bought before the housing boom around here) and that dh can walk to work. Because we only need one car and our monthly payment is so low, my being a SAHM is no hardship at all. I choose to work part-time while dd is at school mostly to earn money for extras and to give myself something to do.<br><br>
If we moved to a bigger house, I would <i>have</i> to work full-time and send dd to before- and after-care at school, which all of us would hate. I'd rather be a little cramped for space than cramped for time to spend with my child. (That's not meant to be a slam at full-time WOHM. I admire them tremendously, but I couldn't do it and I'm glad that I don't have to -- because of my little house.)
 

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We're getting close to that situation.<br><br>
Our third child will be born in April and right now we're in a three bedroom house, which means that two of the kids will eventually have to double up. That's perfectly okay with our kids (the ones that are currently born at least <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ), but we're starting to hear from friends and relatives that our house is too small.<br><br>
I LOVE our low mortgage payment, though, and we have finally established some fabulous raised bed garden space in what had been a traditional back yard and I hate to give up both of those.<br><br>
Our house is about 1300 square feet and a two-story and doesn't have the best layout, but works okay for us. The one thing I'd love to change is that right now we only have one bathroom. Two would be a godsend, but we never quite seem to get ahead enough to afford to build in another one.
 

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To anyone who gives you a hard time"<br><br>
"Oh, we'll be fine. But if you're offering to buy us a larger house or come in and do a good, hard clean of 4,000 square feet once a week, we might reconsider."
 

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We're getting ready to sell our 1800 sq ft, 3 bedroom, 2 bath house for something smaller. Mainly to save money and pay off student loans. I hate clutter, so I think living smaller will be good for me.
 

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I guess that some around here would consider our house small- I consider it big! I grew up in a tiny two-bedroom apartment (family of five,w/a cat or two depending on the year)- as kids we spent tons of time in the backyard, which was huge. We are now a family of three (going on four), with two cats- we live in a two bedroom, 1 1/2 bath split level- we have a lower level to our house that is technically a finished basement, but it is not totally underground and looks out onto the back garden. I love my house-it is sized perfectly for our family. There is no wasted space, I don't feel crowded or cluttered and we have lots of storage due to a four foot crawlspace under the main level, and if we did move, it would be because of wanting Dd to be closer to school- we'd HAVE to give up space because we couldn't afford a bigger house in the city (were about a mile west of city limits in an undiscovered Gem of a burb).
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GinaRae</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10270566"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You can also remind people that sharing space lowers the amount of time spent cleaning and costs (like buying one toy box instead of two, lower utilities) and waste, and increases a child's ability to learn compromise, patience and harmony in a family.</div>
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I like that, thanks! I think I'll have to use this.
 
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