I told my husband, Zane, that we were pregnant with kiddo number two. After his initial happiness he looked me right in the eye and said, “We need a bigger house.”
Personally I didn’t agree. Our 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1700 sq. ft. home suited us so well. The neighborhood was good and we were close to many of our favorite places. But I knew that he really wanted a space to call his own. Mostly because I’m constantly fighting with him about volume control when he’s playing a video game or watching a show. Since his office was set up in our bedroom I was constantly on his case about volume and asking that he stop playing early so I could get some sleep. I indulged his wishes of house hunting because I was secretly looking forward to a home with a bigger pantry. Being a vegan and mostly clean eating family I’m constantly stuffing our pantry with staples and fresh produce.
After 3 weekends of searching and seeing a billion houses we finally found a great home. It was a two story 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,450 sq. ft. home that checked off most of our boxes. There was an office for Zane, a huge pantry for me, a bonus room that we’d turn into a play room. What truly sold me was an under the stairs storage room that I was planning on converting into mom’s reading nook so that I could read Harry Potter uninterrupted (#lifegoals).
There were just a couple of issues. The home would make my husband’s commute to work 45 minutes instead of the 20 minutes. It was in a school district we did not like. We wouldn’t be able to get groceries delivered, something I was planning on when our second girl got here. Lastly, the home wasn’t framed yet so we didn’t know how much yard space we were going to have available for our 3 dogs.
Still, it was in our budget and ‘solved’ many of our problems, so we reserved our lot. Then we went home and started talking about hiring movers, how much we needed to save for the down payment, getting our current home ready for sale, finding a relator, etc. I realized that it was becoming a little much. How were we going to get all of this done in the five months that our builder was promising? While I knew we were going to be ‘ok’ financially I knew it was going to be rough with getting ready to move while also going to doctor’s appointments and preparing for a new baby.
About two weeks later we got a call that the framing was up and markers for the yard were down. My husband happily dashed over to see the yard for the dogs. He called me and said,
“We have a problem. This yard is too small for the dogs.”
Let’s be clear. Our pups were our first kids, their comfort and ability to enjoy life is important to us. With two big pups who were over 50 lbs and a 13 year old chihuahua, we are acutely aware of how much space they needed to potty and play. If the yard wasn’t going to be enough it was going to make life incredibly rough for them and us.
I told him to come home and prepared myself for the difficult conversation we were going to have. I knew he loved this home, I knew it gave him the space he was craving, but I no longer felt like it was the right thing for us. Thankfully he agreed and we cancelled our contract. We stood in our toy-apocalypse living room and decided on a game plan. Life as we knew it was going to change. We were going to rearrange a lot in order to make our home work for us.
First, our daughter wasn’t sleeping in her crib any longer. At 20 months she decided that sleeping in bed with us was what she wanted and after weeks of sleepless nights we gave in. So we ordered a king bed and a lowered bed frame. Her little sister’s crib and changing table also came into our bedroom. So we’ll all be sleeping in the same room. Thank goodness for white noise machines! We also added some storage cubbies as a makeshift headboard and we love it! Those same storage cubbies hang above the changing table to give me some much needed storage for diapers, PJs, and socks.
Our daughter’s old room is now the playroom and mom’s office. It works out so much better than I thought because I can sit and write or pay bills while Madi plays. We put Zane’s office in the guest room. It gives him the space he needs to play his games, work from home, and watch his shows without blaring the volume at Madi and I. He can also play into the wee hours of morning and not bother us.
We organized our living room with 12 cubbies that store most of Madi’s toys and keep our floor toy free (for the most part). We removed our tv stand and hung everything on the wall for more floor space. Lastly, we put up a shelving unit in our eating area so that I could place fresh produce there instead of in the pantry. Our little vegan loves it because she’s able to run up and grab apples, oranges, and bananas at her leisure.
I know this is anti-Texas of me to say, but bigger isn’t always better.
Sure, it would have been nice to have all that extra space. But we’d have probably filled it up with many things that we don’t need or wouldn’t appreciate. We’d also have room to lose ourselves in that bigger home. Our smaller footprint forces us to be together and spend time with one another. Sure it can be frustrating at times, but it helps us build memories that we’ll look back on and smile.