There was an “old” woman who lived in a townhouse
There was an old lady… (Photo credit: plind)
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do… Mother Goose
The husband and I bought our “cozy” townhouse way back in 2002. We were “young”, naïve and totally excited to actually own our own “house”. It was perfect! 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths with a cute yard that backed up to a grassy common area. When we toured the house we giggled and talked about living there with a little dachshund and being SO happy.
In 5 years we’ll move to a bigger house and start a family! Fast forward 10 years, 2 dogs and 4 kids later and we are STILL here – WTF?!
When the twins arrived we were ok. The living room was a little tight with all the baby crap (times 2) but we survived. When J arrived (2 years later) we figured we would put the house up for sale and look for something a little bigger. Luckily, J was a boy so he could share a room with twins.
Eighteen months later SURPRISE we had L (another boy) and the husband and I were screwed. The housing market had tanked and in 2 years we had gotten ZERO offers on the townhouse. All we could do was “make do”.
And that we did. I rearranged and organized more than a professional organizer. I was (and am) an expert in finding creative ideas for toys, clothes and other random things. To say we have outgrown our house is probably the understatement of the year but we’re stuck.Last summer the husband and I (more me) realized we needed to make some serious changes with our living arrangements. After surveying the upstairs (all 2 bedrooms) I decided that we would switch bedrooms with the boys. The master bedroom was much bigger and if we got the twins bunk beds
it could maybe even look “cute”.
We took the family to the store we had gotten the twins baby furniture in assuming we could get bunk beds to match the Italian, pecan finish of the dressers I HAD to have 5 years earlier. NOT!
The salesman (who is borderline weirdo) told us the pecan finish was discontinued and suggested we try the “natural” finish. Just switch the knobs on your current dressers. It will look fine, besides they are boys who cares, he tried to assure me.
I stood frozen in the showroom, almost in tears. If only I had been more careful when choosing the twins furniture? If only we moved AFTER the twins were born? WTF was I thinking having 4 kids in a townhouse?!
After my mini breakdown, I ordered the bunks in the natural color and focused my energy into decorating their room. I went to Potty Barn Kids and surfed the internet for accessories
they I would love.
Before long the room was complete and it didn’t look too bad – for a youth hostel. After awhile I got used to it and didn’t think too much about how cramped we all were living in this house. If I let myself think too much about 4 teenage boys and 2 adults living in this tiny house I could cry and never stop.
It will be fine. The market will change. Why don’t you rent the townhouse and just buy another house? we the types of things friends and family would say to make me feel better.
My favorite would be when someone with say 4 bedrooms and 3 baths would tell me how cramped her family was and how their playroom was just overflowing and they needed more space.
I would go to book club meetings at friends’ houses and just stare in awe at their homes and the space. WOW, what would it be like to have a basement? OMG what would I even do with another bathroom or family room? Holy crap, they can fit more than 3 people in their yard!I would think.
Not too long ago I took the twins on a playdate. As we walked up the path to the front door the twins froze and said C lives here? His house is SO big, look at all the windows he has. Is our house this big? It was then that I realized i would NEVER invite anyone to my pathetic house.Just when I thought things couldn’t get anymore crowded, J outgrew his toddler bed. Super!!Soon the husband and I found ourselves back at the furniture store chatting with our weird “friend” about another set of bunk beds.
We would like to just get the natural finish this time I said herding all the kids into one spot. Oh, that line has been discontinued, all we have now is the pine. he said.
Shut the front door! Are you kidding me???!! Now I will have 3 different colors of furniture in a room made for 1 person? O-M-G! was my response.
Our “friend” tried to tell me again that it would be fine that the kids would never know and back when he was a kid, people in the “burg” used to have 5, 6, 7 even 8 kids in 1 bedroom.
This was supposed to make me feel better? It was at the minute that I felt myself give up. What choice did I have? NEVER did I ever think I would be the mom of 4 boys living in a 2 bedroom townhouse. Never did I think I would have 4 boys share 1 bedroom and never did I think I would dread someone asking meSo, where do you live?
I ordered the bunks in pine and I accepted my fate. I told myself it would be fine and someday we would move into a “real” house. I am not really sure I believe myself but what else can I do?
The new bunk beds arrived today. As soon as the twins saw them they said hey mom, look they are a different color! (so much for the kids not noticing). Ugh!!
The room, or as I have taken to calling it, the orphanage, looks better than I thought it would. The kids are excited to have new beds and J is thrilled to be able to sleep on the top bunk.I guess all I can do is hope I am not scarring them too much and that someday they appreciate sharing a bedroom with their brothers.
In the meantime, I will try not to show my embarrassment of our home in front of them. It is, after all, the only home they have ever known. A home is supposed to be a place that makes them feel safe and know they are loved right?
ps – Fairy Godmother if you are reading this, could you pretty, pretty please wave that wand of yours and get me a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath colonial with a family room and finished basement?