Up until 7 years ago, my son and I moved around a lot. We had previously lived with roommates, a boyfriend (huge mistake), my parents, my grandma, and his dad. We moved 3 times in one year. I had a steady job as a waitress, a second job as a substitute teacher, and was going to college. I was trying to do the best I could for my son with the little skills and resources I had. Yet as “normal” as our life seemed to me at the time, I look back on that episode of our lives with regret that I had not made better choices.
When I got my first job as a teacher in 2007, I was determined to make a home just for us. We acquired our first apartment and some furniture when Logan was 3. We had previously always shared a room and usually had to resort to co-sleeping due to space limitations. Finally, Logan would get his own room. He would have a place to play with his toys without the clutter imposing on anyone. When he awoke earlier than the rest of house, it would be ok for him to make noise because there wouldn’t be any roommates to be bothered by him.
It was your average “first apartment”. It was tiny, had a constant ant problem, and didn’t have a patio area for Logan to play in or a dishwasher or washer or dryer for mama. It was a home… But it wasn’t very comfortable. I put my name on a waiting list for a cheap 3-bedroom townhome and miraculously scored the place we’re living in now.
At first it seemed too big for us. We actually had an extra room just to store stuff in. We have a dishwasher, which is a major convenience for a working mom. We still have to use the laundromat and don’t have a garage, but we do have a small fenced patio area in the back and we’re in a quiet section of the complex.
Then the girls came and, my heavens, do twin babies need a lot of stuff! We never had a lot of “extras”. No changing table, no swings, no fancy baby gear. We really just own the basics, but clothes alone for these two take up a ton of space. When they were smaller, things seemed crowded around here because of all the necessary infant stuff. Now it seems crowded because they are constantly making a mess of whatever room they are in (and often moving the contents of one room to another). Now the townhome that seemed so big to us is starting to feel a little like a sardine tin.
We are probably a year away from being able to buy our own home, and I’ve always refused to pay rent for a house. They are more expensive than apartments, belong to someone else anyway, and the high rent would put me farther from my goal of owning a house of our own.
As I was writing my last post I got the itch to move. It started when I double-checked the square-footage of our current place. I was momentarily rocked with discontent at living in 1,000 square feet with 4 other people and a new baby on the way. I started having house dreams. Although I will never forget that the home we have now is a blessing and we couldn’t afford a place this size for the rent we are paying, I checked the classifieds for local home rentals in our price range just to see what’s out there.
Well folks, I’ve got the moving bug. After looking at some of the listings I realized that we can afford some rentals and still be able to add to our savings. And I think I owe it to my kids. If we can afford a home with a yard and space to play, we’d be doing our kids a disservice by not providing that for them. Logan has been asking to move to a house for years. The girls just love to play outside, which they can do in our little patio, but it’s not the same as a yard.
I keep telling Logan not to get his hopes up. Any number of things could happen that might make it impossible to move. We could get turned down… Well, that’s it, really. I guess I’m just worried that we’ll be turned down. Nevertheless, I’ve got 4 places that I’m keeping my eye on.
I always turn to prayer when I make decisions because I’m a moron and I make bad decisions (see paragraph #1). Moving, and committing to a higher rent, is a scary thing and I need to be sure my husband and I are doing what is best for our family. Last night I was praying with Logan before bed. We gave thanks for my friend who just got a job and prayed for the zillionth time for direction and wisdom on this recent desire for a house. As I prayed, I envisioned my dream house. It’s blue and has a red door, with a fireplace inside (Logan’s criteria is that the new place have a fireplace) and a fenced back yard. This morning, when I checked the local listings, I saw this house:
There is still a good chance that this particular house won’t work out for us. But how crazy is that? The fuzzy specifications in my mind are right there, in that house. This would definitely be my dream house, yet I know we would never own it since it’s just a rental. But I think I’ve got the answer I needed to start looking for a house.
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