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July 16, 2010 / MrsH

5 people, 2 bedrooms

We live in a 2-bedroom house.  Yup, with five of us.  Currently, our two big kids share the smaller room(11’x12′) and MrH, the toddler, and I share the master bedroom (8”x21′).  It’s an awkwardly-shaped room because it used to be two tiny rooms, and also because the previous owner built some funny closets in it.  Oh and there’s a hot water pipe that goes all the way up along a wall to supply our attic with heat.  Did I mention the chimney?  That’s the room into which all three kids will move in a couple of weeks.

I should first say why we choose to stay in our two bedroom home, even with five kids.  Admittedly, it’s a bit unusual and I don’t think I know anyone who is fully supportive of our ideas.  We love our neighbors – not the ones who steal our bikes, but the other ones.  We love that we can walk to school.  We love being a one-car family.  Our yard is small yet big enough to run around and fit a swing-set.  We have beautiful trees around us.  We’ve worked hard to build community and are finally beginning to feel comfortable in that way.  We don’t want a bigger home: more upkeep, higher costs, greater footprint, more junk.  We have a great front porch and back deck, beautiful wood floors, and invested in insulation, a roof, and new windows.  We want our family to learn to love being together, rather than each retiring to our own quarters in isolation from one another.  We want to build cozy, loving memories.  I’m not saying that couldn’t be accomplished in a bigger home, but I do think that not being able to fully escape will somewhat force us to deal with conflicts.

Part of me is thrilled about the switch.  While MrH and I are downsizing, we’re moving into my favorite room of the house.  It’s on the South-West corner of the house with a large tree right at the corner, shading the afternoon sun and providing a delightful breeze.  The tree is beautiful in each season, and it’s a room that just feels like “home” to me.  I’m also psyched to have just me and MrH in the bedroom again.  We’ve been *ahem* sleeping in the attic lately, and the difference in quality of my rest is significant.  I can’t wait to have that feeling and be sleeping on our nice, high-quality mattress again.  I’m also strangely excited to downsize, to think about the value of all of our stuff and consciously choose which items we choose to keep.

Then there’s the other part.  The part that wonders how the little one will do with the big kids in her room.  How the big ones will do with her.  Who will wake up when she cries?  They’re both deep sleepers, but still.  Will she be able to sleep through their noises?  The snoring, talking in sleep, the middle of the night bathroom trips?  Is this arrangement going to continue to be workable, or will we choose to move in a few years because of this?  How will we negotiate things like rest hour and naps, bedtime routines for kids with 3 different types of sleep requirements?  There are so many logistics, so many things that will be affected by the new arrangement.  And since we’re dealing with five actual human beings, there’s no way to map it all out and know that it will work.  All we can do is hope and pray.

I imagine this will be a work in progress, one with a (hopefully) happy ending.

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