Having comfort in your own home is so important! When this is disrupted, it feels like everything is crumbling around you. Your patience is tested, your space is intruded, and you have this “on edge” feeling that makes for an unhealthy environment for all around you.
We have reached this point with our family of four; disorganized chaos in our two bedroom condo is no longer something we can tolerate. Currently, there is just no space (for adult time, for my daughter to escape her little brother, for my son to have any toys of his own, for our giant dog to stretch out, for me to work from home, for ANYTHING).
As our family has outgrown this space, it’s come the bittersweet time for us to begin house searching. There is so much potential in the adventure of buying a house and that part is so exciting! We constantly daydream of the moment we can comfortably host people in a backyard while the kids play on a swing set with the new neighborhood friends they’ve made. This is the white picket moment we have always pictured. We have our little boy, our little girl, even the all-American pup. Up until this point we have lived the dream and planned our life as such.
It’s been simple, we know what we want and work hard to get it. No one tells you that buying a house is not particularly this clear cut! It’s not as easy as a trip to the grocery store; you pick out the right batch of berries, pay, and go to enjoy the rest of your day with the sweet treat. No! Buying a house is a full roller coaster of emotions and may I suggest not taking the kiddos on this draining ride.
Now, I know that’s easier said than done because the viewing of homes is hard to plan around the availability of babysitters. Also, I have always been the type of parent who loves to involve her children in everything you do, but I am currently haunted by the devastated face of a three-year old that wanted a “bow house” to live in. I don’t blame her! The house was perfect for us in every shape and form, it almost felt as if the house was built just for us. After viewing the home we instantly placed a bid.
We never assured our daughter that it was ours, but yet told her it might be one day. This allowed her to begin the daydream just as we were doing. I didn’t realize what I was doing to her until the day we got the heartbreaking email that stated they went with another offer. It’s been almost a week since and she still wants to go back to the “bow home”. Any home we drive by doesn’t even compare and is met by a, “I don’t like this one, please just buy the bow home.”
It’s a hard feeling knowing that you can’t get your dreams, but knowing you can’t supply your child’s either…. it kills me. We are still in the search for our future home, but there aren’t many options with the current market and school district. She’ll never really understand why we are struggling to find one, no matter how many times we try to explain it. She is under the impression of life being that simple grocery store economics. You work hard, pay for something, and you get it. She gets that there is money involved, but there’s no real way to explain bidding wars or someone just picking another contract to a toddler.
I hope you can learn from me. Buying a home is a time of big change for everyone in the family and definitely needs to be handled with caution. I know that I will not make the same mistake as I did with the “bow home” again. The next house the kids go to see will be the residence for their next fifteen years.
It’s not that I’m trying to shelter my kids from devastation, but there are too many moments in life that will emotionally challenge my children. I’m not naive to the thought that my daughter was bound to have her heart broken at some point, but it didn’t have to be in this particular situation. This could have instead been a joyful memory for her, but I didn’t stop to consider her emotions.
Taking a moment to be a mindful parent is important to the growth of the child just as much as exposing them to real-life situations. There’s a fine line I feel like I crossed and I feel like a jerk of a parent.
We are going to always have moments like this in our journey of parenthood, but recognizing them helps us to grow for the future. Slow down, breath, and reevaluate from their point of view.
Here’s to happy home-buying and happy children! Best of luck of with the balance!