With the arrival of baby number 2, our house is officially at capacity. Maybe beyond capacity.
Sweet hubby and I are sharing our bedroom with the new little one, and peanut still has her own room, for the time being, although in a month or so, we expect that to change as baby 2 moves in with her.
We have been searching, on and off, for the past many months for a different house to live in, and I keep coming back to some tough decisions about what I value and why I value it and how I can live out those values, all related to a new house.
Our current home is small. It is in a lovely old neighborhood less than five minutes away from my parents' house. At present, my sister also lives in this neighborhood, although that will likely change when she gets married in January. There is a park within walking distance in our neighborhood, and the public schools we are zoned for are okay but not great. This house is considered "in town," meaning that it is very centrally located, and there is shopping, dining, downtown, etc. with a five to ten minute drive. By living so close to my parents, we are able to plan spontaneously, and my parents are able to spend ample time with their granddaughters. My mom, in particular, is a big help to me, either picking up from daycare (or sometimes dropping off) or babysitting or dropping off something I forgot at the store (since my brain doesn't function properly with a newborn in the house). Our house is small. It forces us to spend time together as a family on a regular basis, sharing all of the moments from after school/work until bedtime. We don't watch TV with the girls in the room, so as long as they are awake, we are able to interact with them. Our house is small. There isn't a dedicated space to leave messy for sewing or other projects. The kitchen would be more functional with more counter space and cabinets. Our house is small. There isn't much space, but everything has a place, and you can tell when things are not in their place. It doesn't take much time to clean the house, because it is small. Our house is small. It gets crowded very quickly when people come to stay with us, for a weekend or for a longer visit. Our house is small -- we have to share our bedrooms.
We've been looking at houses with more bedrooms. Houses with enough space to set up a craft and sewing room, or for sweet hubby to set up a workshop outside, or both. Houses with enough bedrooms to only share when we have visitors staying with us. Houses with an extra living room. And while all of those things seem like they would be nice, I'm not satisfied. I can't seem to find one that I like well enough to move from where we are now.
All of them come with some sort of caveat. One lovely house costs more than we can afford, or another is zoned for public schools that are less than okay. One lovely house means we will still be near my parents, but another with nicer schools is not. Paying more for that lovely house over there means we will have less available financially to bring sweet hubby's family here to visit us, so that newer, bigger house will be emptier more of the time. Moving out of town for that lovely house with the really good schools means losing the assistance of my parents on a sporadic basis. Moving into any of these houses means that my two girls would have their own rooms.
And at this very point in time, I'm not sure that I value losing the things I love so much about this home in favor of more space.
I don't want to buy a house for when we have visitors.
I don't want to buy a house only because of the type of school my girls could attend.
I don't want to buy a house that removes me from the excellent relationship we have with my family.
I don't want to buy a house that takes away the family time I value so highly.
I think I just don't want to buy a new house.