inthissmallhouse

Everyday chaos multiplied by seven.

Stigma

I find myself hesitating to tell people my living arrangements. It’s easy to tell a friend, an in-law or any other relative the story of why we live in this commune like setting or how we all manage in “tight” quarters or anything in between but to strangers, acquaintances I find myself pausing for moments before divulging the story of the place my family of four call home.

Recently our four-year-old started pre-school in the small community we live in. At first I was excited to meet other adults living in the area until I realized, after a school event that they may ask where we live. Panic.

We decided to tell them where we live but not the arrangements, I figure we’ll wait until they see our daughter is a well adjusted little girl that truly benefits from such a tight knit group of loving adults. After telling some of the parents where we live we realized several of us did not live far from one another, one particular family lives just a few houses down. This morning at child drop off said parents came up to my husband and me and explaining while on a walk, they searched for our home and were unclear which house ours may be.

Is it that they genuinely were confused, there are multiple homes on the street in our color?
Is it perhaps the cars in the driveway or multiple adults made them think this could be their home but maybe it is someone else’s?
Maybe due to our young age and less than extreme success (homes in this neighborhood are well above the $200,000 mark) they assume the large nature of our house proves it can’t be ours?

I recognize that some of these questions are do to my own insecurities but I cannot help the fear of being judged by others, by strangers. These homes, each one of them is large, in my opinion too large for any one family. What family of four needs a five bedroom home, three full baths, full basement, etc? I understand this is passing my own judgement but I would never look down on anyone for deciding they need or want that space. I feel however I, my family, all of us in this house are not always given that same understanding and that is what leaves me nervous when poised with the question “Where do you live?”

-ME-

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Break Down in Communication

With a household this large one of the biggest, easiest ways to find yourself frustrated is to realize you do not have any idea what is going on. Maybe you come home after a long day of work to find that no one is home. Perhaps a child calls you asking for a ride from A to B. Or my personal favorite, the text from an adult asking if you know where so-and-so is, needs to be picked up or if there is milk.

I can not tell you how many times my daughters and I have been at Target, my husband and I have had, um plans and had to drop everything to run out and pick up someone’s child, drop of something here or just did not realize someone else might be roaming the halls of this enormous house.

We have a few solutions neither of which is perfect by any means. We (the adults) use mass text messages, ie Sister B (I’m Sister A) might send a text to Mom, Aunt, Sister C and myself asking if anyone can watch Nephew while she and her husband work or pick up extra shift at work. I, personally, leave post-it notes. EVERYWHERE. In the bathroom, in the fridge, on the microwave, in lunch pail and pant pockets. Neither of these are perfect systems but they can be good enough when we all implement them. The kicker is getting everyone to mark their own personal calendars or respond to said form of communication.

It is tricking getting everyone on the same page but we all make it work. Really this little running army we have is quite amazing. I would not trade it for anything, disorganization and all. This is our norm and I love it.

 

-ME-

September 16th, 2011

Today I am reminded of how quickly time really does fly. With the evolution of the laughter, the progress of her smile, her ever growing heart, her astounding brilliance and quest know everything. She is such a lover and truly the happiest girl. Our lives would not be fulfilled without her. Happy 2nd birthday! I love watching you grow baby girl. Mommy loves you.

-ME-

September 13th, 2009

Four years ago today I was given the greatest gift I’ve ever received. She is sweet, loving, thoughtful and brilliant. Her imagination is magnificent, she loves everyone and everything. She is curious, gentle, my future and yours. She is so silly and playful. She amazes and amuses me everyday. She taught me patience and gives me the ability to believe constantly. She makes me and those around her better with all she is. She is one of the greatest loves in my life. Thank you for everything and thank you for being you. Happy Birthday my sweet girl.

-ME-

In a NUT shell

I am a twenty something (1988) mother of two (2009, 2011), wife to one (1984), daughter of one (information unavailable), sister to four (1989, 1995, 1998, 2000), niece to one (1985), aunt of one (2009). My family of four live with my mother and two youngest sisters. Before our household size was reduced to seven there were ELEVEN (see above years of birth) of us living in this 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2,619 sq ft home. That seems like a lot of people but to be honest this house is HUMONGOUS and provides more than enough space for all of us, although a finished basement might’ve be nice.

This all came about due to various happenings in life, both good and bad, Some of us have gone on to bigger, different and somewhat better things. My husband and I are working toward bettering our situation however not necessarily in the sense of moving out of this situation. Please come along with me on this journey I have decided to reflect and document on from this point forward.

– ME –