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?”