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Is it mad to consider another child when our house is already too small?

(27 Posts)
BornToFolk Mon 14-Sep-09 15:03:50

We have one DS, who is nearly two. We live in a small, two bedroom terraced house. It's a lovely house, in a great area but we've outgrown it. I'm constantly frustrated as we seem to have so much stuff, and no where to put it. But we can't afford to move and I know that we are really, really lucky to have such a nice house anyway so there's no point complaining!

However, we want another baby. The plan always was to have at least two, and we don't want too big a gap between DS and the next one. Is it insane to think about cramming another person into an already over-flowing house?

Practically, there's not really space for a cot in our room. DS was only in with us for 7 weeks when he outgrew the moses basket and went into the cot in his room. It may be possible to shift things around... but it would be cramped, then we'd have two small children in one small bedroom.

I've been broody for a while and I think DP is getting the same way! He said to me today "it's a similar situation to before we had DS. If we'd have waited until we were ready, we'd never have had him", which is a bloody good point as there's never going to be an ideal time to have kids.

I think I might just have talked myself round! grin Is it a really bad idea?

thatsnotmymonster Mon 14-Sep-09 15:09:52

Your kids are your life not your house so I wouldn't let that hold you back. We have a very small travel cot- Graco Petite Bassinette- which we use for the caravan. Maybe you could use that in your room after the baby outgrows the moses basket and then move it into ds's room. My 3 children (4, 3 and 16mths) have shared a room since dd2 was 6mo and it is fab.

Practically, you don't need that much more stuff for another child as you should have most of it already.

Presumably you intend to move house at some point down the line? When you can afford it?

The closer together you have them, the better it is for them sharing a room. If the age gap is too big the older one may not want to.

millenniumfalcon Mon 14-Sep-09 15:11:03

any chance of converting the loft? that's what we did and our place feels palatial now. kids share in biggest of old bedrooms, spare room used for clothes/storage. plus we're pretty ruthless on not hoarding, ebaying stuff we have no room for etc.

wahwahwah Mon 14-Sep-09 15:18:13

Can you dig out a basement to make more room and put the kitchen down there, or extend up or out?

BornToFolk Mon 14-Sep-09 15:27:28

We looked into doing the loft but it would cost about £35k, which we don't have. And it wouldn't add that much to the value of the house.

Yes we do plan to move at some point. We've move now, if we could afford to. But if we had another child, it would take longer to save for a new house, as I'd be off work for a year.

I'm also due to (probably) lose my job in April 2011 due to the end of a contract, so we've got to factor that in to any decision.

Argh! DP is now emailing me saying "we should just do it if we're going to do it". Think he might have a point...

charleymouse Mon 14-Sep-09 15:32:50

Hi we have a three bed house with 2DCs and one more on the way. DD1 4:10 and DS 2.5 have chosen to share (luckily) and they have two small Ikea beds in their room. What is now spare room will be nursery.

Just be creative with the space and the furniture. Use underbed drawers/pull out boxes etc. If you get another DS they will just have to share and if you get a DD they will still just have to share probably want to share for a while. When they are bigger/older you can always get bunk beds. We have some joint storage for toys and separate storage for clothes. DD has red DS has blue.

There is never a right time if you think about it too much just go for it. HTH

pasturesnew Mon 14-Sep-09 15:38:02

Have you got one of those self storage companies nearby for e.g. outgrown baby stuff, and things you might only use occasionally like bikes? Much cheaper than a loft conversion!

Gateau Mon 14-Sep-09 15:49:23

"Your kids are your life not your house"

That's a really good way of looking at it, actually.
Our DC2 is due in October and we are concerned about space too. We live in a two-bed flat but I have to say it is big with huge ceilings and the rooms are massive.

The flat has been up for sale for while but has had very little interest in the currrentl climate. So we realise the DCs will be sharing a room. That doesn't bother me as the room si really big and I think Ds will enjoy the companiosnhip; it's the lack of space we have for storage that worries me.. Most of our shit is stuffed under beds - looks blooody awful. I think we'll have to look at some under-bed storage.
Sounds like you two know what you want. It will all work out for you. Big families used to - and still do - manage with a lot less!

millenniumfalcon Mon 14-Sep-09 15:53:18

yikes ours wasn't anything like that much shock we figured it was more about saving us the hassle of moving (plus we love our area, don't really want to move) than actually adding to the value of the house, but yeah don't think we could have done it for that much.

honestly, if you have decent facilities nearby - parks, open spaces, sports facilities, places to eat etc. then having a smaller than you'd like house really doesn't have to be a problem.

yomellamoHelly Mon 14-Sep-09 15:57:31

We have a 2 bed house with 3 dc. It is crowded, but I wouldn't swap it. Will have to move eventually but am avoiding that eventuality at the moment! (Love this place)
Have a friend with 3 dc in a 1-bed flat - now that's crowded...... Think it's a feature of modern house-prices.

CarGirl Mon 14-Sep-09 15:59:52

We have 4 dc in a very small 3 bed terrace. The secret is to declutter and then declutter again. HOw much of the stuff you have do you REALLY need?

I used to be a dreadful horder but now I'm so much better at selling stuff on & clearing out and life seems calmer with less "stuff" in it.

BornToFolk Mon 14-Sep-09 16:01:58

"Your kids are your life not your house"

Yeah, I really like this too, thanks thatsnotmymonster!

It does put things in perspective. In years to come, am I going to remember how cluttered things were? Or just how lovely it was to have two kids? Or what hard work it was dealing with a newborn and a toddler? grin

Might consider the loft conversion thing a bit more though. We dropped the idea when we found out how much it would cost but never really looked into how we could potentially fund it, so might do a bit more research.

boundarybabe Mon 14-Sep-09 18:35:19

"Your kids are your life not your house"
That's how I feel too - waiting until you have more room might make life easier for the moment but you'll never have the chance to have the age gap you want again. Lack of space is an issue now but the age gap will be forever. You're actually being very practical in the long term. grin

pasturesnew Mon 14-Sep-09 18:36:19

I'd also add that the babies won't remember things being a bit crowded when they were little!

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 14-Sep-09 18:38:34

We've got a small 2 bed house. 2 kids. - 9 & 10 now.

They've got the big bedroom and we've got the small one. People used to live in tiny terraced houses with 5, 6, 7...kids. It's doable, honest grin

millenniumfalcon Mon 14-Sep-09 18:40:34

true enough, the lady we bought this place off raised two boys to adulthood with just the 2 bedrooms.

thatsnotmymonster Mon 14-Sep-09 19:42:55

Chuffed so many people agree with me!

I mean if we were talking 10 dc's in 2 bed house I might think differently grin but you're right when you say what will you remember in years to come and what will you regret- it won't be having a 2nd child, it may well be NOT having one!

Washersaurus Mon 14-Sep-09 19:52:59

My parents managed 6 children and my nan in a 3 bedroom house for a couple of years - they slept on a sofa bed downstairs.

Not ideal obviously, but it has never worried me about squeezing 2 boys into 1 bedroom in our 2 bed terrace...would maybe be more concerned about a 3rd grin

angel1976 Mon 14-Sep-09 20:50:07

I live in a small, compact 2-bedroom terraced house. Now preggers with DC2, DS1 is in the second bedroom already. My MIL keeps going on about us moving. I'm more philosophical about the whole thing. We love the house and we love the area and for me, until DH and I can afford a bigger house in a nicer area, there's no point just buying somewhere for the sake of it. I also come from SE Asia where nuclear families live by choice together. I grew up in a household of 3 adults (uncle, auntie, grandmother) and 7 children (me, my brother, my 5 cousins!). Grandma, me and my brother shared a room till I was 11. My 4 female cousins shared a room till they were pretty old. My uncle and auntie shared a room with their youngest (a boy). I loved it and missed my cousins terribly when we finally moved in with my parents.

I'm expecting another DS but if it's a DD, I would have wanted them to share a room anyway. I think they would love (well, truth be told, they won't know the difference!). My two will be 20 months apart and I have always wanted my kids to have a close age gap. You know what? You will cope and once the second one outgrows stuff, you can get rid of them! People hoard too much stuff in my opinion. If your DH feels the same as you, go for it!

IlanaK Mon 14-Sep-09 20:52:57

I have three boys in a three bed flat. Ds1 and Ds2 share. Ds3 is in his own room at the moment. I want a dc4 at some point. We are trying to move, but due to problems in our building we could well be stuck here for years to come. It would not stop me having another. I would just move ds3 in with the older 2 when the baby needs his/her own room.

IlanaK Mon 14-Sep-09 20:54:04

Also, what is this obsession we have in this country with children each needing their own room? I can understand it when they are teenagers, but not before then really.

roaringfire Mon 14-Sep-09 22:11:30

You would always always regret it, (imagine yourself saying it back to yourself/to DS in years to come) you can make room, get rid of stuff. I came from a family of 7, crammed into a small terracaed three bed house. We never had much but we had eachother. Go for it!

angel1976 Mon 14-Sep-09 22:44:45

IlanaK - You hit the nail on the head. I don't understand this country's obsession with 1 child = 1 room either. In fact I think it's much better if they learn to share at a young age and when they need their space as teenagers, fair enough!

BornToFolk Tue 15-Sep-09 09:14:48

It's not so much that they'd each need their own room, just that it would be difficult to get another cot in anywhere! Is there such a thing as bunk-cots?! grin

millenniumfalcon Tue 15-Sep-09 13:04:43

we had dd2 in a bouncy thing (like an amby but not) that we could slide the frame under our bed, so no need for a cot for the first year.

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