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To feel depressed about living in a 2 bedroom flat

64 replies

mamimogo · 03/07/2019 13:09

I was previously fine with it but since dd1 has turned 5 she's noticing more and more that most of her friends live in houses with gardens. Especially summer time when they get paddling pools out etc she keeps telling me she wishes we had a garden. We are working class and really could not afford to buy a house or garden flat. SIL has kids same age as my dds and has just finished a fabulous renovation/extension on their already huge house/enormous garden, we're due to go over for a family get together this weekend and I'm dreading it as dd1 gets really sad when we leave and starts crying and saying she wants to stay. Normally following up with questions on why can't we have a bigger house etc. AIBU to not want to go? I probably already know the answer to that so is there any advice on how to deal with dd1s questions? Has anyone had to deal with anything similar? Thanks in advance for any replies

OP posts:
LoafofSellotape · 03/07/2019 13:15

I hear you OP,it's hard without a garden ime. We had to move areas completely to afford a house ,we were in a 2 bed flat before with no garden. We did go to the park every single day though come rain or shine so ds didn't ever say anything about wanting a garden.

SerenaOverjoyed · 03/07/2019 13:15

This is really tough Flowers

I think in part this is a lesson in accepting reality and learning to be grateful for what she has. Not everyone gets a massive house and garden, but then not everyone has many of the things your DD has. I grew up in a family with really modest finances and as I grew I needed to accept this meant I couldn't have everything I wanted immediately. I think this was probably quite good for me! I was loved, as your DD is, and I have some cherished memories of (frugal) trips out.

Crankybitch · 03/07/2019 13:18

Go and have a nice time. There will always be people with a bigger house etc.

Is there something you can use to reason with your daughter - perhaps yours is nearer to town so you can walk in without having to use a car so better for the environment?

escapade1234 · 03/07/2019 13:19

I know you want the best for your child but this is a really good opportunity to make her learn that the best things are not always about money.

The best childhood is one where a child is loved intensely, kept safe and healthy. It sounds cheesy but it’s true. Tell her that. Make her realise she is lucky to have you (I’m assuming you’re nice? 😉) and that happiness stems from the people you are with, not what you have.

Then take her to the park a lot!

JoJoSM2 · 03/07/2019 13:21

I think you're projecting a bit and it's your own jealousy coming out. I'm sure DD can happily play in the park too.

escapade1234 · 03/07/2019 13:22

We live in a decent-sized house and my children crave a flat! They love the feeling of everyone being close by at night and not having to go all over the house looking for their things. The grass is always greener I suppose.

InfiniteSheldon · 03/07/2019 13:23

I moved area to get a house with a garden instead of a flat why can't you? And I am working class not sure what that has to do with anything.

RhodaDendron · 03/07/2019 13:23

Empathy from me. Two bed flat and a dd the same age - last week she had a friend over who exclaimed ‘my house is much bigger and I’ve got a LOT more toys!’

My daughter said ‘yes Egglentine, but I am a lot taller than you and you are already five.’

We talk a lot about the fact that we are really lucky in a lot of ways; not as lucky as some but doing better than most. We do a lot of free outdoor stuff which we all really enjoy. And I read to her a lot, which helps to keep her curious about things outside our social circle.
But inequality sucks and does throw up hard questions.

Oysterbabe · 03/07/2019 13:24

She'll get over it, many many children grow up quite happily with no garden.
If you're concerned about it though have you looked to see if you can find a house or garden flat to rent in a cheaper area?

VladmirsPoutine · 03/07/2019 13:25

I think you need to change your reaction to her. A 2-bedroom flat is her home and she needs to learn to accept that. Your statement that you're working class is neither here nor there. The fact is you have provided your daughter with shelter. I'm sure she's fed well, dressed well and has manners. That she doesn't have a garden is not an issue at all unless you make it into one. Of course she wouldn't want to leave a massive garden with a paddling pool but she has to go home. Stop throwing your own insecurities on to her.

mamimogo · 03/07/2019 13:27

@LoafofSellotape have totally considered moving to a more affordable area! Can I ask how old your ds was when you moved to a bigger house?

OP posts:
mamimogo · 03/07/2019 13:36

@RhodaDendron you really made me smile with that and your dd sounds awesome!

@RhodaDendron you're all right! I need to help her focus on the positives and how fortunate we actually are to have a loving family unit etc. Thank you for the reminder X

OP posts:
HopelesslydevotedtoGu · 03/07/2019 13:51

Whilst a garden is good with kids, remember your daughter is in a better position than most of the children on this planet, and most children throughout history. Please don't feel guilty or depressed, she is having a good childhood. There is always someone better off and someone worse off than you, it's a good lesson to learn.

We moved from a flat to a small house, one factor being our eldest continually asking for a garden. We think the garden is great, but now she keeps asking to move into a flat! She loves visiting friends who live in flats. We got cross with the constant grumpiness about wanting to move to a flat actually, and explained it wouldn't be happening and that we needed to stop having the conversation, as she kept getting upset and frustrated begging us. We explained that when she is an adult she can choose her own home.

Living in a better area vs having a garden is something to weigh up in terms of quality of life. Although we got both by moving into a shitty house :)

LoafofSellotape · 03/07/2019 13:58

Can I ask how old your ds was when you moved to a bigger house?

He went into year 1,so must've been 6.5 ish. Wish we'd done it sooner tbh. He settled down in his new school from day one and loved the new house. Very easy for me to make new friends at the school gate too as I was still doing the school run. It's definitely something to consider. It was all positive for us.

user87382294757 · 03/07/2019 14:00

We also live in a flat and have two DCs...they have never mentioned it...now older and it has benefits as close to shops and city centre. I asked my eldest once about it and he said he 'likes it because it is home'. We missed a garden for a while but now older they relish being close to school and the centre.

RickJames · 03/07/2019 14:03

It's probably little consolation to you but instead of being out and about with my son on my day off, I'm cleaning and trying to organise my out of control big house and garden. I was so happy in a flat. I cry most weeks about how useless and trapped I feel.

username1724 · 03/07/2019 14:04

Similar position to you, I always told my dd that some children dont have toys at all, some dont get dinner every night, some dont have mums and things change all the time. She is 8 now and still has a moan from time to time but also displays a really good ethic of appreciation for what she has at times too.

Thecatsslippers · 03/07/2019 14:06

You can't protect her from the fact that others have more/less than her forever. Go to the party and have a nice time. Explain in an age appropriate way that different people have different jobs, incomes and houses.

As other posters, we have moved area to afford a house. My SIL has 3 kids in a 2 bed flat and bemoans the fact that she can't buy a house. But she chooses to live in an expensive area, she chose to start a family before developing her career and buying anything, and she chooses to spend her money on holidays rather than saving money to put towards a deposit. In her mind she's the poor victim and we are the rich snobs, but actually we have holidays in the UK and left the area we love for something less lovely so that we could afford to buy. This is after putting having kids on the back burner while we built our careers. Of course now we are struggling to conceive, so it's all swings and roundabouts Smile

Anyway sorry about going off on a tangent! YANBU to feel sad, buy YABU to try and avoid a lovely party because of envy.

SkintAsASkintThing · 03/07/2019 14:08

We have a similar situation.......well we have a tiny yard. But that's it.

Can't you take advantage of your families gardens ?? I'm sure they won't mind their niece coming to play.......it is depressing tho I agree. Particularly in the holidays. I also think it's more expensive. We can't just have garden days and flop on the sofa whilst the kids play. Every day has to be planned so we don't go stir crazy.

Pikapikachooo · 03/07/2019 14:10

Tell her we are poor , and we can’t afford it. That’s what I tell mine . It’s the blunt truth

I know it’s upsetting for you when she kicks of but she needs to get it Flowers

user87382294757 · 03/07/2019 14:12

I would emphasise any positives not go on about poverty to her. Encourage her to have a positive way of thinking. There is always something others have / better etc and it's not a very healthy way to think long term. Maybe have a look at CBT for yourself as well.

EssentialHummus · 03/07/2019 14:16

I think you're projecting a bit and it's your own jealousy coming out. I'm sure DD can happily play in the park too.

This, in the nicest way possible. We're in a flat with a garden, but we're one floor up so getting to the garden requires a bit of planning/carrying with a toddler. We mainly go to the park, which has the benefit of other people's children to run around after!

ChelseaBrambles · 03/07/2019 14:18

I had 2 kids in a flat, and didn't move until I was pregnant with my 3rd. They were absolutely fine, it's for the parents it's hard work!

It depends on you area obviously, but even with a house, we never really spend a full day at home unless we have friends staying over.

You don't need to spend money to go to parks, go to splash parks in the summer, go to museum, nature trails, and it's not that expensive to go swimming or soft plays.

YOU are the one missing out as you can't open the door and leave your kid outside or in the paddling pool whilst you get on with your chores, but the children are fine. If they have enough toys and tv, there's enough to occupy them whilst you have things to do.

HellYeah90s · 03/07/2019 14:20

Yup at this time of year it is depressing, but at least in the winter it is cheaper to heat and easier to clean. Don't have the hassle of mowing lawns, gardening etc.

We are in a two bed flat, both boys share a room. They know we are not in a financial position to buy a house with a garden, they seem ok with it, they like how in the winter it can be nice and cosy.

notatwork · 03/07/2019 14:21

By the time your DD is a teen she'll be wishing she lived in a flat closer to the shops as her life will revolve around her social life not playing in the garden.
You are on to a hiding to nothing if you spend your life wishing OP.

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