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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:
ChelseaBrambles · 03/07/2019 14:24

You can always wish for better.
If you have a small garden, you'll be wishing for one with that swimming pool, tree house and summer house, and enough space for a proper football match. Another child would be amazed that another family has a tv in the kitchen or in the bedroom!

CheerfulMuddler · 03/07/2019 14:47

"Well, I feel a bit sad about not having a garden too, sometimes, because I like SiL's garden. But I really like our flat too. I like our green walls in the living room, and I like your curtains with flowers on them, and I LOVE the duvet on your bed that you and I went and chose specially. And I like the cupboard in the kitchen where the biscuits live. And I like my big cosy bed for sleeping in. And I like our sofa where you and I snuggle up together and watch films. And ... What do you like?"
Children take their cues from you. I think other children having less is quite a hard concept for a child who is sad about not having a garden. But having a happy home full of nice things is a pleasant game to play.

dreichuplands · 03/07/2019 14:47

Watch Charlie and Lola with her, they live in a flat.
Flats are a lot more normal for families outside of the UK.

HopelessLayout · 03/07/2019 14:52

I grew up in a rural property with 100 acres of garden and I dreamed of the day when I would be able to live in a high-rise apartment!

And paddling pools were always too cold and boring. The only one that ever used ours was the dog.

The grass is always greener.

Sarahandco · 03/07/2019 14:52

I have been where you are and in the end moved to a cheaper area where we were still just able to stay in the same school but obviously with a journey. The reality is that in September it won't be an issue. It is during the summer that it stings, also my children were desperate for a garden and this is the second year in current house and you guessed it - they are not so excited about the garden this year. Make the best of what you have, we all think the grass is greener until we get to the other side.

SkintAsASkintThing · 03/07/2019 14:55

Chelsea that's great if you live in an area with those amenities.......the OP may not.

Our area doesn't have any of the above, we do have a park but not a brilliant one. Our one saving grace is having a decent library.

I don't drive either so to get anywhere decent would cost a fortune, having a tiny amount of outdoor space can be exhausting and relentless when children are young. I see where the op and her daughter are coming from entirely.

Snowy81 · 03/07/2019 14:58

I was in a 3 bed house, with kitchen diner, lounge and living room. Then me and my ex parted 5 years ago, and I moved to a Housing Association 2 bed flat. Ds14 frequently asked if we can move to a house.

As I point out to him:- all our rooms are larger than the HA 3 bed homes around here, we have a front garden and a back garden (well it’s a yard and tiered with another yard, but room for the shed, bins, a rotary line etc), we have no parking issues and can park right outside, we have a brand new kitchen and bathroom which we got to choose- the only negative is not having a dining room, which I really miss!! Ds19 stays mostly at his dads as he has a large room there, and as they are both always on the PC or XBox, or doing school work/uni work it makes sense. So Ds14 recently asked if we could get rid of the two single beds and he had a double, then when Ds19 comes up they can share. So I asked the eldest and he said he was fine with it, no problem sharing. So little one is now confect to stay where we are! Hallelujah! Lol

I had to remind ds a few times when he said things like ‘why can’t we move to x’ and ‘I thought we were buying a house?’ That yes that was the plan, when I had a really good job, with a good salary, however when I became unwell (numerous health issues), unfortunately that plan changed, and we have to be grateful that things aren’t worse than they are (as they could well be). But they are kids, and I understand that wanting, as I was one of them too! So I don’t begrudge ds saying it.

rattusrattus20 · 03/07/2019 15:01

this is a really damaging thing to do as a mother, to attribute real anguish to instances where a child is complaining about something material that the parnets can't afford or don't want to shell out for ['our house is small'; 'our car is an old banger'; 'the budge for my prom dress is inadequate']. of course a mansion woudl be nicer but, equally, of course it's possible to have a great upbringing in a flat, that's reality.

IvanaPee · 03/07/2019 15:09

Probably a stupid question but do you have a balcony that would fit a paddling pool?

My dsis had one and managed a pool for dn.

She has since moved though so he has a garden.

AquaFaba · 03/07/2019 15:41

Please don’t make your DD feel inadequate about her home but please also don’t give her unrealistic expectations.
I had a difficult childhood with very little money. This was made worse by parents who were financially irresponsible yet kept promising that we would move to a big house....made worse by the fact they would get estate agent particulars for houses that they could never realistically afford and we would spend Sundays going for drives and house viewings.
As a child, I never understood why the promised move never happened.
(It also made me incredibly financially driven as an adult as I didn’t want to replicate what I’d had in childhood!)

ChelseaBrambles · 03/07/2019 15:50

I think if you feel like you are struggling financially, it makes you feel guilty when you shouldn't. You can't have a house and it is what it is.

Again, not knowing your area it's tricky but I would join all the local parental and local facebook groups to keep informed of all the various free events over the summer (and weekends).

I would make the most of my in-laws massive and garden when I am invited and be grateful for a nice day there.

user87382294757 · 03/07/2019 16:08

You could tell her some families live all in one room in temporary accommodation...or in families where they all share a bed. That would get things in perspective. I grew up in temporary accommodation myself

mamimogo · 03/07/2019 17:47

@IvanaPee no space for a paddling pool unfortunately. We've got a Juliet Balcony which is quite nice as can open it to get a nice breeze on the hotter days Smile Never thought I would feel like this about my lovely little flat but it's amazing what love for the dcs can drive us to Confused

OP posts:
mamimogo · 03/07/2019 18:02

@ChelseaBrambles I honestly love my little flat. When we moved in I was so grateful because it's in a nice area and next to the best school in the borough. I never thought not having a garden would be an issue as I take them to the park/playground everyday in a very child friendly area and as you suggested loads of things going on all summer. I don't feel like I need to be grateful to go to a big house more than any other house/flat tbh I'm always grateful for an invitation as I know a lot of effort goes on behind the scenes. I only feel apprehensive and a bit sad as I don't want dd1 to feel inadequate about our own circumstances, which are in reality not that bad just not top of the toting pole. You're totally right though, it definitely is what it is! I've just got to have a good time and when the opportunity presents itself lead her to the right train of thought 🤞🏼

OP posts:
user87382294757 · 03/07/2019 18:58

It's so good being close to school, dc can walk themselves as they get older.

Yerroblemom1923 · 03/07/2019 19:06

Can you spend more time at your SIL's house? Do they live nearby? If my sibling was in this situation, and I was aware of it, I'd happily have them and their kids round as often as they want. Or welcome my niece to come over for plenty of playdates with her cousins.

mamimogo · 03/07/2019 19:12

@user87382294757 hadn't thought of that 👍🏼😀

OP posts:
BarbarianMum · 03/07/2019 19:13

We have a house and a small garden but my children's cousins come from an extremely wealthy family, complete w ski chalet and ponies, houses round the world and jet-setting lifestyle. We just say - wow, arent they lucky (it helps that they are all nice and down to earth people). You can't always hide the differences or keep up.

user1494055864 · 03/07/2019 19:15

Buy her the book 'A squash and a squeeze' by Julia Donaldson. Subtle message in there somewhere Wink

user87382294757 · 03/07/2019 19:22

Yes, if she gets upset mention she can play again soon. Maybe meet with friends for a picnic in the park..oh and tell her others DC have to walk for MILES to school up MASSIVE hills! (ours do!) and emphasise the positives. Good luck, it really does get easier as they get older. They can go to the park more independently etc whereas when younger need parents around. I'm so glad now we didn't move just for the sake of a few years. We happened to be in the catchment for the best secondary also so look at that as well

mamimogo · 03/07/2019 19:24

@Yerroblemom1923 unfortunately it's an hours car journey. Even if we did live closer, which we used to, I wouldn't feel comfortable imposing ourselves on them. They are quite private which is totally understandable and very busy etc. I suspect the meltdowns at home time make them a bit uncomfortable as well so wouldn't want to subject them to that on a regular basis either Blush Lovely idea though Smile

OP posts:
user87382294757 · 03/07/2019 19:28

DC do tend to have meltdowns in leaving something they are enjoying like parties or the park though. They grow out of it.

firesong · 03/07/2019 19:29

I lived in a two bed flat with my daughter previously, and we moved to a house when she was 7. She much preferred the flat, and is always saying that she wishes we could move back. She liked how "close" we were and not having stairs. I remember one of her friends came over and asked, "is this really your WHOLE house? It's tiny!" (It was actually large for a flat).

Can you make the most of local parks and woodland maybe?

IndieTara · 03/07/2019 19:29

Op ive recently moved to a 2 bed ground floor maisonette with a small garden from a 3 bed 1st floor flat with just a small balcony .
It's in a very 'naice' area but costs an absolute fortune to rent.
I've had to give up things to be able to live here. Plus it's so small it's like living in a holiday chalet.
Luckily it's just me and DD so we'll cope.
It's a good job i like sitting in the garden as I can't afford to do anything else now!
But DD starts senior school in 12 months and she'll be able to walk to the best school in the borough so I'm hoping it'll be worth it

MysweetAudrina · 03/07/2019 19:34

It's all relative really. We have a 4 bed house with a decent garden but when to visit a cousin of dh's who live at the sea in a house built into the coast with huge space and who own an art school and horses. I knew when we were going to visit them that dd would have that moment most children have at some stage of been born into the wrong family. She came and asked me at one stage if she could get a horse. Sure dd and you can keep him in your bedroom. She was wild with envy but such is life and she has things much better than alot.

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