Monday, June 4, 2007

Large Family??

Ok, I have four small children. I realize this may not be the norm. Got it. But, come on...

We have been trying in every way to cut expenses. To really make this "one income" life work for us. My dh is a Children's Pastor at a fairly large church. He works hard. He *should* be able to support his family on his income.

In that vein, we decided perhaps we should look at cheaper housing. We rented this house sight-unseen (well, we saw some pics on-line) while still in CO. It is a great house. Big enough, nice yard, etc.etc. And the price is really good for the house. Really. But in trying to spend less, well, we just thought we would check things out.

We started by simply driving around the areas by our church. We would *love* to live close enough so dh can walk to work at times. We are a one car family (gasp), and this would simply be easier. There were a few - mostly 2 bedrooms. Now, we *could* fit all four kids in one bedroom, but that doesn't sound like such a great plan. We like the idea of a "boy's room" and a "girl's room". So three bedrooms would be better.

But the thing is, so what if we wanted to put four kids in one room? We have two sets of bunkbeds. If it was a large enough room, so what? If we just wanted to do this for a year to save money, so what?? Do you really think my 5, 4, 2 year olds + baby would be scarred by sharing a room for a year? Really??

Again, I don't want to put them all in one room. I don't plan on it. But what if we HAD to? What if housing was so expensive, we *needed* to?

The reason I ask all these questions is that every time I call someone to ask about their rental - when they find out we have four children - FORGET IT!! I do understand that when you are renting a house, you have every right to decide who (whom?) to rent to. I understand that. Honest. But I just feel everyone just automatically tunes me out when they find out we have 4 children. It's frustrating!!

Now, we are praying about this. We don't *have* to move. We can wait a month or two and see if anymore homes in the area go up for rent. The youth pastor and his family (they have 3 girls) live in a nice neighborhood - they tell us there is often duplexes and homes for rent around them. I need to trust that if the Lord wants us to move, to help save money, HE will provide the house - not me.

I guess this is just a venting post. I know it's not the norm to have many children, but I've been experiencing some "discrimination" recently. For example, we went to the "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town" this past Saturday. After having waited in line for almost an hour (right there in clear view of the workers), the main guy in charge of the lighthouse turns to my dh and says (very rudely) "You're not taking all those babies up there, are you, 'cause that would be foolish!". This is right after we have seen other children (preschoolers) go up with their parents. But because we have four, well, that's just too many! Oohh, was I upset.

As it turned out, there was a hatch door to go through at the top, and it *was* better for my 2yo to stay down with some of our friends (dh was going to carry her in a backpack carrier, and it would have been a tight fit). Yet there were nicer ways to let us know that then simply tell my dh he's FOOLISH for even thinking about taking his children up into the lighthouse. Ugh....

Ok, enough venting. The Lord said follow me, He certainly never said follow me and all will be easy and hunky-doory for you. So I will wait. I will pray. I will attempt to be patient. I will look at each child, look into their adorable big eyes and tell each of them that they are a blessing. They are a gift. I refuse to get angry at people who obviously don't understand how wonderful it is to be blessed by the Lord. How sad for them, really...

Lord, grant me patience and compassion. Let your light shine from me - 'cause my own darkness is overwhelming.

~Thankful for my many, MANY blessings~
*Michigan Momma*


Julie said...

I feel your pain girl. LOL.
I wish I lived near you, then we could load up your four and my five and really give the folks something to talk about. :)
Keep praying!

Kelly said...

One of my friends who has six children eventually had to buy a house because she couldn't find anyone who would rent to them. In that state, there were regulations on how many bedrooms per person, and they needed a four bedroom house to rent, even though they only used three. Hence, buying a three bedroom house.

I doubt if that is the issue for you, though, having "only" four. ;)

Anonymous said...

In our state, I would be breaking the law if I let my 4 yo girl and my 2 1/2 yo boy share a room. No boys and girls over the age of 2 may share a room. Seriously.
Now, I doubt it's ever enforced unless CSD comes knocking at your door for another reason, but the law shouldn't exist in the first place.

We too, went to buying when I was expecting my third because the prices around here of renting a three bedroom apartment were comparable to the monthly payments of buying a house. Renting a house...well....I won't even go there as to how expensive that is.

When you have 4, you are considered an offical "large" family. Don't know why, but there it is. :)

Anonymous said...

Wanted to add: there are also limits in our state as to how many bedrooms per person. 2 adults and a child under 2, or 2 children of the same sex.

Anonymous said...

As one of six daughters, I did not have my own room ever until I went off to college (and my roommate didn't show up for two months).

As a matter of fact, I did NOT have my own bed (always sharing a double or queen) until I went off to college! I'd say that up until a couple of generations ago, this wasn't a weird thing.

We had bunk beds in the house while I was growing up at one point, but they are dangerous for young children. AND how many young children really wish for someone to sleep with them or be in the room with them for comfort? Plenty. You do have the occasional kid who does better alone, but it's my experience that young ones like the comfort.

My memories of my sharing a room with a sister (or two) are awesome: the late night stories and conversations, the giggling, the games, and yes, the terrible fights (which are hilarious now).

My parents did give each of us our own desk. And we divied up closet space and drawers in the chest. I never felt deprived. As a matter of fact, we had a lot of fun.

A queen size bed for two kids to share is a better investment than bunk beds too. The kids grow, move out of the house, and they come back to visit with their spouses and own families. . . My parents still use the same beds for us when we visit as guests.

Now as for boys and girls, I would separate them. Even if it means one child is in his own room.

Sara said...

We experienced the same kind of "discrimination" when our family of 3 went looking for a one-bedroom apt. By law, we couldn't rent a one-bedroom apparently...but we finally found some privately owned properties that didn't care and one rented to us. They did look at me a bit funny when they realized we would be sleeping WITH our child. *gasp!*