Monday 13th March 2017

It was the Labour Day holiday today, so no school or work…just lots of family togetherness, ha ha ha.

We decided on going out to look at display homes today – Troy and I were the ones who really wanted to do this, the children were just kind of dragged along, but they had to admit later that it was pretty fun. It’s interesting to check it out and try and picture how our family would fit into that space. The kids liked the double storey homes, although a lot of this was possibly because of the whole ‘Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs’ thing. I think the reality of stairs would be a novelty for about a week, and after that sheer laziness would make the stairs nothing but a trial.

Some of the houses were just so huge though, I honestly struggled to come up with a way to utilise all that space. I mean, if all the kids have their own bedrooms, what the hell are you supposed to do with four different living zones? I’m sure if we lived there we’d think of something, but considering that our whole house aesthetic to date has been how to maximise storage and usefulness of small spaces, we’d have to change our way of thinking! We had four kids when we lived in our Healesville house, and that whole house would have fit into some of the kitchen/living/dining combos we saw today.

I do think that some of the bigger house layouts would be good if the kids ended up staying at home for longer, which seems to be a general trend with people we know. If they’re all at uni or working and doing their own thing, it could be good for everyone to have their own spaces to hang out in, and for everyone to be able to come and go without bothering each other. It’s weird to think about this though, because living in Glenthompson meant that staying at home after high school wasn’t even an option. (Okay, excluding the year I spent at home after high school because I was too sick to do anything else!) We all had to leave to go to uni or Tafe or get a job. But so many of the people Troy works with have had their kids stay home through uni, and then through working until they save some money. I don’t know how I’ll feel about the children staying home for an extended period of time when it actually happens (I am SO not interested in cooking for/ laundering for/ cleaning for/ capable adults, that’s for sure) but I suppose it would be good for it to be an option. Maybe.

I was thinking about growing up in our Glenthompson house a bit today. I was trying to describe it to the kids when I was saying how I felt that some of the homes we saw were almost obscenely large. I mean, we had eight people in our family and we made that house and that space work – yeah, it would have been nice to have a separate toilet so people didn’t come in and pee while you were in the bath, but I don’t think anyone ever felt that we were living in unacceptable conditions! And then today we were looking at these huge houses and rejecting some and approving some for all kinds of reasons, and in some ways it just felt like materialism gone mad.

I don’t even know if this makes any sense. It probably doesn’t, because I don’t even know what I’m really trying to say! I think it’s just that Troy and I have never really been about buying stuff for the sake of buying, or really gone along with the ideology of bigger is better and more is always what you should strive for. It matters to us that the kids have everything they need and some of what they want, and we have tried to teach them the benefits of waiting and working for things, and how not having everything helps them appreciate what they do have. I want them to recognise their own privilege, and have compassion and understanding for those who don’t. And I suppose (after all this rambling and trying to untangle my thoughts on this) I just wonder how I could teach the children to be content with ‘enough’ when we lived in a house that is so much more MORE than enough.

Which is not even something to really worry about right now, because we’re not buying a five bedroom, four living zoned McMansion out in Mernda, which is where we were today! However it seems like the whole ‘what-if?’ of the scenario has touched a nerve for me.

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