Everything Matters When You Have Children

Becoming homeowners has been a top conversation piece in my household for the last few weeks. I don’t actually want to own a home because of the hassle that comes with the possibility of not wanting to be in that one space forever, but I do understand it being a cheaper option. I also understand that with growing children an apartment or townhome in a not so great neighborhood isn’t going to cut it. Yes, the townhome situation I just mentioned is our current living situation even though it’s considered a house. However, in our home-owning conversations I find that I’m pointing out things that my husband isn’t. In other words I have a list of things that I feel are required at this point if buying a home is what we’re going to do. And honestly, if we didn’t live where we currently do I can’t say I would’ve ever thought of these things.

Everything is cool until it’s not and being a stay-at-home mom I’m not cool with the home nor neighborhood we live in. So, when asked what bothers me most about where we currently live I answer,

1.Neighbors and neighborhood

2.Home structure

3.Maintenance

Neighbors and neighborhood

Let me start off by saying that my family is the only black family on the entire block besides one couple – about two or three doors down. When we moved here back in April that didn’t bother me until I noticed that nobody even speaks. I’m talking not even a respectable, “Hello”. I definitely feel all the racist vibes and that’s fine as long as everybody stays in their respectable spaces. What’s not fine is when you’re so racist that you could literally see something go wrong with myself and/or my children and if asked you’d act as if you didn’t see anything and wouldn’t stop to help. THAT IS MY PROBLEM. It’s as if there’s no humanity in this neighborhood at all. My neighbors on both sides make me very uncomfortable and I’m just not used to feeling like I don’t belong somewhere, but I know this isn’t the area for us at all and this isn’t a forever thing.

Home structure

There is no reason I should be able to hear every single thing that my neighbors do. I can hear them talking, I can hear their floors creaking when they walk, I can hear them cough, I can hear their children when they go up and down the steps. And if I can hear them then there’s no doubt in my mind that they can hear us too. There’s no sense of privacy to the point that I found myself whispering until I told myself that I shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable when I pay to live here – well my husband pays all the bills but still. I can’t say it’s any of our faults that we can hear one another because we didn’t build these homes, but that doesn’t make it less of an issue. I also am respectable of the times. In others words I minimize extra noise (I play my music loud some days) and have my kids chill by a certain time even though my neighbors aren’t always that considerate. But I can’t shut my entire household down because you can still hear my tv when it’s only at 18 for its volume. It’s really too much.

Maintenance

We’re currently renting from a private owner and it’s a definite NO. While I personally know people who do as well and don’t have even close to the experience that we do, that’s not our case. This guy has made us never want to even risk renting from a private owner again. We have had nothing but problems since the day we moved in this place. I’m talking since the very first day we moved in. It got so bad that my husband stopped calling because there was always two to five different men in here regularly, every week, fixing something. We reached a point where we felt like someone was always invading our space so we dealt with what we could until we couldn’t and started calling again. What I can’t understand is why he (the guy we’re renting from) would have anyone move into this home knowing it isn’t up to par. But after being here the last few months I figured he really needed the money, we really needed a place and we got got.

In all three of these areas my children are affected. I already gave an example as far as neighbors/neighborhood goes, but to take it a step further there isn’t even anywhere they can play near here. This isn’t a “let’s go for a walk” neighborhood and the playground that is near is always surrounded by somebody’s teenagers smoking as if they can’t find somewhere else to go. But what I look like walking up to the playground with my three kids asking somebody’s teens – who are bigger than me – to leave so my kids can play? Absolutely NOT chancing that. With the structure of the home I feel like I have to restrict my kids too much inside their own home. Like, for real, I’m too caring cause the noise my neighbors kids make is ridiculous and they are older than my kids so they’re aware of their own noise levels. If I ever hear my kids walking too loud I’m on them with, “Stop walking so hard. Did you forget people live next door to us?” But I’m sick of that because they are kids and they deserve to play and make all the damn noise they want in their house. My neighbors aren’t apologizing to us when their kids holler and scream and run up and down the steps and I know they know we can hear them. And last but not least, maintenance affects kids because their bodies aren’t setup like adults. They can inhale anything and something goes wrong. They can notice something that we don’t first or they could have issues in their rooms that they don’t think to speak on (or can’t speak on) and who knows what’ll go wrong. And those are issues that we have had where we currently live. You wouldn’t believe the half.

All in all I’m understanding why buying a home would be a good thing as we talk more on it. However, I hope that my husband is understanding that requirements are requirements and if we can’t be comfortable there’s no need to rush and buy anything. I hate to say it but at this point I’d take a decent size apartment if we can’t find an actual townhouse until we find something that’ll fit us longterm. Staying home with the kids is cool until you realize that everything matters outside of your home too. Not just for the kids but for you as well because I wouldn’t even go for a walk alone to clear my head around here so I know I’m not taking my kids out.

Also, let me say this and please read this again if you need to. PARENT OR NOT, WHERE YOU LIVE MATTERS. I’m not saying you have to be buddies with your neighbors but you do want to feel some type of comfort where you are just in case. Even if it’s only Ms. Cindy at the top of the block and Mr. Dave across the street. You need to have someone and know that someone is looking out for you because this world is crazy as hell and that one person, just that one could make all the difference between you and your safety. It’s something I’ve had to learn as well which is why I’m so big on it now. 

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