7.26.2011

HAVING A NICE HOME… IS IT POSSIBLE WHEN CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED?

While working on the holiday issue for House of Fifty, I fantasized about my “dream” house and what I really want in it.  Then I showed my husband a home that I absolutely adored that will (hopefully!) be featured in the magazine.  His reply was “Nice, but how many kids do they have?”.  That got me to wondering…. Is my house not the way I want it to be because of the number of kids we have? Or is it because of their age?  Or, is it because of what I’ve always thought?  Which is because I’m the only one who want certain things and want it to be nice.  The house that my husband grew up in is the exact way it was when his parents purchased it over 20 years ago… Just outdated.  And every time I go over, I can’t help but wonder if his parents ever cared about having a nice home. 

Then I think about my mom and how she never tried to own a home… And how home décor wasn’t a big deal to her either…

From the time we became homeowners a little over 3 years ago, I knew that I wanted a nice home.  Freshly painted walls, beautifully decorated rooms, and to have it furnished with pieces that we absolutely loved.  I remember when I heard Oprah say that your home should rise up to greet you when you open the door!

What I didn’t realize is that I would be the only one with that vision.

My husband told me that he would love for our home to be nicely decorated, but he does not think that the kids are old enough for us to have what we really want.

I’m having a hard time accepting that.  True, we do have very young kids who will break concrete and make dirt look clean, but I do believe that if you want a nice home, you don’t have to wait on it because you have small children.  From the beginning, I’ve said that I’m trying to have a nice home that’s not overrun by legos and sippy cups.  I’m just now realizing that its possible that I may not achieve that because I’m the only one that want that. 

My husband told me this before he left for work: “Our house is like my work car… I’m not going to wash it often and make sure it’s presentable because its just that, my work car…

 imagejpeg_2[1]

“Our future home is like our SUV, big, nice, and not ruined by the kids…”

I wanna say that I understand what he meant, but I have a hard time thinking and believing that because people have children, they can’t have nice things…

To me, living nice and having nice things and a nice home is a lifestyle… A lifestyle that I think children can adjust to if that’s what the parents want..

What do you think???  Does children really dictate how nice your home is?

And before I forget, thanks for all of your comments on my haircut! I really do love itSmile

IMAG0655-1[1]

IMAG0650-1[1]

30 comments:

Noelle said...

What a great post!!!! I have 5 kids and 3 of them are young adults now, the younger ones are 8 and 10. Now I too like you always wanted a nice home and I like you was the only one with that vision, initially. But as I started to make some of my dreams for a nice home into a reality, my hubby quickly got on board, he found out that he too enjoyed a nice home. Now I must clarify that I have spent many, many, many years cleaning and working hard to keep it that way. Now this is not for everyone, but it's what I did because having a nice home was just so important to me. I did make rules for the kids and I did have them help with chores, and they did seem to do ok. People would always say no way you have 5 kids when they would come to my house. It's just a personal choice to me, if you really want to take on what it takes to have your dream....I did and It worked sort of! :)

Laura@JourneyChic said...

My 1-yr old just started walking a few weeks ago, and I've definitely "undecorated" the living room a bit to make it safer for him. Low shelves that once held travel knick-knacks now hold woven baskets of toys. One thing blogging has taught me is that stuff doesn't have to be expensive to be "nice". I love my HomeGoods living rm rug, but at $275 if the boy or the cat trash it, I won't be horribly upset.

My husband also doesn't care about decorating the way that I do. As long as he lets me do what I want (within reason) that's fine by me!

Phyllie said...

Love the hair!

You can absolutely have style and nice things...even with kids.

I wouldn't spend a fortune on fancy expensive things for two reasons...your house is lived in and taste changes and grows, but you can invest in things that are timeless, and for the trendy things do box stores plus thrift and re-imagine where possible. You can train your kids to keep their things where they go without being a total nag. Real life is messy sometimes but just keep a handle on it. Kids and husbands take pride of ownership even though they might think they don't care. Good Luck! You can do it! Life is too short not to live well!

Emily A. Clark said...

Well, I don't know if it's possible, but I am about to kill myself trying to find out :) It's definitely frustrating sometimes that no one else "gets" the importance of having a nice place to land. And, it's alot of work for the momma!

Great post, and love the new haircut :)

The Simple Life of Me said...

I'm so glad you made this post because I sometimes feel like I'm the only mother on planet earth who tries (even to point of insanity( to keep a clean, up to date, fresh home. I truly believe it is VERY important, especially since my girls are 10 months and 4 years old. It's funny how you described your parents and inlaws because they sound EXACTLY like mine! Are we related? Hahaha, but you go ahead and keep up your home - it's YOUR home and no one else is going to take care of it but you!

msiplin said...

I have 5 kids and absolutely love my home. It takes a lot of work to maintain it but I definitely dish out chores straight down to the two year old to pick up.Now as much effort I have put into decorating the kids rooms they don't give a hoot whether it's clean. But under all their clutter is very nice decor and my special projects i've learned through reading blogs. Though many of my pieces are spray painted garage finds I love every piece. I also get a kick when people come to my home and exclaim it looks like a picture out of a magazine.

The Scott's Crib said...

It actually took me writing a post to answer your question and I still don't think I answered it lol. It made me think though because I have been having the same concerns. I want my home to feel like its home for a child as well while still being pretty. So after I finished up my post and confused myself even more I went onto pinterest for a little inspiration on how to incorporate my child into the overall design of our home and I found a lovely website with great inspiration. I thought I would share and I hope you enjoy!

Here is the link...

http://childhood101.com/2011/07/creating-childrens-spaces-in-every-corner-of-your-home/

Laila said...

Love your cut! I've had my hair that short, it's so liberating.

I struggle with this as well. I like to have cute stuff but want stuff that I won't cry about if something happens to it. My dream is that once my son is older, i.e. 7ish? I will upgrade somethings. But when I think about it, he's pretty good with the stuff we have.

Rene said...

Great question! It is nice to consider children when it comes to decorating your home, but they shouldn't dictate how you decorate or whether you have nice things or not.

How did I miss the haircut?! Love it! You look so chic :)

Shannon said...

My kids are older(11 and 13),but I can't ever remember not "striving" to have a nice home even when they were little. Don't get me wrong, there were times when we had toys every where, laundry piles, and unfinshed art projects littering the house, but the goal was and has always been to have a nice home that functions for my family. I set some unbreakable ground rules when they were little that are still enforced. I think it has helped. No food or shoes on the furniture. Eat only sitting down at the table. At the end of the day take your toys, homework, shoes, etc. with you out of the common area. I used to think my husband didn't really care about having a nice home, but over the years when we have guests visit, I over hear him showing our visitors how I made this and decorated that. He likes it, he just didn't know it till he had it. He is proud of our home. I suspect your husband is the same way.

La Monica said...

The hubby and kids will probably never share your passion and desire to have a nice home, but that's okay because that's a gift that God has given to you. So keep nurturing and flowing in that gift. I promise you that both your hubby and kids appreciate it, even if they don't know it right now. ;-)

I have a 4 year old and 2 year old, so I can relate to what you're going thru. I do believe we can have a nice home for this stage in our family's development.

I read a great quote from a design blogger (sorry, forgot her name), but she and her family were downsizing so that she could chase her dream of being an interior decorator f/t. So while she was living in what was her "dream home," she decided that it was more important to have the home where she could live out her dreams.

That resonated w/me so much and has really started to change my thinking about how I view my own home. It's def not our dream house, but I can make it a home where my family's dreams are lived out. So that's my challenge to myself and the rest is all gravy!

Decor & Harmony @ 4290 said...

Okay it's time for the one who doesn't have children to weigh in. I think its possible to have a home you're proud of, I'm sure it's challenging at times. I remember living at home and my parents were organized and DIYers and it was just the way we were brought up. The family had rules and chores and we worked as a unit. Personally I think its ridiculous when my friends say I'll decorate the way I want when the kids are gone.....18 years of waiting. Make it your family culture to live beautifully! I love your haircut, I wanted to post about it last week but my computer was out of commission. What a great post it was nice of you to put out there.

autumn said...

i think they key to having kids AND a nice house it to think about how each item you select for your home will look after being kicked, licked, wiped-on, jumped on, sat on, spit-up on, and used as a napkin. if you think it will look ok after all that, then go for it!
:)

Andrette Duncan said...

First, let me start off by saying that you're giving new meaning to The Bold & The Beautiful! Your blog and 'new do'...absolutely love 'em!

Thanks to reincarnating thrifted treasures and DIYing one can experience the best of ALL worlds.

Darnetha said...

I enjoyed reading your post today, as I too have this same dilemma. My desire is to have this great home that is functional, comfortable and looks beautiful, however I am the only one that wants that (most of the time). My husband really doesn't care how the house is furnished, he just wants it clean. If I had a couple of bean bag chairs, a huge tv, and some fold out tables, he would be perfectly happy. No thank you! He says if I want it, just do it, of course within reason. But somethings I lay off on things because I have a three year old, like a glass coffee table. But one day... My only advise is to not wait on it all until they grow up, do what you want, they will all come around and will enjoy the fruits of your labor.

MzMannerz said...

There's a difference between having a nice home and having a home that looks perfect every single minute. My standard is having a home that I can pull together when needed. On a random day, there may be a trail of Lincoln Logs going up the steps, but when I'm ready for the house to show itself off, it needs to start tap dancing. I try to buy things that don't give me heartbreak if they get broken or need a good scrubbing - but I do insist that it look pleasing. Toys store just as well in pretty, decorative containers as they do in red plastic bins. :)

That being said - there are some age related factors. I don't display my glass vases for obvious reasons. :) That will come later.

jamie said...

this post really hit home for me. how about not having a nice home because of your man moreso than your kids. its hard to keep it up when you live with a total and complete slob lol. it can get really frustrating at times so i can understand your mindset right now. cute haircut too!

JaneB said...

Oh no i don't agree with your hubby! I think our homes should be our sanctuary from the work/work car! They are the place of refuge and if that means beauty and calm and clean, then that's what it should reflect. We've just moved house - 1st time in 24 years - and it's taking a while to get that sanctuary back. Frustrating at times, but i keep thinking...it's a journey, enjoy the ride.

Regards
Jane in NZ

Mrs. Chic said...

I for sure think its possible, maybe not always magazine worthy possible but possible. I think the main thing is compropmise esp. with smaller kids.

For instance instead of amazing fabrics on the sofa maybe you settle for less expensive fabrics and outdoor ones. But bottom line it all boils down to showing your kids to respect thier home and keep things nice, that's how I was rasied - like no feet on the sofa, dont sit on the arms of chairs etc. take your shoes off etc.

Now in our own home we are not that strict - but I try my best to teach on son (and will the baby too) to take care of toys, make his bed etc.

Some days its a huge struggle since my home is a boy zone! lol, but I'm trying. I've had friends say my home isn't kid friendly! lol -- which is funny.

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

You look gorgeous, a fun look!! Kids and homes, that is a really great question and debate. I have a nice home and I have kids, I also had to wait until I was 40 to have my first house and I realized if I waited until the kids were older to dress it up how I wanted, shoot, I'd be waiting FOREVER! My family is on board with how we "decorate" our house, and the kids have learned you don't jump up and down on a piece of furniture. It has taught them to respect that you don't trash things you've decided to spend money on. However, they are kids and stuff happens and it is completely fine...it's just stuff. It is a delicate balance, they need to be kids, I need to love my home and have it inspire me, and the husband, he enjoys having things comfortable, so luckily this family is pretty much all on the same page. (Until I try to PAINT A ROOM CORAL THAT IS!)

Janell

P.S. I love this... said...

What a great topic. I have always wanted and had a nicely decorated home.. (in my opinion). I didn't let the fact that I had a child deter me.. I think it showed her at a very young age to care about the things that you have and to keep them pretty. I've always had light furniture, glass and other things that children are attracted to like a magnet but never really had a problem with my daughter.. other's people children, that was a whole 'nother story but I set the expectation as soon as they set foot in my house and didn't have too many problems.

Nancy said...

I understand completely about your wanting to have a nice home regardless of kids. I don't think your obstacle is the kids but could be your husband if he doesn't let you "go for it" regardless of kids' ages and/or his disinterest. Hopefully he isn't like that and it wouldn't appear that he is. It's just more work to do it alone but that can also mean you get to make all of the decisions!

Nancy said...

And if that's your dream kitchen, I'm right there with you!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

My kids are 16 and 20 now so I feel like I have enough experience to give a decent answer to your question. Yes, you can have a nicely decorated home with children but (of course there is a but!)you need to have realistic expectations. You may love the look of an all white living room but it's impractical with little ones. Instead, save the all white for your master bedroom and make that the one room in the house that is a kid-free zone. Choose kid friendly fabrics for high ticket items to save on your cleaning bills and sanity.

I find it very inspiring and charming that your in-laws and mom were content with what they had. That's an admirable quality.

Carmel @ Our Fifth House said...

Great question! I believe it's possible to have kids and a nice home - although I do think it takes an incredible amount of work! Why is it always the mom doing all of that work?! ;)

Kathysue said...

Sweetie, Your family IS what makes your house a home!! Just like the article I wrote in the E-zine. I believe you can have pretty things and make your home lovely,but you need to be able to relax and enjoy it too!! Perfection is over rated. There is not a Mother alive that will not tell you that she wished she played more with her children when they were young. Being a Grammy I have realized, that they don't want much other than our attention. Not the kind where we are doing something as we talk to them, but the kind where we give them our total attention. It only takes 10min and they are merrily along their way. I do feel they all need to be taught responsibility and to take care of things but within reasonable parameters. Just enjoy those precious little men!! xo Kathysue

Tiffany said...

Great great post. I think this is true for sooo many people, they wait until the kids are gone. But I think it's also important to set the tone for our children so they know what is expected/normal. So yes, let's make our homes beautiful and child liveable. And your hair is fab fab fab - as my younger sister says, 'get it shawty' :)

Divamom said...

I love this post! I can totally relate to it in so many ways! I have six kiddos (2 girls and 4 boys) and I strive to have a nice home. My husband was brought up in a large family (6 kids also) and they took pride in their home and kept it very clean. Although the majority of his family are theme decorators (ducks, fruit, grapes, etc.), I was pleasantly surprised that they all like to decorate. My biggest challenge is the four boys! I've learned with them that I can either become discouraged and feel that my home will never look like anything as long as they live there, or I can try my best to show them what it means to have nice things and take care of our home. I choose to do the latter, but trust me, it's not easy! My husband & his siblings all grew up with a list of chores and this is what we do with our children. They say, "teamwork makes the dream work!" Take it one day at a time and don't overwhelm yourself or burn them out. They'll all eventually praise you for your efforts!

Be Blessed!

I Goodie 2 Shoes said...

i say you can have a nice home with or without. I do believe that if you TRAIN them up in a way that they are suppose to go, they will not depart.
Which means, you play in the play area! U eat in the kitchen and you keep your space clean. we must train our children and we can surely have a SUV of a home!

(s/n, I would love to send you some of my designs of earrings that would look flawless on you. Ur hair R.O.C.K.S.)
Let me know if that would be okay.

www.brookescloset.net

simon said...

Useful information shared..I am very happy to read this article..thanks for giving us nice info.Fantastic walk-through.
roofing contractor fort worth tx