Over Easter weekend, as well as trying to limit the chocolate consumption of the tiny humans (and ourselves) and trying to entertain small children with days at home with their boring old parents instead of playing with their friends, we moved house.
We have moved from our upstairs, two bed flat to a lovely house in the countryside with gardens all the way around. And it is AMAZING.
When we had Midget Gem we were living in a three bed house with a little garden - but I hadn't been able to work through most of the pregnancy because initially I was sick constantly, then I was a cripple in a wheelchair and couldn't do anything alone! We stuck in the house as long as we could - but we not only ran out of money, we ran out of all sources of being able to manage - we were living on less than £200 a month after rent - we had to use that to pay for everything - for our bills, our living expenses, our food, clothes for a growing child, getting me around with my wheelchair and absolutely everything.
So we made the choice to move from there to the flat - much lower rent, lower bills, lower cost of everything - but much less space, no outdoor space other than walking to the park down the road, and on street parking that was FOREVER AWAY from the front door.
It was the best decision we ever made! We cleared a lot of debts, we could afford to live like actual people, sometimes we went out, sometimes we got a take away meal, most weeks we bought meat! It wasn't all bad, but it certainly wasn't always easy. There was barely any storage so our stuff - the things we kept, moving there had made us pretty ruthless - was just in the way all the time, and we were constantly clattering into things and it never felt completely tidy.
The walls were made of something like tissue - you could hear people breathing in the next room, never mind actually being noisy. We could hear the girl next door having conversations in her bedroom, we could hear the guy above us take a pee - and the lady downstairs could hear every move we made (which made her loathe us from the minute we moved in - literally - we were unloading the van the day we moved in and she came out to tell us we were 'particularly noisy' and complain that we had children, and made it clear on a daily basis that our living there was ruining her entire life because our existence was just so very noisy! The main noise she complained about was walking. Walking from room to room, or around a room, was too noisy.)
Anyway - it wasn't all bad, because it made our life much more comfortable, we could take better care of our children and give them the things we needed, and we cleared some of the debts that we'd been so worried about before we moved.
This weekend - because we're better off and because we're both working and those magical things called wages are coming in - we finally moved again. We have moved to my dream home.
We have a nice sized house, with lovely big gardens, right out in the countryside beside a beef farm, surrounded by fields and beautiful scenery, it is just utterly glorious.
It has a huge room on the front upstairs that is intended to be the master bedroom - we have made it the family room. It is bright and colourful, and full of toys and fun things and games for the boys.
They are sharing a bedroom at the back and we have the bedroom beside them.
Downstairs we have the snug - a lovely, cosy, clean room with comfortable chairs, bookcases and calm - it's the place we sit when the children are sleeping to relax, to read, to sew, to blog, to type, to do the things we do in our own time. It has a proper fireplace and a magic cupboard under the stairs that the owner built shelving into for storage - the storage is magnificent!
The kitchen is the most wonderful I have ever known - we have a utility room, a pantry, and a Rayburn! A real live actual Rayburn!
The kids love it - we love it - it was worth the time in the flat and the difficult days and the managing to get to this. We made a tough decision and it worked out - and I am proud of my little family for making the best of the situation we were in, and getting through a tough time, and paying our way through and digging ourselves out of a hole.
We made it, and now we're here - in this dream place. I feel like it's our reward for those hard times - the debts building when I couldn't do anything to help, the stress my husband had trying to support us when I couldn't even go to the loo without him there to help me, when we had a young child and a brand new baby and no money and a lot of fear.
We got through the tiny home, the battlles with neighbours, the struggle to keep two young boys subdued in their own home so we didn't disturb other people, the cramped space full of all our belongings because we hadn't real places to put them.
We got through all that - and this is our reward.
I think we deserve it!