Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What Could Be Better than an Extra Bathroom?

I remember hearing about a large family living in a small house with one bathroom. Every winter the family found a way to go on a skiing vacation, but they never found the money to add a bathroom to their house.

One day, when the mother arrived late because she couldn't get into the bathroom right away, a friend said to her, "Why don't you skip the ski vacation this year and build a second bathroom into your house?"

The mother replied, "We've talked about that. But we decided that when our kids are grown and on their own and remember their childhood with us, they will talk about the great ski vacations we had, the blizzards, the dry years, the time they sprained their ankle, the hot chocolate, the cold, the crowded, long car ride, the arguments, and the laughter. We just can't imagine that they would say, 'Remember that great second bathroom we got?'"

We didn't go on ski vacations, but we went to our churches' campground with lots of friends when no camp was on and had hot dog roasts at bonfires so hot and high that we couldn't get close enough to cook the hot dogs. We camped in Yosemite National Park in a tent and listened to people yell, "Bear!" while they banged pots and pans (and I didn't know we had peanuts in our tent with us!). We rode buses through South American in luxury and not-so-luxurious. And we had meals together--every day.

When our kids come home to visit, we eat together and they reminisce about our times around the table. They remember fighting over who stole my chips and the one sister who acted out the Bible readings as they were read and being allowed to bring the hamster to the table to eat crumbs at snack time and setting the table and the toaster we brought into the eating area every morning and one brother's scientific explanations of just about anything and another brother first eating too slow as a youngster and then eating too fast as a tween, about the littlest one declaring, "Forks are for dropping!" and mom always, always forgetting the napkins. 

Back then, they usually wanted to get back to whatever they had been doing before dinner as quickly as they possible after they ate, because bedtime was coming soon. But now, they linger at the table and visit until they have to put their own kids down to sleep. Then they come back to talk some more.

We could have put our kids in every class and sport available and spent our time rushing from one activity to another, but we chose time together as a family over most other activities. They did extracurricular pursuits, but that wasn't the focal point of our family life.

I have no regrets about that. 

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This week's hack comes from Corrie Anne Mutilva again: My kids have rest time in their room after lunch, so I use that time for any labor-intensive prep where I'd really not prefer any "help". 😉 I love the quiet, and the opportunity to listen or watch something while I work. It's refreshing and profitable for both my soul and our family's budget & schedule. I usually save the kids' TV watching for late afternoon, so that gives me a little extra time to pull supper together at the last minute (tho' usually my little wanders over to lend a hand).

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  1. Great post : ) I often remind my daughter that having a small house means that Mom doesn't have to go to work to pay a mortgage - and can stay home to teach her. Less stuff & more family is a huge blessing.

    1. It's so easy to get caught up in materialism! I sometimes struggle with it too.

  2. I grew up in a house where mom worked part-time. Full time income would have eased up finances but a full-time mom was better!

    1. So great she was able and willing to do that!

  3. There is nothing better than gathering around the dinner table enjoying great food, conversation and tons of laughter. Found you on Grandma's Briefs Link Party.

    1. I agree completely! My favorite family time.

  4. Love this!
    We still have only one bathroom, and there are plenty of home projects that are waiting their turn, but our kids know they've been our priority, and so we are thankful!

  5. This is very true. There are many things that can take up our time in life, especially when we have kids. We have to be cautious of what we make our priorities. Thank you for sharing your story.



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