Back when I was pregnant with our oldest son, I remember watching a couple on HGTV’s House Hunters search for a home for their growing family. The mom was insistent on having a tub large enough to bathe all four of their children at once. I found this completely absurd at the time.
Now I’m a mom of three, and I totally get it — mandatory group bathing will be enforced at our house through elementary school, minimum. Time is sanity, my friends. Time is sanity.
After two homes and three kids, here are some other useful tips I would like to share with expectant house hunters.
Open Floor Plans
Expectant House Hunter: Open sight lines are a must. I need to be able to keep an eye on the kids at all times.
Advice: All helicopter parenting red flags aside, please remember that those open sight lines go both ways, and leave very little room to hide from your children while cramming the last Double Stuf Oreo into your mouth.
Dining Room Layout
Expectant House Hunter: The bathroom is right off of the dining room? How awkward.
Advice: Ignoring the obvious pitfalls of this floor plan, there are a multitude of events in your future that will make the short distance from dining room to bathroom a godsend once you are a parent. These include but are not limited to: the introduction of solid foods, potty training, learning to pour milk, family spaghetti night, and that random stage when your kids constantly dump food on the dog’s head.
Also, this layout allows you to simultaneously ensure that one kid isn’t drowning in the tub while another kid isn’t choking at the table, which pretty much makes you a superhero. Believe me, this is one sight line you will want open.
Location of Bedrooms
Expectant House Hunter: All bedrooms need to be on the same floor.
Advice: Let’s not forget that those toddlers and babies are going to be teenagers someday. Therefore, the ideal layout is kids’ bedrooms on the second floor, master bedroom at the base of the stairs. You will want them to have two hard options to consider before sneaking out (or in) past curfew: incur bodily injury by jumping from the roof or walk directly past your bedroom. Either way, the risk of getting caught will be high and the necessary planning needed to get by will make them smarter, more resourceful adults. This is the stuff that college essays are made of.
Expectant House Hunter: An all-white kitchen with stainless steel appliances and dark wood floors is mandatory.
Advice: Don’t. Just don’t. Admittedly, I am not a good housekeeper, but white cabinets and stainless steel appliances in a home with children will destroy even the merriest of maids. And for the love of all things holy, whatever color you choose for flooring, just make sure it matches your pet’s hair.
Happy house hunting!