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A few months ago, my family purchased a 1930’s Bungalow in the heart of a college town. It was the first home we had purchased in seven years. I fell in love with the huge Oaks in the backyard and the rope swing hanging from it. The house was picturesque in many ways.

My bungalow, in its humble beginnings, was a kit home from Sears and Roebuck (I had no idea they made homes but they did). Its frame was placed on a train and brought in, piece by piece. The house had a story and it was as eclectic as my family. It did not take us long to fall in love with the wood floors and the quirky way the doors had to be shut. I could not wait until we began our renovations, making our first house in seven years an actual home.

The renovations are still underway and we have discovered with a home that is over 80 years old, nothing goes as planned. We have also discovered there is never just one layer of paint on an 80 something year old door but several layers. When you open one wall, you might as well plan to fix everything. We are no longer surprised when our renovation budget nearly doubles on each DIY project. The progress has been slower than anticipated and I often get aggravated when the picture in my head is not reflected in my reality.

Since my home was (still is) a construction zone, most of our play dates and get-togethers are in the homes of my friends. This is when I noticed a glaring difference in my vintage 800 square foot bungalow and my friends’ enormous and updated custom built homes.

I started to feel inadequate and embarrassed at the tiny fixer upper we had purchased. I started doing that dreadful and very unnecessary comparison game. It was the first time I questioned if we had made a mistake purchasing. Where I once was so proud of my new home’s potential, I now felt slightly embarrassed that I thought I could make memories in a home that was so simple compared to others.

The idea of opening my home to others did not seem appealing anymore. I never suggested playdates at our place. I continued to insist my girlfriends and I simply meet at a restaurant for girl’s night. It was nothing like I had anticipated or daydreamed. I wanted these memories to be made in my home yet I was afraid that my home was not enough. I found myself making excuses for why I did not have more furniture or why my kitchen was partially finished. I felt the need to explain why my home was so tiny and why we didn’t go bigger. (We have always loved tiny homes. We were tiny homes before tiny homes were the fad!)

After an impromptu playdate with another family at our home, I finally let go of my fears because of one simple comment made by my friend’s child. As they were getting in their car to go home, I heard one of the children exclaim, “Their house is so awesome. I can’t wait to come back.”

Slowly, I am letting go of my little insecurities and enjoying my tiny bungalow under the oaks. Looking at it now, there was never a need to explain myself or my home. My friends were not there for it. They were there for me and my family. For the first time after our purchase, I am not afraid to open the doors to my home. We have memories to make.

Sarah West

Sarah West is a homeschool mom, freelance writer and first-time author of Walking the Talk: A Parent's Guide to Intimacy and Healthy Relationships. Formerly, she served as the Director and Youth and College Counselor for Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Mississippi. Sarah writes for various online and print magazines on matters of faith and family, and believes in strengthening family relationships and reconnecting parents to their children. You can connect with Sarah and keep up to date with her writing through her blog at https://a-life-inspired.com/ Find her book here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GM5ELRE

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