I Won’t be Upgrading My Life


“So, when do you think you’ll move?”

It’s a question I’ve been asked multiple times since we began parenting. I’ve written before about having a small home, and I guess it’s not surprising that people assume that we’d eventually “outgrow” this starter home as our family grows and kids get older. After all, it seems that the goal these days is to have everything your parents had, and more, by the time you reach parenthood.

Not only is it not an option financially right now, but I just don’t get a lot of the appeal of “upgrading.” While a look at Pinterest can definitely get me excited about eventually departing from the land of laminate cabinets, for the most part, I’m pretty happy where I am. Beyond having a mini-panic attack just thinking about listing/packing/moving with little kids, I think I’d be an emotional wreck if we had to leave the home where my husband and I lived as newlyweds and saw each of our kids take their first steps. Call me weird, but I love that we live in a super convenient location, know most of our neighbors, and feel like we’ve finally built enough local friends that it feels like we have a real sense of community within our city.

It seems like this sense of “upgrading” and “giving our kids the best” is the norm, and I can definitely understand a parent’s desire to make sure their kids have great opportunities – whether it’s enrolling in the best school district, buying the best possible foods, or making sure your child is at the best dance school or sports club (clearly I don’t know how these things work yet!). But really? I think no matter where we live or how those details shake out, they’ll probably be okay, even if we aren’t in the hottest zip code, biggest house, or if they miss the chance to summer in Europe. I think they’ll be okay because even though my husband and I make plenty of mistakes, we show them they’re loved by us and by God, and because we encourage them and set boundaries that make them feel safe.

It’s definitely possible we’ll move one day. But to say we need the space is a lie – we can fit all we “need” and plenty more in about 1200 square feet. We may find the idea of upgrading appealing one day, but for now, I think my kids’ childhood is pretty magical, and they don’t seem to know or care that our kitchen is cramped and outdated and that their parents don’t have their own master bath! I’d live another 50 years in this house if it means beers over the fence with our neighbors, knowing the cashiers at our corner store, and a quick drive to the church I love. I can’t imagine any “upgrade” that would improve what I already have.


  1. Great post. We never upgraded and I love our “starter” home – a home which – since our mortgage is paid off – allows us to take fun vacations!

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  3. I *love* this refreshing take! When my husband and I were relocating a year ago, a huge part of our focus was school ratings. How could we possibly place our 1-year-old in an elementary school (in 5 years!) with a rating of less than 7?!

    But then out of curiosity, I looked up my old elementary school in a small town in Iowa, where I thought we had the best teachers and programs in the state, and that COMPLETELY prepared me for middle school and high school. And it was only rated a 3! Haha. It put everything into perspective and made us realize that schools, programs, neighborhoods, are all what you make them.

  4. Love this! So many people now want to move 10 minutes away from their current situation to be in the “it” neighborhood. So refreshing to see this post. Thanks for sharing and it’s exactly how I feel too!


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