Only a couple of months before I fell pregnant, the hubby and I had just bought a lovely little 2 bed flat in Brighton. When we found out we were having twins, we quickly realised that the flat really wasn’t going to be a viable long-term option as it was on the first floor and we were having boy/girl twins. At some point we would need three bedrooms. However, we didn’t have any choice but to manage as we couldn’t afford to move.
Although we did some decorating before we moved in, as soon as we knew we had twins to prepare for any major plans for making the flat more of a home evaporated. Our nesting was limited to putting up some shelves in our bedroom and what would become the nursery. We also got new vinyl fitted in the kitchen, hallway and bathroom. When we moved in the hallway was carpeted, not compatible with mud and dirt soon to be trailed in by the double buggy we would have to park in the hallway.
I had such visions of what I could do with the nursery- name plaques above each cot, art work to frame and put up, bunting to make- but in the end all I managed to do was sew some curtains. My first experience of maternal guilt was realising the nursery was never going to live up to my Pinterest-induced dreams, I couldn’t provide an Instagram-worthy space for them. I would do my best to keep them safe and warm, but my aesthetic aspirations would have to wait.
By the time the twin’s were two years old I was seriously starting to get itchy feet. The kitchen was tiny, with no room for a dishwasher. We had to eat in the carpeted lounge, not great for weaning twins! Bumping the double buggy up a flight of stairs to get to the front door was taking its toll on my back and the lack of outdoor space with two energetic toddlers was tough. I felt really unsettled and disappointed that the flat which we’d bought with such high hopes didn’t feel like home.
It so happened that at this time my Grandpa sadly passed away. My Mum had been his only child, so when she died he and Grandma decided to leave their house to my sister and I. Grandpa’s generosity enabled us to look for a new home for our family, for which I will be eternally grateful.
Even with this amazing provision, our challenge was the overheated housing market in Brighton & Hove. We did a lot of window shopping online and quickly realised going from a flat to a house with garden for the kids would require moving further out. We stumbled across a village on the eastern edge of Brighton which had stunning views of the sea and Sussex Downs and a really good vibe. We’d found our target area, now we just needed to find a house!