Why buying a house is similar to raising a kid. Well, kind of…


Like most parents of a young child in London, we’re in the process of moving house for the primary purpose of school. You know, getting into the catchment area of an Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ school. Our agenda these weekends is house-hopping (ah, gone are the days of pub-hopping), viewing house after house back-to-back talking the talk with agents and vendors.

And one day, while in the thick of it all, I had a lightbulb moment (well, I like to think of it as one) and realised that buying a house is very much like raising a kid. Sounds weird, I know, and so disconnected, but hear me out.


When you decide you’re going to buy a house, you paint an imaginary picture in your head of how that dream-house is going to look. An open-plan kitchen, a conservatory, a separate utility room for those horrid piles of laundry, a playroom so that the abundance of toys aren’t scattered around the house…

Just like when you find out you’re pregnant. The next nine months get you thinking and visualising how motherhood will be – it’s all rosy and picture perfect. Read this post for more on that subject.

Fast forward to the actual process of finding that dream home. After the first 10 viewings, you will come to realise that you will NEVER get EVERYTHING you wanted. If there’s a conservatory, there won’t be an open-plan kitchen. If the bedrooms are of a good size, the garden will be miniscule. It’s hard to make a choice, you’re so confused.

Just like when the baby pops out and the initial euphoria of motherhood (courtesy the hormones and oxytocin) dies down. When you’ve experienced sleepless nights, when breastfeeding bloody hurts, when you’ve changed 10 nappies already and it’s only midday, you realise motherhood is hard. Bloody hard.

Then there are the gazillion factors you have to keep in mind when searching for that perfect house. Proximity to a good school, not too far away from the station (husband needs to commute into the city) or the High Street (I need to pop into the shops), close enough to a park for those days when you just need to get out of the house and your little ones need to expend that energy, a community or recreation centre for future swimming/ tennis / etc etc classes. It has to of course be in a lovely and safe area. There must be a bus-stop within walking distance of the house incase I need to travel by bus. And then there are the features of the house itself – the open-plan kitchen, large garden, playroom blah blah blah.

BUT you will NEVER be able to tick all the boxes. Somewhere down the line, you MUST compromise.

Back to raising kids… there are the trazillion ‘rules’ you have to make to ensure you bring up normalish human beings. More veggies, less sweets. More outdoor play, less TV. More listening to mummy, less tantruming and saying ‘no’. And however hard you try, you will never succeed in all departments. If you’ve got a good eater, chances are he will torment you during bedtime (the Bedtime Blues, as I call it). On the other hand, if your child is a blink-and-he’s-off-to-lalaland kind of sleeper, bet he’s the fussiest eater on the planet. You will never find the perfect child (though every child is perfect in every mum’s eyes…).

Then, when you finally like a house that meets most of your needs, you start the long-drawn process of negotiating. You make an offer; it gets rejected. You make a higher offer; rejected again. You up your stakes; only to find out you now have competition, another potential buyer is added to the mix. Offer rejected; you dejected.

Now every mum knows the power of negotiation with a toddler. Finish your dinner, then you can have some pudding. If you eat your chicken, you’ll get a piece of chocolate. Want to see one more episode of Paw Patrol? Brush your teeth first…

Finally getting the house that you want is as blissful as winning the negotiation against your headstrong toddler.

Now, doesn’t the seemingly weird comparison of house hunting and raising kids seem plausible?

stress - plaque

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Life Love and Dirty Dishes
Diary of an imperfect mum


  1. Firoza

    Haha. Good one nicoli. Hope u find yr dream house soon. 

  2. kristin mccarthy

    Totally true parallel!


    I will forever be tryin to a better parent and create a better home.



    1. Nicole

      Yeah, both are always on-going processes, aren't they? Thanks for popping over!

  3. Brittany | A Mindful Geek

    I have never bought a house before but this post had me really seeing the simliarities. I wish you all the luck in the world. #dreamteam

    1. Nicole

      Thank you so much, that's so sweet. And thanks for popping by…

  4. Eva Katona

    Some good points there! We're just at the searching process atm, not easy… #globalblogging

    1. Nicole

      Same here. It's so mind-boggling, isn't it?!

  5. Fi - Beauty Baby and Me

    This is a brilliant post and a very true metaphor! I really enjoyed this xx #coolmumclub

    1. Nicole

      Thank you soooo much:)

  6. Abi - Something About Baby

    We are currently in the process of buying a house, and I can totally relate to this!! Currently waiting for our mortgage approval, and it feels distinctly like the time the baby was overdue and I was just sitting around waiting for him to arrive….good luck with the house hunt! #coolmumclub

    1. Nicole

      Lol… now that's a smart metaphor too;) thank you and all the best to you too! Thanks for stopping by…

  7. Talya

    Haha too true – no wonder they can both be one of the most stressful experiences in our lifetime! 😛 Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

    1. Nicole

      Bang on! Two of the most stressful and crucial decisions we'll ever make!

  8. Random Musings

    The two do seem strangely similar after reading this – especially the negotiation stage!

    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

    1. Nicole

      🙂 thanks!

  9. One Messy Mama

    Oh Boy – aint this true!  Now wonder we are nuts most of hte time 🙂 I think mothers are master negotiaters!!! Thanks for sharing #globalblogging

    1. Nicole

      True, true, true… we mums are the best negotiators;)

  10. Rhyming with Wine

    You are so very right! We are in the middle of the house buying process ourselves and I hadn't spotted the similarities until now. (Possibly as I have been too busy inhaling cake and drowning in mountains of legal documents!) I hope you find the house that ticks all the boxes soon lovely. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

    1. Nicole

      Ah, cake solves so many problems, doesn't it?;) Thank you and wish you luck in your search too!

  11. Madhu

    Loving your blogs darling! ??

    1. Nicole

      Thanks love… I know you relate to most of my posts:)

  12. kristin mccarthy

    popping back in from #fridayfrolics

    1. Nicole

      🙂 Thanks Kristin

  13. Claire - Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

    So true Nicole.  Good luck with the house search, and err the toddler?!  Thanks for linking up to #FridatFrolics

    1. Nicole

      Hahaha… yeah, need the luck on both fronts. Thank you:)

  14. Emma

    Soooooo true Nicole! Last time we started looking for the right school for Oldest we ended up moving from the UK to Jersey. Slightly drastic 😉 #FridayFrolics

    1. Nicole

      Lol… ouch! But all well that ends well I guess:)

  15. Barrie

    Yep! So true. Never thought of it like that! 


    1. Nicole

      smiley thanks for popping over!

  16. Kelly | and Jacob makes three

    We're looking for a house right now too! You are definitely right. There's always a compromise #BlogCrush

    1. Nicole

      Yes, it's all about deciding what's best for you! Thanks for stopping by…

  17. Wendy

    Haha, who knew they would be so similar? I have negotiate with my 3 year old on everything! I can't get him to do anything without bribing him with chocolate or screen time. I'm kind of glad I've never had to buy a house after reading this! Thanks for joining us at #BlogCrush xx

    1. Nicole

      Yes, we mums turn into master negotiators, don't we? Screen time is the ultimate bargain;)

  18. Silly Mummy

    Yes, you do make good points! I've recently moved house too! Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics

    1. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville

      Thanks. Did you find the similarities too?;)

  19. Paula from Her Life Is Love

    We haven’t bought a house of our own yet, but these are some good comparisons. I hope you are able to find a great house that’s the right fit for you and your family. BTW, I also really want an open plan kitchen. #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Nicole

      Thanks for popping by, and for your wishes. We have found a place (fingers crossed all goes through well) – no open plan kitchen but it did tick most of my other boxes:)

  20. Catie: Imperfect Mum

    LOL very plausible and you make excellent points particularly the negotiation and it doesn’t end when they become tweens either. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?

    1. Nicole

      Thanks Catie. And oops… it never really ends does it?!

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