We got the official word from London yesterday on what our housing options would be. We were lucky enough to have a few choices, were asked to put them in order of preference, and then they will decide at the next housing board meeting to which one we will be assigned.

They then showed us three equally fantastic options…a house, an apartment and a townhouse…and asked us to pick. I’m usually pretty good at decision making, but this one threw me for a loop. And by midnight last night I was literally curled up in a ball on the couch crying. SERIOUSLY.

I have no idea what was wrong with me…perhaps I was just tired because it was so late. We had had really low expectations and assumed we we’d be put in a New York-style shoebox somewhere in an impersonal brick building with no elevator on a noisy major road. But we wouldn’t have cared because it was London!

So when they showed us an adorable little gabled two-story house with four bedrooms, a garage and an enclosed yard on an old-fashioned leafy street in a “relatively” close suburb, we were instantly in love. But it had a few flaws. The house was a split level, so the place was filled with stairs, the one thing we were looking forward to avoiding if we got a shoe box. Toddlers + stairs = accidents.

But the biggest drawback was the commute time. If it was just me and/or my hubby, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But we’d be taking our son into town to daycare every morning too. So walking 20 mins to the tube station with a three-year-old before even beginning the commute…twice a day…every day…in the rain…in the snow…in the dark…brought up all kinds of frustrating and exhausting imagery.

I’m not a huge fan of being underground, and our son is fascinated by double-decker buses. So I thought the bus would be a good alternative. But there was no direct route, so it could potentially take over an hour to get into town while dragging a questionably-potty-trained toddler. Perhaps I could carry a plastic bottle in my bag in case of emergencies.

Enter the apartment. The apartment is beautiful. It is basically the same square footage as the house but minus a bedroom, so it has much bigger and brighter rooms and more modern amenities. Where the bathrooms in the house were small and dark with low slanted ceilings, the ones in the apartment were wide and spacious and had two sinks. The apartment itself has high ceilings and looks like something out of a Jane Austen novel.

It is also more centrally located, close to the London Zoo and about two blocks from the nearest tube station. Everything we could’ve dreamed of before we saw the house. My hubby is not a fan of apartments. He doesn’t like people stomping around above his head, and neither of us wants anyone complaining if our son is noisy. And he was looking forward to having an outdoor space where he could smoke his cigars.

The townhouse was the smallest of the three, with lots of stairs and not much light. So we weren’t too worried about that one.

I guess the bottom line is that I felt bad last night sitting on the couch. I drag my husband all over the world, and now I feel like I’m taking away the one thing he preferred in one of the few areas that we actually have a choice. He was so excited about the house.

But we talked some more today, and he is disappointed but doesn’t want to change it. He wants to do what’s best for our whole family. He really is a great guy. And if this is the biggest problem we’re dealing with…which of three fabulous places to stay in London for the next two years…things are still pretty good.

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