Ten years ago, my husband and I started the process of purchasing our first home. This was the home we would raise our children in and grow old in. We bought a newly renovated home in a neighborhood that was flooded during Katrina. The only thing this home was missing was a pool. Our new home had a large backyard begging to be dug into. I was pregnant with my first child at the time so we figured let’s add the pool now with the purchase of our new home.
There are so many pros and cons to owning a pool, especially with young children. Honestly, I was not thrilled to own a pool some days when they were younger, but now we are in the sweet spot with a six, eight and ten-year-old who are becoming strong swimmers, and we enjoy our investment everyday.
The downside of owning a pool
I am starting with the cons because those days were only a few years ago. The hardest days were when we had two children who were 2 and 4 and a newborn. My youngest was a summer baby so I was torn between nursing a baby and having two little ones begging to swim. On cooler days, I would put him in a pack ‘n play or bouncy in the shade in the early morning. When you have young children and a pool, they ALWAYS want to swim and some days you just don’t want to.
Someone will always be hanging on you. Just give up and realize that you are basically a human floaty, and you will have a kid screaming in your ear for the next decade.
They will pee in the pool. It’s a fact … kids pee in the pool and they will lie about it. Just try to not think about it and ask your pool guy to shock your pool every now and then.
You have to maintain a pool. Every summer something breaks and you have to continue to maintain it during the winter. If there is one thing in our home that we have serviced the most, it is our pool, which brings me to hiring a pool service.
We attempted to service our own pool for a few years until we wised up and called a pool service company. Although it is an extra monthly cost, it will actually save you money in the long run. A pool service will be able to service and repair equipment before it breaks, plus they will keep your pool from turning green. It is honestly one less task for us to handle.
The Party House
I actually love being the friend with a pool. We can call up our friends on a Saturday morning and have a house full by the afternoon. Everyone pitches in with food to grill, snacks for the kids, and drinks for the grown ups. Summer days turn to summer nights, and the kids sleep well. Our house will be the house the teenagers flock to and this momma loves the thought of being able to keep a watchful eye out. The downside is, when you own a pool and have multiple children of all ages swimming, you are always responsible. No matter how many adults are around, I always keep count and feel it’s my responsibility to be sure everyone is safe and be the rule enforcer.
The day our pool was completed, we called a pool gate service. I cannot stress how important a pool gate is. Toddlers are fast, and we all know how dangerous a pool can be. A locked gate is essential in my opinion. Our gate has a lock and key that we can remove. My kids know they cannot go into the pool without an adult, but some days when they were mad at the world or simply I said no swimming today, I would catch them trying to open the gate. I would stand there and watch the show because there was no way they could get in. Something so simple as a gate could save a life; it’s worth every penny.
A few tips when building
When we built our pool, I was pregnant with my first child and clueless of what a pool with children needed. If you are building a pool, I would be sure to add plenty of shallow water for younger kids to feel comfortable in. You can never have enough seating or steps around the edges. Also, be sure to get a cool stone for little toes to run on around your pool. Pavement around the pool can get dangerously hot during the summer, and cool pavers stone can help keep the temperature down and not burn feet.
I love our pool. Now that our children are older, they can take late night summer dips and have friends over with an activity ready to go. Our home will be a part of our friends and our children’s friends summer memories. We have made so many already and have had so much fun grilling, talking, laughing and swimming.