How to Live in 600sqft with a Baby and a Toddler: Questions Answered (Part 3)
More than any question I get asked lately is...
How is it working in 600sqft with 2 kids?
So here is my best attempt at answering this question:
I am a firm believer in the concept of a 4th trimester, where your baby is just getting used to being out in the world and you are recovering from pregnancy and birth as well as adapting to this new person in your life. I remember the hazy days of the first few months of Theo, filled with overwhelming love, fear and anxiety over every feed and coo. This time around has a lot less worry and anxiety and a lot more exhaustion and tender nerves. While it's an adjustment for the adults in our home to now care for two kids in varying stages of neediness, we underestimated the effect the addition of Mae would have on Theo's behaviour and emotions.
We are hoping that all the effort we are putting in now to minimize Theo's difficult and reactive behaviour will pay off soon. Hoping that will be right around the time Mae starts sleeping through the night ;).
So herein lies the difficulty in answering this question.... How is living in 600sqft with two kids at this moment? Well I figure it's similar to living in 2800sqft with a 3 year old and a 2 month old. It is wonderful, chaotic, tearful, exhausting and hilarious. And almost none of that has anything to do with our home.
I think the real test of our space (and sanity) will come when we try to move Mae into Theo's room. Currently we set the bassinet out in the night beside our murphy bed, as Mae gets up 2-4 times a night right now. Once her stomach grows a bit and she is more consistently able to go without food in the night, we plan to move her into Theo's room.
I think it's important to not blame the craziness of the 4th trimester on our home. With our firstborn we came out of the haze at about 4 months and decided to give up our bedroom and install our Murphy Bed, forever changing how we live in our space. This time around we have been making small changes in the 4th trimester but we will wait for any major changes to our space (murphy bunk beds? renos?) until at least the 4 month mark or consistent sleep (ha!).
What I do know about living in 600sqft with 2 kids is that it has renewed and refreshed our commitment to living with less things, editing our possessions and refocusing on what's most important.... quality experiences and time together. Less things, means less piles of laundry or mess of toys or stacks of shoes. More than ever we want to limit what we own to essential high-quality items that require no extra energy thinking or fussing about. As we work out how to accomplish this I will be sure to share, as it will be a process and not a quick fix.