Looking back on surviving the toughest season of parenthood in our small space


I revisited this post recently, horribly titled Transforming Our Space…Again after receiving a few messages and talking to some wonderful people about adding a second baby to a small space. I’m going to re-share the post below but first I’m going to share my thoughts on it now that I have the benefit of hindsight.

The original post should have been titled, “I Am Drowning in my Small Space; Will it Ever Be Okay Again” or “My 3 year old Just Peed On the Floor and Smirked at Me While I’m Nursing the Baby” or “When Putting the Wall Bed Away Makes You Want To Cry”. That season was hard for a number of reasons and a little bit was the extra space the baby gear takes up and moving those items around our small home. Reflecting on that time I can now confidently say that it was just a season and the very minimal baby gear we had (Bassinet, Chair, Play Mat, Stroller) was very useful. While the extra effort to move a couple of items around our small home was challenging, the toughest part was only about 6 months total. I can look back now and be grateful that we stuck out that tough winter in our small space with a baby and a toddler because now the tough times feels like a faint (and adorable) memory. I’m not saying there weren’t other tough times or hard days/weeks but that season was the toughest and I’m so happy we didn’t give in because the commitment to our small space, smaller eco-footprint and owning fewer things has given us much more than 6 slightly uncomfortable months.

Sharing the previous post below because if you are in it right now or are about to be in it. I want you to know I SEE you. And I can tell you it gets better. During that tough season, I might have thought we couldn’t last much longer in our space but now 3 years later I can see us staying for a few years more!

The transition to two kids has been very challenging for us as I am sure it is for many people. That is not to say we aren't incredibly grateful and so blessed for a family of four but anything this wonderful doesn't come without some hard work. In the past six months of little sleep and toddler meltdowns I have been hyper-aware of all aspects of our lives and if they are helping or hindering our family.  

One of these focuses is our small space. I have found the daily physical transformation of our home, to be the most challenging part of living small with two kids. By this I mean the physical moving of furniture and toys required to create the different uses of our space. When the living room is also our bedroom and the playroom, and we don't have an extra room to hide anything that is in the way, some fancy rearranging is required.  I'll walk you through my morning:

Trevor leaves early for work so he can get home and spend time with the family before bedtimes. So in the mornings I wake, tend to baby and toddler while making and putting the bed away. Folding away the murphy bed transforms our bedroom back into our living room, leaving room for Theo to play.  I then carry the bassinet into the bedroom.  Next, I pull the baby chair out of the bedroom and set it up where Mae can see me and her brother.  (I love the Nuna but wonder if the Baby Bjorn might have been a better choice for us as it is much lighter and smaller).  At the end of the day we repeat these steps in the reverse order, obviously it is much easier with Trevor's help.

I am very pleased with the fact that we have few large items for our baby and toddler and the ones we do have are multipurpose, quality and design conscious. But some days when I am wearing a fussy baby and my toddler is hell bent on revenge, these physical acts can seem insurmountable. My logical brain knows that these days will pass and I won't need the baby chair or bassinet anymore and there will be new challenges in our space.  But as I live through these long, messy days I wanted to share with you these challenges. Maybe you have similar ones in your small space?  Or maybe in a larger space these are not things you experience.

A few coins have definitely gone into the "this space is not working" jar due to the physical transformation of our space required on a daily basis. But at 6 months in with 2 kids we are still committed to living in our small space, having less things and focusing on experiences. 

This also reminds me that babies don’t need much! Post about all the things you don’t need when you are about to have a baby HERE