Last week my wife Crystal and I found out we were expecting our first child. Our delight was unparalleled (or so we think) and our concern for the obvious questions pending was minimal at best. The moment we stared at the ultrasound screen watching our 10-week old child kick his/her feet up and down, we cared not about square feet, societal standard, sustainable design, or even what sort of expenses awaited us. We thought only about the promise of new life and the years we had been waiting for this very moment.
Our bubble was soon burst though when the first person asked us, “So, are you still going to build this tiny trailer thing? You are going to need a lot more room with a baby coming.”
Ok, first things first. I’ve seen a number of forum threads, blog posts, and Q&A lines where expectant parents express their concern about only having a 2-bedroom apartment or being nervous about not having a dedicated nursery in the home. The common refrain is, of course, “we’re going to have to find a bigger place quickly.”
Really? A bigger place?
And I quickly think, “wait, I have no room to say anything. I have never had a child. I don’t know what I’m talking about. I have NO ROOM to say a word.” But then I remind myself that I do have room to speak. Like so many before me I have dreams and ideas and together with my wife, will see them to fruition. It is not a new idea nor a new concept.
So if you are one of those people that are concerned we are going to raise our baby in a drawer of the bedroom dresser or in a tiny corner just weeks ago reserved for a cupboard, please take a deep breath, relax, and realize that every day millions of people bring up kids in tiny one-room dwellings, and do perfectly well. And might I add they do so not just in impoverished, 3rd world countries, but in modern cities like Tokyo and Paris where a 2-bedroom apartment is both deluxe and a bit pricey.
I personally grew up in a 960 square foot home with 3 siblings, a mom, and a dad. Do some quick math and you will quickly realize that is about 160 square feet per person. 10 feet less than our tiny house will have, might I so humbly add.
Pros and Cons of Family Tiny living
- Less stuff needed = less hassle and less expense
- Less things to “prepare” (read: America’s new fascination with dedicated nurseries)
- Less places to clean when you’re stressed out and otherwise exhausted
- No need to set up said dedicated nursery
- You are physically and emotionally more prone to closeness with your child
- No space for all the presents and gifts that people give you
- Nowhere to escape when you need to breathe and be “child-free” for a moment
- Difficult to find intimacy for spouses
What do you think though? Is it possible to raise a child in a tiny space? Are we in for a HUGE surprise? Do you have any advice for us? And I invite you to have others join in the conversation with their thoughts and experiences. Tweet out the link or share it on Facebook!