Here is the typical timeline for couples: Get married. Find a home. Think that you have TONS of space. Have kids. Find that your home keeps shrinking. Seriously!
Very often I look at magazine spreads, or visit show flats, and think, How on earth do people live like that? So I’m so glad to be part of the blog train “Small Spaces“, started by Mummy J of Making Mum, on how parents tailor their real living spaces to their real kids. Who make real messes. That’s what real childhood is about, right? 🙂
In all honesty, I don’t need a big home, and I actually like raising kids in a smaller home because it’s easier to get from one place to another, watch out for them, etc. But I do think that storage space is so so important. I’ve also realised how much we can store away, since there are so many things that we don’t use every day. (Or ever, sometimes.) We live in around 1000sqft, and I think I could use another 500sqft just for storage 😀
With Mittens starting primary school, we decided that we needed MORE space. We recently added in some shelves and drawers in the boys’ room, and I gave each child a drawer to put their own belongings, and in truth whenever there is stuff I don’t know where to put, I just shove it in there for them. HA! They like the drawers so much, even our littlest, that she recently asked me where was MY drawer. The whole house is MINE, honey!
Once I had these shelves installed, I felt like such a weight had lifted over me! I had space again! And I think the kids like that they have their own personal space too. We still have sections empty, and it’s not the easiest to access everything, sometimes I even have to pull the shelves out to access other drawers, but we make do with the space we have.
Out in the living room, I have a stationery section, complete with paper that anyone can use, and some craft items. I got really sick of people asking me for pens, markers, etc, that we just leave everything out now for them to use. Scout has been using scissors independently since she was 2 years old, so nothing is off limits here.
The study table is a recent addition, we have one in the boys room too, but it’s warmer and the living room is larger, since there are usually 3 kids who are doing different things at different times, so it’s easier if everyone is in one central location. Our old iMac, which is still going strong, is in the living room too, and the kids sometimes use this. It’s just in the right position where I can see what they’re doing, and the right height for them too.
And then there is our study, which is actually just the playroom which on most days looks like it exploded. Our open plan kitchen looks into the study as well as the dining and living areas, which makes it easy to keep an eye on the monkeys and their shenanigans.
I find myself constantly organising things, and I’ve resigned to the fact that “spring” cleaning a never ending task. I’m also resigned that we’ll never have that picture perfect home. We have toys and clothes all over the place, stickers on walls, drawers, beds. Pen marks on our bedsheets, sofa, curtains… But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Furniture are merely material goods that will eventually be thrown away (and these days, nothing lasts anymore), and a childhood is not about having everything sanitary, isn’t it?
Ashlyn shares her walk of faith, love and joy as a full time working mummy to 1. Many years back, she prayed for a child but God didn’t send her one immediately. Instead, he waited and blessed her with a daughter at the perfect timing. He continued to be her center of life, guide and lead her new journey. She writes about her life, faith, parenting, child, travel and crafting “adventures” – yes, many ups & downs! More over at www.ashlynthia.blogspot.com