When you live in a city with astronomical real estate prices, your home can serve as a kind of birth control. Once you find your perfect place, why would you want to move just to procreate? Alternatively, you can be a nut like me and choose both. People have been raising kids in one-bedrooms since the dawn of walls. And they’ve probably faced all the same problems. I'm still not moving anytime soon. but allow me to describe the states of mind that one experiences while living in a tiny space with a child.
You scour through Pinterest for inspiration for the perfect ways to decorate the tiny nook in which you’ll keep your coming bundle of joy—who is so small, she won't need much more space than that little basinet anyway. Even when she arrives, she sleeps all the time (well, except when you want to sleep) through all sorts of loud noises, so space is hardly an issue. "This is great," you think. "We can do this! Plus, think of all the money we saved by not buying a baby monitor."
2. Extreme Caution
But somewhere around the time the kid starts being really cute and aware of the world around him, he also pays attention to sounds, particularly during bedtime. You learn where all the creaky boards are in the apartment and begin to do all your household chores in the dark. Too bad the poor lighting means you and your partner can't communicate with hand signals very clearly. Cry It Out is an aspirational dream when the kid knows you’re standing right there, ignoring him.
Thank goodness the fog of Mommy Brain has begun to lift, because now is when you become mad scientist and Martha Stewart in one. Apartment Therapy is going to come to you for advice soon enough, because you are a genius of space and time. Curtains, fake walls, bathroom nurseries, sound machines, pull-out couches — you have become the mad genius of small spaces. Or you kind of have a peaceful place to sleep sometimes.
That’s a nice way of putting it. Because when you share a bedroom, or are kicked to the living room, marriage gets tougher than ever. Forget about sex. Also, forget about having room to walk, as those toys multiply and grow larger and more scattered as the kid grows older.
5. Renewed Idealism
Even as habit makes things easier, you also begin to dream of new, wide open spaces. The idea of a two bedroom apartment makes you set new career goals and forces you to realize that maybe the schools in that cheaper neighborhood next door are just as good as your own.
By the way, please don't go telling folks like me to move to the suburbs or an "easier" city. You take your compromises, we'll keep ours.