Unless you live in a big city, the typical family dwelling to you is probably a house in a quiet neighborhood with a big backyard. The reality, though, is that many of us parents are raising kids in apartments, either by choice or for financial reasons. I currently share an apartment with my husband and our two kids, and while we hope to be able to buy a home someday, we've been happily making the apartment gig work for more than a few years now. As skilled as we've gotten at apartment living, there are still some pitfalls you just can't escape. Here are seven issues you encounter while raising kids in an apartment:
1. There is never enough space.
Sure, you learn to simplify and use less, but that doesn't mean fitting everything into the linen closet stops being a master level game of Tetris. Kids come with stuff. There's no way around it. The best you can do is meet your needs as efficiently as possible and find creative ways to stay organized while you drool over elaborate mud rooms on Pinterest.
2. You're legitimately scared people will call the cops every time the baby cries.
Apartment walls are thin, and even though you do your best to keep the kids happy, there's no escaping their bloodcurdling screeches when they're upset. My toddler recently started screaming 'no' over and over again at the top of her lungs whenever she's mad, which I'm sure our neighbors think sounds lovely and not at all like someone is being murdered in our living room.
3. There's no such thing as peace and quiet.
There's no escaping the upstairs neighbor who stomps around at 4am getting ready for work or that kids get out of school right around nap time and come up the stairs laughing and shouting like hyenas. Sure, you could go out and yell at everyone, but you really don't want to be that person, plus then they'd definitely have you arrested next time your kid cries because they can't have ice cream for dinner.
4. There's no such thing as being alone.
You and your family pretty much live on top of each other, and there's no getting around that. It's great when you're sharing meals or having a game night, but not so great when you're trying to work, your office is also the living room, and your husband won't stop showing you lame YouTube videos he thinks are hilarious. Not that I have experience with that or anything.
5. You spend pretty much all of your time cleaning the kitchen.
Apartment kitchens are tiny, so you make one meal and every surface of the room is covered in crumbs, trash, and teetering piles of dishes. Keeping things clean is a full time job for anyone with kids, but tiny spaces just make it that much harder.
6. If you live above the ground floor, you're paranoid about play time.
Kids don't mean to be so damn loud, but they are, and apartments don't always have first-floor units available. That means long days spent shushing the little ones and imploring them to please.stop.running.omg stahp.
7. You don't spend much time at home.
You don't have a back yard or a spare room and hosting gatherings can get complicated pretty quickly if it's more than a couple of people, so your fun is largely outside the house. It's inconvenient when you want to have a Christmas party or something, but mostly it's a bonus. You become a whiz at finding fun things to do around town, and you spend so much time at the library they make you a reserved spot with your face painted on it. See? Apartment life comes with mad perks.
(Photo: RobertCrum / iStock / Getty)