Our Apartment is Shrinking

I’m not big on complaining…especially when I know how good I have it. I have an amazing family, a hard-working and super-romantic husband, two beautiful, happy, and healthy daughters, and the list goes on…I have a great life.

But today, I feel like changing things up, letting my guard down, and complaining a bit. Out loud. For the whole world to hear (not just Travis who has the pleasure of listening to me complain because that’s part of his duties as the husband).

Today, I feel like writing about all the things that are currently driving me absolutely nuts about living in a shrinking apartment.

And while the square footage might not be changing, everything else is.

(and yes, you’ll soon find that I blame almost everything on the fact that we live in a two bedroom apartment. I’m sure we’dΒ  have many of these challenges no matter where we lived, but it’s so much easier for me to blame them on something that’s already been driving me nuts for quite some time)

So…where do I begin?

I am exhausted. Let’s start there.

I have not had one full night of sleep in over 9 months. 9 months, you ask? Yes, 9 months. While our littlest love is only 6 months old, I suffer from the inability to sleep during the last trimester of my pregnancies so even though Abigail was sleeping well, I wasn’t.

Now it’s not my mind that’s keeping me up, it’s our daughter who prefers playing over sleeping. Who seems to need less sleep than Mommy and Daddy. Who must think it’s fun to wake up every two hours at night.

It’s our daughter who literally defies every book you ever read on how to sleep train your baby. Let them cry? Oh, we’ve done it. And guess who NEVER. STOPS. CRYING…

Shockingly enough, it’s this happy little baby ::

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You would never know she barely sleeps at night. Her demeanor is incredible during the day. She’s happy, engaged, and curious…everything you want your 6 month old to be. She just happens to be a terrible sleeper.

And while I can’t blame her bad sleep habits directly on the fact that we live in a two bedroom apartment, I can say that many of our decisions (and therefore, our problems) have been based on the fact that we live in a two bedroom apartment.

Some examples include (and please forgive me for rambling and digressing) ::

  1. she naps in a swing…still…yes (gasp!), she does :: it’s the only place I’m certain she’ll get the rest she needs
  2. she also naps in a swing because she screams when I put her in her crib and I don’t want her to wake Abby up (which, by the way, the books say won’t happen…but trust me, it does)
  3. she’s also swaddled while she naps in a swing at 6 months old
  4. because she naps in a swing (swaddled), it’s made the transition into her crib even harder
  5. she has spent weeks and weeks sleeping in the kitchen in a pack’n’play because we wanted her out of our room but not in Abby’s room
  6. when we transferred her into Abby’s room, there were a few decent nights of sleep but for the most part, Abby woke Mac up and vice versa – Travis and I were both up taking care of the girls in the middle of the night
  7. last night we made the decision (after her 3rd waking before 10pm) to send her back to the kitchen
  8. when she sleeps in the kitchen, we can’t access it past 6:30pm
  9. Travis typically doesn’t even get home before 6:30pm, meaning dinner has to be prepared early and has to be consumed in the living room (which is not ideal for at least 10 reasons)
  10. this also means that the dishes can’t get done before bed so one of us is up in the morning cleaning up the kitchen (while trying to get ready, feed the girls, etc)
  11. etc, etc etc…we literally have no clue what to do and we feel like we’ve tried everything

Clearly, sleeping is a problem. I keep daydreaming about having a house with more than two bedrooms where each girl gets her own room and we could let Mac scream until the cows come home without waking Abby up.

I know we aren’t the first parents to have two little kids in a two bedroom place, but I just feel like we’re failing in every possible way when it comes to sleeping. We’re reinforcing bad habits. We’re doing all the things we’ve read you shouldn’t do.

Honestly, we’re just trying to survive right now. We do what we have to to get at least a little sleep.Β  And in the mornings and at night, I pack on the eye cream and hope that I won’t look half as tired as I’m feeling.

We know it won’t last forever, but it’s hard to see past each terrible night of sleep at this point. I’m just hoping that we’re able to get some useful advice from Mac’s pediatrician at her 6 month appointment this afternoon.

Beyond the lack of sleep, here are some of the other things that drive me nuts about our shrinking apartment ::

  1. each room is piled high with crap…I mean, toys…but at this point it all looks like a bunch of messy crap to me…no matter how hard we try to clean and straighten, it’s always a mess
  2. we continue to accumulate more and more stuff and we literally have nowhere to put it :: we don’t have storage (well, we do have one storage unit but it’s completely full), we don’t have extra closet space, we don’t have space for anything
  3. we don’t even have enough drawer space (not to mention closet space) to accommodate the girl’s clothes
  4. Travis’ closet is in the girl’s room so if he has to leave early for a meeting (and forgot to grab clothes the night before), he has to wake Abby up in order to get dressed for work
  5. in order to go anywhere, I have to lug the girls (and all the stuff that goes along with them) up and down two and a half flights of stairs
  6. once we’re downstairs, in order to get the car out of our spot (on the bright side, at least we have a parking spot), I have to put Mac in, let Abby sit in the passenger seat next to me because I can only access one side of the car in our garage, back up 20 feet, get out of the car, move Abby from the passenger seat to her car seat, back the car up again, get out of the car, open a gate, get back in the car, back up again, get out of the car again, and close the gate…it literally takes 10 minutes to get away from our apartment building once we’ve walked out the back door (and I’m SPEEDY…so I’m sure it would take an average person 15 minutes or more)
  7. one bathroom…four people…enough said
  8. we have no yard and no outdoor space so in order for us to enjoy the sunshine (or in our case in San Francisco, the fog), we all have to get fully ready, packed up, and then proceed to do a similar routine as above but this time with the stroller instead of the car
  9. etc, etc, etc…

I suppose you could say I’m not just exhausted because we have a bad sleeper. I’m exhausted because every little task that should be relatively easy during the day is exponentially more difficult because we live in an apartment in a big city.

As you all know, there are a ton of reasons why I love living here as well, but today I’m just trying to keep it real and vent and be completely honest about the things that I’m/we’re struggling with right now.

I’m sure we’re not the only ones going through this…

7x7xMommy

PS – I promise my posts will be back to normal tomorrow…but I must say, it felt good to get this all out there!

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12 Responses

  1. You are…human!!! Congratulations on getting it off your chest. It actually made me laugh as I can absolutely relate plus I can envision you doing all of these things (esp getting the car out…such a pain!). Kudos to you for attempting to do it most days with a smile on your face! And at the end of it all, what will the girls remember?? Sleeping in a kitchen or making play-dough with Mommy (which requires about 6 feet of space)? My guess is the latter. πŸ™‚ Keep on keepin’ on!

    • 7x7xMommy says:

      You’re so right, Brooke – they’ll remember the fun stuff (as I’m sure we will too). I’m so glad other people are relating to this post and sharing their war stories as well…it’s fun and refreshing for me to read! πŸ™‚

  2. sarah says:

    i think it’s great that you have a popular blog and are honest about the sleeping situations. i think too many people out there sugar coat what is truly going on. i know that i’ve said this before but i felt (at that very similar point in our life) that us getting sleep was most important! this meant feeding on demand and letting them sleep in our bed. i don’t believe in the whole reinforcing bad habits because eventually they will sleep in their own beds. i know first hand how you want that to come sooner than later and it will. but going through each day with no sleep will definitely make that time seem even further off!
    now that Lu is 2 and sleeping well… i actually get sad and miss them cuddling in our beds! now that i say that, she will for sure be up tonight and wanting to sleep with us! πŸ™‚
    i vote for getting your sleep and making your days easier and more enjoyable because of it!

    • 7x7xMommy says:

      I feel like I’m guilty of sugar coating things as well, so I’m going to try and do a venting session a bit more often since I know people want to hear the frustrations of parenting almost more than the awesome milestones. πŸ™‚
      And yes, fingers crossed that more sleep will be coming our way. With the way Mackenzie is screaming bloody murder right now in her crib at nap time, I’m pretty sure that rest won’t be arriving tonight.
      haha, I’m so glad I have you to talk to about all this stuff!!!

  3. Emily Mae says:

    I know how you feel, well half way. My hubby and I are in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment and already bursting at the seems. I can’t even imagine having a baby in our apartment, even though my husband claims that all the baby would need is a bassinet that we could slip into the closet. Men really don’t know what is all involved with a baby. They certainly do come with lots of stuff.

    Let it out girl!! We all have frustrations and sharing them with each other just helps us to relate! =)

    • 7x7xMommy says:

      haha…a bassinet plus a bagillion other things that add up way faster than you thought possible! πŸ™‚ It’s really amazing. I suppose we could look at it this way :: someday, when we’re out of our tiny apartments and living in more spacious homes, we’ll REALLY appreciate it…right?? πŸ™‚ And thanks for the encouragement – I’ll try to get better at expressing all my feelings…not just my happy ones!

  4. Jen says:

    Just found your blog after a sleepless night with my almost 2 year old. LOVE IT! I’m pregnant with baby number 2 and we live in a 2 bedroom apartment in LA. We thought we might be able to move before this next baby arrives in Dec, but now realize that’s probably not going to happen for a long time, and that’s ok for now. This blog is going to get me thru so much, I can already tell. Keep it up, it’s great to find an awesome blog that keeps it real. Loved your post on staying fit during pregnancy. Can’t wait to dive in and discover all your other posts!

    • 7x7xMommy says:

      Hi Jen! Sorry for the slow reply…we were out of town and anytime I’m traveling I tend to steer clear of the computer. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you found my blog and I’m so glad you can relate! Gosh, it’s crazy…after 3+ years of living in this apartment, we finally found a new (bigger….much bigger!) place to move into. We move in a couple weeks so I’m sure I’ll have lots to say about our new home! That being said, you guys can do it in a 2 bedroom with 2…at least for a while! If you have any questions or anything, let me know! πŸ™‚

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