Dear Neighbor

Dear Neighbor,

I still remember when we moved in almost 3 years ago and one of your first comments to us was, “thank GOD you guys don’t have kids…the couple who just moved out had two crazy boys running around the apartment all day.”

I was pregnant.

I wasn’t showing yet, but I was 5 months along.

At that point, I realized you were in for quite the surprise.

At that point, I realized that having kids and sharing walls with other people would be tough.

And at this point, I’ve realized that I completely underestimated how tough it would really be.

Nearly three years and two kids later, we’re still neighbors.

We’ve kept you awake with the pitter-pattering of little feet and the unbelievably intense tantrums of a two year old. I’m sure you’ve heard your fair share of our kids joyous laughter and you’ve also been subjected to the sad sounds of a newborn crying at night.

You’ve kept us awake with your high heels on the hardwood floors and the sometimes obnoxious music playing at all hours of the night. We hear your phone buzzing as if it’s in our apartment and we have a pretty good idea of how often you burn your bread thanks to the smoke alarm that goes off at least once a week.

We’ve knocked on your door at midnight on the weekend to ask you to keep it down because I was pregnant and exhausted.

You slipped us a note under the door when our second baby was only three days old complaining of too much noise in the apartment at 7:00am.  Sorry our kids don’t come equipped with a snooze button. Most of the time, we wish they did as well.

We’ve lost sleep over the fact that you’ve lost sleep.  We’re also just not really sleeping at all because we have two little kids.  Of all the things I wish I could change about this apartment, it’s the fact that I wish it were sound-proof.  We hate that our crying babies are disturbing your sleep, we really do. But there’s not much we can do about it short of moving out.

Just last week you asked my husband (and you’re lucky you didn’t ask me because he’s much nicer than I am in these situations) if we could have Mackenzie sleep in the living room or in the kitchen so she wouldn’t disrupt your sleep so much. Well, we’ve tried that. It didn’t work. We’re sorry.

We wish we had perfect sleepers.

We wish our kids cried softer.

We wish we had other parents living below us so at least they’d have some clue what we are going through.

Trust us, we wish everyone could get more sleep. And trust us when we say that we’re doing everything we can to make sure that happens. And although it may seem like it, I swear we’re not going into the girl’s room multiple times in the middle of the night and poking them so they’ll start crying just to drive you crazy.

We’re doing our best. Someday I’m sure you’ll understand just how hard it is to be a parent.

With that said, let me end this with one final thought :: while you may be losing some sleep because our kids are crying in the middle of the night, trust me when I say that we, the parents, are much MUCH more tired and stressed out than you are. You see, we’re not only worried about our kids not sleeping, but we’re also worried about how our neighbors are being affected. It’s stress on top of stress. So someday, when you have kids of your own and you’re experiencing your 6th straight month of sleepless nights, I hope you look back on this time and realize that instead of complaining about the kids upstairs, you should have kept your mouth shut and invested in some heavy duty ear plugs.

Oh, and one more thing…we’re starting some intense sleep training  tonight.  Maybe I should slip this blog post under your door so you’re not as surprised as when you found out I was pregnant.

Good luck tonight, neighbors – I hope you’re wearing your ear plugs!


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9 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Oh, I think you should hit the “print” button and slip it under their door 🙂

  2. Ciara says:

    Oh my goodness sleep training is so tough – good luck you guys!! Totally worth it but kind of grim along the way 🙁
    Also just a little note to say you’ve inspired us to finally bite the bullet and try to get rid of our 2.5 year old’s nighttime pacifier habit. We are totally going to do the “mailing them to baby M” thing too, I loved that idea! Gosh so many challenges.. Fingers crossed for all of us!

    • 7x7xMommy says:

      Thanks Ciara! So far we’re staying strong and things seem to be getting a little better already, so we’re going to stick with it! 🙂 And I’m SO glad we were able to help inspire you with the pacifier…that’s another thing that can be hard for a couple days and then all of a sudden it will be as if they never had it in the first place! Good luck and fingers crossed indeed!!

  3. I LOVE this post! We live in an apartment and our neighbor has been a NIGHTMARE. Loud music, cigarette smoke, people coming in and out at all hours. Being pregnant and nauseas I have not enjoyed this and have begged my husband to let me knock on the door at 2am so he will turn his music down and put out the cigarette. He promises me that in 6 short months we will get the ultimate payback.

    • 7x7xMommy says:

      haha…it’s SO true. In 6 months your neighbors will come to realize just how thin the walls are and they’ll probably be sorry that they weren’t more aware of their surroundings before. At the end of the day, it’s really hard to share walls with people, but hopefully it’s a short lived time in all our lives (I know I hope to move soon!). 🙂 Good luck and congrats on your pregnancy!!

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