Here I am, about 7 weeks into life as a mother. I hardly know where to begin. After a long and somewhat horrific birth I took a little human home with not a clue as to what to do with him. But, like every new mother, I just did it. Sleep deprived I figured out breast feeding, how to get him to sleep, how to change him without getting peed on and how to accept offers of help. While I’ve by no means got it all sorted, baby and I know each other well enough to get through each day and night without completely losing it. I now feel like somewhat of a success, at least for the moment. I have after all kept him alive and myself reasonably sane (thanks mostly to my mom and sister) so I count that as success.
The real question is, how have I managed in my 500 sq ft with this new addition. Reasonably well I have to say. Of course being a little bit too much of a minimalist I did purchase a few items that I previously thought I could live without, namely a glider, bouncy chair, nursing tank, stroller and soother clip, all of which have been complete life savers! Despite the addition of a few items that take up space, 500 sq ft has proven to be enough space for the 2 of us plus a newborn though I don’t know it would have been had my in laws not graciously offered to take our dog…thank goodness. I can see however that at some point more space is going to be necessary but for now I love that he shares an intimate space with us.
The small space has been an advantage in some ways. Specifically, my husband has not had any space to escape to so he has been forced to take an active role. As well not having much space to clean has been nice! I have however found it important to routinely go through clothes and keep things organized to avoid chaos as storage is at a premium and we are both changing sizes. So, 500 sq ft is fine…for now. I am slowly beginning to look forward to a little larger space as it actually becomes necessary. In the mean time it is important for me to simply be content with where we are at and focus on what really matters, not the square footage but the love of the new little life I’ve been given the task of caring for.
“[motherhood] is still the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary – it’s an act of infinite optimism”
– Gilda Radner, comedian and actor
“[motherhood is] a choice you make every day, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong” – Donna Ball, novelist