We're often asked about how we each have time to ourselves in our small home. The truth is, this is something we're getting used to. As we live in this space longer, we're slowly learning how to manage not only the space, but each other as well.
Austin is really good about giving me time to myself when he can. Of course, working full time, taking online classes, leading worship at church and volunteering when he can doesn't really give him a lot of chances, but he does what he can! He works later in the morning until the kids' bedtime. Once a week or so, I'll head out to a local coffee shop in the morning to get some work done. I'm always amazed by how much work I can get done in 1-2 kid free hours! Lately I've had quite a few client meetings (wedding season!) and I'm able to meet with them during that time as well. I always come home feeling refreshed and grateful! If Austin gets home before the kids are in bed, he takes over and gives me a break while he does bedtime.
Because he's taking online classes, it's important that Austin gets some time to work during the day as well. He's good about managing his time and either dedicates an hour in the morning or after the kids are in bed to focus on school work. If he needs extra time or space to work, I'll take the kids to the library or he'll head somewhere to work for a bit.
The kids are both very social, but they need space from time to time as well. They'll both let us know if they want time in their room to themselves and we'll make an effort to keep the other out. This works well, as it gives one kid time alone and the other some one-on-one time with Austin and/or I. Lulu likes to snuggle up on our bed and look at books, and Abram is a big fan of cuddling in his crib with his blankie for a bit.
While the kids do a lot of playing together, they also like to have some time to play alone. It's not unusual to find one of them outside and the other happily playing in their room. We really try to respect their wishes if they choose to play alone.
One thing that makes living here so manageable is that the kids have their own bedroom. When we looked into a few other options for tiny living, almost all of them had one family bedroom. While I think this is totally doable for many families, I knew I would go nuts without a break from the kids at night. I'm so grateful that we can put them to bed, shut their curtain and know that we'll have at least a few hours before we hear from them again.
Austin and I often have a campfire, visit outside or relax in the hammocks after they're in bed. It's often the only time of day that we get a chance to chat without constant interruptions. We co-slept with both of our kids for their first year or more of life, and I love it! However, right now I'm grateful for a little time away from them at night. Of course, they still often find their way into our bed during the night or early mornings, but because it's not a common occurrence, it's special and cozy instead of frustrating.
Yes, there's a lot of "together" time in our tiny house, we can't hide away very easily and it takes effort to make sure everyone gets the time they need. But I think largely that's true in a 'big' house as well. Actually in a lot of ways I feel like we're more conscious of our need for space and time away here because it doesn't happen unless we make time for it!
I do still wish our bathroom door had a latch, though.....