Hard Times

I've been thinking about this post for a while, but it just felt too whiny and silly to write. But I often receive messages from other families who are interested in living like we do, so I want to be honest about the good parts, but also the struggles. 

 When we moved into our tiny home, our goal was to live in here for two years. It’s been 18 months and we can feel our time running out. Our kids are getting older and I know they’d like more space. Felix is easy now, but once he’s a little bit mobile, I get the feeling it won’t be so simple. Whenever I mention to anyone that we’re ready to move on from our little bus house, they seem surprised. The thing is, this was never supposed to be our long-term home. When I named this blog, I called it ‘Tiny Home Dream’, not ‘Tiny Dream Home’, because this isn’t our “dream home”. We do dream of a tiny (or small) home of our own, and we’ve always known that this isn’t it.

We have enjoyed our time living in the bus, and we still do enjoy it most of the time. But after 18 months, we’re growing weary of some aspects of it. I truly believe we could be perfectly happy living in a tiny space for a very long time, if it was designed to be lived in permanently and stationary.

I sometimes cringe when people comment that our life looks so simple and perfect. It is lovely, and we are happy, but this lifestyle isn’t always easy.

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We spent a fair bit of time and money replacing the roof of the bus this summer. Yesterday Austin and I talked about how cozy it will be when it pours down rain and we know we’ll be dry and warm inside. Last night we had a heavy rain and I woke up to find several small leaks. I have no idea where the water is coming from, it’s so frustrating I could cry.

We miss being able to close the door to drown out a tantruming toddler.

I wish I had a closet or dresser instead of a small overhead cupboard for my clothing.

Austin misses having space to easily store his instruments.

I feel bad that the kids don’t have their own spaces.

I wish we had a bathtub.

Our water heater doesn’t work consistently and our showers often consist of 30 second bursts of scalding hot water, followed by ice cold water.

The kids’ room is awkwardly shaped and impossible to keep neat and tidy.

Our kitchen cupboards are disorganized and crammed full because there’s not enough space to put things anywhere else.

The number of windows and poor insulating make it hard to regulate the temperature inside: it’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

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When it rains, we stress about leaks.

We need to have a heavy duty dehumidifier going all winter to avoid condensation and mold.

There’s little to no wall space available for pictures or anything else.

I stress about whether the bus will start up again when we eventually need to move it.

There’s no space for hobbies.

It’s difficult, nearly impossible, to have people over for dinner, a favorite pastime of ours

Our tiny oven doesn’t work well for most baked goods.

We miss being able to easily host overnight guests.

If one of us is in a bad mood, we’re all in a bad mood.

I had to laugh when I found this book back yesterday. (Read this post for context!) 

I had to laugh when I found this book back yesterday. (Read this post for context!) 

Austin looks forward to the day we’ll have a flush toilet again, he’s in charge of emptying the toilet and it’s not his favorite task.

I wish we had space for a homeschool room/area.

There are things I’ve gotten rid of that I wish we could keep, but I hate clutter and sometimes things have to go when there’s just not a good place to store it.

I’d love to have a bedroom with a door.

We rarely have reliable internet. It’s often not a huge deal, but frustrating for me when I do quite a bit of work online.

Our small fridge and freezer make it impossible to buy most things in bulk, or to plan meals too far in advance.

Somedays there’s just no place to hide when I just need a few minutes alone. I’ve spent time sitting in the driveway in the van.

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We look forward to the day we’ll be able to buy our own home.

I stress about house prices and wonder if we’ll ever be able to afford it.

There are days I find myself browsing Craigslist to see what’s available to rent.

I find myself longing for my own forever home.

Comparison and envy have been too present in my life lately.

If I’ve visited your home in the past few months, you can bet I’ve spent time imagining what it would be like to live there.

Fixing problems with the bus is frustrating when we know it’s not our forever home.

While I appreciate the ingenuity and creativity we’ve been forced to use to solve many issues that have come up, I often wish the solutions were more simple.

After discovering the leaks this morning, I hopped on Craigslist to look at rental houses. Housing prices are so high here and the market is so competitive, there’s no way we can afford to rent. We aren’t ready to buy, so it feels like we are stuck here.

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Please don’t read this and think that we hate living in the bus. That’s far from true and most days we feel very content and at peace with where we are. But the truth remains that this situation is temporary, was always meant to be, and we feel it coming to an end.