How do you have adult time when living in a small space with a kid?

Guest post by cortinacolorado
Soine Kareshi - Sousuke
My partner and I just moved into a 600-square-foot cottage with our one-year-old, two cats, and a bossy terrier. In many ways it’s an awesome opportunity, as we’re doing a work trade on three gorgeous country acres, and we hope to be here for at least four or five years. But…

Although there’s technically a separate bedroom, the wall doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling. So it may as well be a studio for sound purposes. I also work from home and worry about boundaries.

Is there a magic equation for living in a small space with a kid? Will we ever have sex again? And what can I do when I just really, really need some personal space? -cortinacolorado

When it comes to reading or romancing… how do you make that work when you’re living in a small space with a kid?

Comments on How do you have adult time when living in a small space with a kid?

  1. The nice thing about having so much space outside is you’ll have opportunities to banish yourself or your family. If you need alone time, send partner and baby for a walk. Do the same when partner needs alone time. As the child is only one, for now, you can probably have sex while the kid’s in the house. But if that squicks you out, you may want to start building up a network of people who can take the baby and give you date nights. I’d also recommend looking at why it squicks you out. Overcoming your own hang-ups might help you feel a little more free at home.

    Keep in mind that people have been living in one-room homes for a lot longer than they’ve had reliable birth control, so if you go for it while your kid can hear you, you definitely won’t be the first or last parent to do so. Teach your kid that sex is just as normal as going to the bathroom. Seeing/hearing/smelling someone else’s bathroom experience may not be fun, but it isn’t something to make fun of or tell them to stop doing.

  2. I’m still struggling to get my sexy mojo back, so, for now, at least, Sunday naptime is also Mommy and Daddy’s fun time. I’m not sure what we’ll do after naptime is over for good. Maybe after bedtime? Anyways, worst case scenario, he wakes up and catches us at it. I accidentally walked in pn my parents once as a kid, and haven’t been scarred for life.

  3. My husband and I were living in a one bedroom apartment when our son was born, and for almost the first year of his life. We were able to have sexy times on the couch when he was sleeping. The arrangement wasn’t ideal, but we made it work. If you’re worried about noise (my guy and I aren’t particularly, um, loud), I might suggest some white noise or quiet music (we used this when my son was very little and we would come in the bedroom to sleep). Also, I don’t know what kind of childcare is available in your current situation, but I would highly recommend having someone take your babe off your plate for a bit. My little guy is just over a year old now, and it took me until just a few months ago to actually ask a friend to watch him. It’s not that I thought I was the only one who could take care of him- the thought just honestly didn’t occur to me that I could just ask a friend to watch him occasionally and it would make my life happier and simpler! It’s tough to have littles in a small space. Good luck!

  4. For quiet time during bad weather, when you all are stuck indoors, I recommend splurging on good quality headphones. When we were newly married & my husband was in grad school, we first lived in a 350, then a 500 sf apartment in a very rainy city. The headphones made it possible for me to listen to the stereo or watch TV without disturbing his studies and allowed me some quiet time when he was ready to rock out. Sometimes I just wore them to dampen sounds from the neighborhood without listening to music or the TV. You’d need to take turns with them so someone could always hear the baby, but it would give each of you some quiet time. You might even build it into your regular routine. I really think having the headphones helped us deal with learning to live together in such tight quarters during a very stressful period in our lives.

  5. I also live in a house where the walls don’t go all the way up. It sucks!! And we have a teenager possibly moving in with us soon. Not.. not exactly sure what to do about alone time with the hubby when the bedrooms are literally right next to each other with no sound blockage.

    • Encourage the teen into outside school activities. Sports (cross country running etc with low equipment costs), drama club, choir, volunteering at a local community group/sports center/ environment group/political organization etc. I never realized the convenient chunks of time the parent claimed during the week because I was too busy out at all of the above, and responsible for getting too and from the activities normally. 😀

  6. True about people living closer together and still having fun. We managed whilst caravanning – if hubby lies down behind you – it just looks like a close cuddle.

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