Over the past several weeks, I’ve had second thoughts about that whole,”Oh, we can just fit a third person into our one-bedroom apartment,” thing. My rationale going in was, sure, we’re adding an additional person, but a very small person, and we’re committed to minimizing stuff for that person, so it will be no big deal, right? Not exactly.
It’s not as much an issue of space for stuff as it is of living vs. sleeping space. Our bedroom is the only room in the apartment that can be separated, so anytime that The Dude is sleeping while we are awake, we basically forfeit that living space. It’s most frustrating in the evenings, when he goes down for bed between seven and eight o’clock. While I wouldn’t mind going to bed at that time these days, that’s usually when we’re getting around to dinner.
After dinner, I suppose that I could sneak into the bedroom and lie down, but the risk of waking the sleeping Dude doesn’t seem worth it. Instead, Matthew and I often spend the time between eight and ten with one of us passed out on the sofa and the other on the floor. Although the sofa is nice and long, it is rather narrow, so we can’t really lie down on it together.
Around ten o’clock, we wake The Dude for a late feeding, then put him back to sleep in his cradle in the living room so we can reclaim our bedroom. What happened to all of us sleeping in the same room, you ask? Well, we tossed that idea out the window after several weeks of me barely sleeping at night, lying in bed with bated breath, afraid that every little rustle from the Moses basket meant that The Dude was about to wake up. (Forget bed sharing, I couldn’t even share a ROOM with him.)
This means that by ten p.m., we have to have all of our kitchen and living room business finished to keep that area of the apartment quiet and dark. And of course sometimes he wakes on his own before ten and throws the whole thing off kilter.
I’ve also had several nights where I wake up and have to pee, but I’m afraid to leave the bedroom and
walk creep the five feet to the bathroom lest I wake him. So I lie in bed, in a semi-sleeping state, waiting for him to wake up, unable to really sleep because I have to pee, despite desperately needing sleep.
Sure, there’s a decent chance that I could make it to the bathroom and back without waking him (and I have actually done so on occasion), but sleep deprivation and constantly living under the “when will the baby wake up next” shadow do strange things to a person.
Finally, despite trying to minimize “stuff,” we do have more of it now, and we lack places to really put everything away, so we exist in a continual state of disarray, which is not good for morale. Also, in a couple of months (once The Dude starts pulling himself up), we will have to trade the cradle for a crib, and I honestly don’t know how we’ll fit one of those into the existing space.
Although the timing is terrible with winter approaching, we’ve somewhat reopened the apartment search. I know millions of people around the world must survive in spaces our size or smaller, but I’m not sure how. Perhaps you just accept the situation when there aren’t any other options or that’s all you know.
Realistically, with our lease not up until the end of May, that may be the situation we’re in right now. But that two bedroom sure sounds nice Until then, I may resort to keeping The Dude’s potty in our bedroom at night.
Eee Gads! That arrangement doesn’t sound… um… sustainable!
This is probably a long shot, but have you talked to your landlord about the situation? Often those folks manage multiple buildings, and it’s possible they might have a 2 bedroom unit somewhere that they might let you move into without breaking the lease. Maybe at this point it’s worth settling for a less than ideal apartment as a short term solution to make life more livable?
Yes, we looked at some of his 2-bedrooms back in May or June, when we were still being picky. The thing is, now that we have a baby, we’ve identified some things that we might have compromised before, but now feel are pretty essential, namely, a dishwasher and a garage, so if anything we might be harder to please. It just seems like moving with a baby will require a monumental effort, so I still lean toward finding the right place and moving once. We’ll see, though . . . .
I had to laugh about the late-night pee situation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself at 3 a.m. how much I REALLY need to pee – is it worth the risk of waking the baby?
Like many things in our life, we are a bit cobbled together with sleep too. A few thoughts. For a cheap and very small crib, check out the basic model that Ikea has. Perfect for us and it makes into a toddler bed. We have a pack n play in our one bedroom that we use for nap and first part of evening sleep. We then do “the transfer” when we go to bed, a bit of a scary time as I worry will Mr. B wake up. I will tell you that like most things the post one year mark is amazing. Mr. B became flexible to our compromised living situation as long as we are flexible. 🙂 I try to use the time between his and our bedtime to do computer, reading, or talking with spouse time, but then again this was post one year when feedings decrease. Hang in there. My solution when he was younger was to do something similar or to let him sleep with me on the couch while I read, used my laptop, or watched TV (the latter is not what I am proud of).