As the sun set on this Thursday night, the day-long battle of the lawnmowers, trimmers, edgers, and grass blowers was finally over. Prior to the landscaping company arriving, the construction workers played with their equipment. I look forward to the time when construction is completed in this community. Despite the noise, I managed to get two more hours of sleep after walking the kids to the bus stop. The rest of the day was spent recovering from the sudden illness of yesterday and contemplating minimalism.
Whilst in bed, I read through comments posted on the article about the stay-at-home mom who realised she was a "luxury" to her spouse. Though we could debate the pros and cons ad nauseum, an important aspect of the case for staying home with small children is having a supportive spouse. One who believes you add value to the family. One who supports you emotionally, believes in you, is there for you, and loves you for the person you are and will be. People change as years progress. The key is to adapt to the change.
At one point, I had to click away from the distraction but wondered how I could continue to be there for my children despite my no longer being a spouse, rather a single parent with no income. Savings takes one only so far. One solution which came to mind is downsizing the living space. An article that furthered this thought was one I perused on the Houzz site yesterday morning. One entitled "6 Mental Tricks to Outsmart Your Small Space". All six points were enticing, including the tiny-home movement and especially the last one, "Pretend It's a Vacation Rental".
One of my favourite vacation rentals abroad is Greyfriar's Attic in Edinburgh. I've been there twice in the past year and would love to return sometime in the future. What enticed me most was the coziness of the sloped attic roof, the light from the skylight, and the window seat in the bedroom. The central location is most ideal with the view of Edinburgh castle from the dining area and the streets of city centre within a short walk. I could live in such a place despite its small size and because of its minimalism.
I recall how my children adapted well to the minimalistic vacation rentals in Berlin. Living in one-bedroom apartments was sufficient for them as it is for many families around the world. It seems only in America have we become accustomed to the notion of needing more space. All at the sacrifice of working longer hours and leaving child-rearing in the hands of strangers. Albeit I have never fancied the notion of a nanny raising my children, I realise some people have no other choice. Cities with higher costs of living, such as New York and San Francisco, offer little choice but for parents to work. In the meantime, my search for flexible employment will continue. If the option is available, sacrificing living space for the opportunity to be present for my children as long as they are still young is worth considering.