There are days when I feel happy in my home. It's a nice looking apartment, I've improved it a lot over the almost 5 years I've lived here, but there are times when I hate it.
Today is one of those days. Today is one of the days when I feel like there is nothing I can do to make this apartment work for my little family. It is a constant mess! I am not the tidiest of people. If I were to stop working every evening and spend more time organising, I could certainly make the place a bit better, but not much and let's face it, I barely manage to get everything done with the amount of work I put in already, I can't well decrease it. The place simply has too many limitations. Buying some well designed furniture could improve things, but ironically, the furniture that fills the example 'small homes' in Ikea magazine, is unaffordable to most people who have such tiny spaces. If I had enough money to buy all that space-saving furniture, I would just rent a bigger apartment in the first place!
It's not all bad. I think the boys actually have an ok sized room for sharing. I grew up in a tiny room, with less space to play than they have and they don't need hundreds of toys, so the space works fine. My living room is actually a great size as a living room, but because it is also used as my office/living room/bedroom/washing room, it is totally impractical for all those uses at once.
I have nowhere for putting half of my work stuff. My work jewellery (I used to run an online jewellery store, which is closed until Alfie starts nursery next August) has a space, but I've nowhere to really put any jewellery of my own or any other accessories for that matter. My laptop and technical gear, like my camera, lenses et al have no real home and so they end up moved around the place, trying to keep them out of children's reach.
Alfie's changing table is not only home to his clothes, but also houses all the crepe paper I used to pack my jewellery in, as well as a number of other things I have nowhere else to store. Because there's no bedroom for me, all the items that would usually be stored there, are in the living room too, so the set of drawers that would usually be useful for general items, are filled with underwear, tights and the like. To add insult to injury (so-to-speak), my bathroom isn't even big enough to store much. There's no room for any units or drawers, so what little I can have in there is out on display. There's nowhere to properly hang wet towels and once Alfie gets to the age where he's standing and toddling around, it won't be possible to have Alfie, Milo and myself in the space at once. That's how small it is!
Yesterday the boys had a bath together for the first time. I don't actually own a bath, so the boys both bathed in the little baby bath that fits in the shower unit. It was of course a funny sight, seeing the two of them squeezed in there, but it is without a doubt, not an option in the long term, with both boys growing rapidly. Oh how i could go on. I actually love this place in my heart. As an apartment for a single person, or even two adults, it would be just fine. It would make a lovely home. But, being a place where i work and am raising two children, it's kind of ridiculous. I don't even have anywhere to put my printer. I had it in the cupboard for a while, but got frustrated at having to carry it back and forth to the kitchen whenever i needed to use it. Instead it is on the kitchen floor, as i can hook it up from there, but that's not exactly a great option, considering that the kitchen struggles with two adults moving around in there. Ugh.
I know it's not exactly the end of the world. First world problems and all that. I know I have a roof over my head and I am grateful for that. I am. There are people in far worse situations than mine, but it doesn't make mine any less frustrating. I have hope for next year that i can improve my situation as far as getting off benefits. I am working hard towards that and it appears to be a viable situation by the end of next year. With the rent increases of the last years, however, moving simply isn't an option. The stress of the extra hike in rent I'd have to pay for a 2 bedroom place would just be too great. Being that I have a low income household, I could actually apply for some of the housing schemes in the city, but it would mean having to move away from my current area and I don't think that would be beneficial for Milo, as his dad currently lives round the corner. With nursery now and school in a few years, living in different parts of the city would be both impractical and difficult for all of us. So here I am, stuck. Stuck and frustrated. Blah.
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