Life in a studio – a year and a baby later

Lately, I’ve been craving a creative outlet. The most creativity I’ve used recently involved figuring out how to amuse my infant or keep him from hurting himself. So what can I do? Well, reviving this blog seems like a good start. However, how do I find the brain space to write meaningfully? With such little and fragmented sleep, I don’t feel coherent enough to properly convey my thoughts. At times, blog ideas pop into my head while I’m in bed trying to fall asleep. But when free time comes about, I want to exert the least amount of energy as possible (read: mindlessly reading internet articles, browsing social media or binge-watching tv shows). Those ideas are left unwritten.

In search of inspiration on what to write, I looked over some old posts. I ran into this one written after I just moved into a studio apartment. It was the month before I realized I was pregnant. It amused me to read over my reasons for choosing to be in a smaller space. Mind you, generally, I laugh when reading what “younger” me finds important enough to document. But, what I found hilarious was how much I emphasized the importance of having “less stuff” in the post. Since we decided to stay in the studio after the baby, it has resulted in the complete opposite of that. So I thought it might be fun to post an update on how our space looks now.

First of all, I know. We’re crazy. We tell ourselves that all the time. But we had several reasons for staying in a studio even with a 3rd member of the family. First of all, the price of the rent is still pretty good considering the area where we are living. Secondly, our baby was 1.5 months old when our lease was up. We had so much going on that we were in no position to plan or execute a move. Lastly, which is really the biggest reason, we were very idealistic. We figured a little baby couldn’t possibly need that much space. Right!? Well….

See below for a visual on how the space compares from then (January 2016) vs. now (October 2017): 

pre-baby studio
This is how our space looked like pre-baby
post-baby studio
This is how our space looks list with an almost 1 year old on a particularly cluttered day. Note the poopy cloth diaper on the diaper pail.

Though we are realizing that we could use more space and a separate bedroom, I do hold to the opinion that living in a studio with a baby is still absolutely doable. If any of you are considering it, I want to encourage you on that decision. In fact, depending on your baby’s temperament, your experience may even prove to be easier than ours. It does have its challenges, but you certainly learn a lot of patience and creative problem-solving in the process. For example, I’ve rearranged the layout of this studio at least 5 times to accommodate the baby’s changing needs.

Honestly, living in this studio with our baby feels like one of those experiences where we’ll look back and just laugh at ourselves. Yes, it was a tough year, as most first years with a first child normally is. We also have the added challenge of our little one’s personality being more restless and emotional than the others his age. (Probably personality traits we’ve passed down to him.) But as hard as it was, there have been plenty of fun times this year – good friends made, adventures in new places, lazy weekend mornings with baby etc.

Our lease is up in a couple of months and we are planning on moving to a bigger apartment. We’ve had a lot of good times bonding and growing as a family in this small space. I know we’ll look back on this last year with fond memories – at least the parts I can remember through the fog of sleeplessness.

Would any of you parents or parents-to-be consider living in a studio? Would love to hear your thoughts. And stay tuned for more posts on studio living with baby.

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