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This is not a Vacation

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Tiny Living is no fairy tale. Life is still life. As a family, we have our good days and our bad days. Our kids are still wild around a full moon, and our marriage is always a work in progress. Like everyone else we are living through a pandemic, working, and educating our children.

With that said, we have been living in our 250 square foot home on wheels for about six weeks. As a family, and as individuals, we are all still adjusting to this lifestyle change in our own ways.

When I tell people, “We are building a life that makes it our goal to work to live, and not live to work” often they assume we have a lousy work ethic. That could not be any further from the truth. Both Jake and I are working extremely hard to live a plentiful life that does not revolve around material things. Our priorities are simply different than the average American family.

Jake and I make it our mission to be a part of meaningful work, because we both know what it is like to work a soul sucking job. In this family, money is not currency. Time is what we value. We do not want to be hamsters on a wheel, which is why we were extremely happy to land our 2021 campground hosting gig. Anyone who knows our family knows that this opportunity is a great fit.

I have a very ‘type A’ personality, and I must admit, the planning of our travels/work gigs is the most exciting, but also the most stressful part of living on the road. For example, I know we will be in Georgia until mid-February, and then we will be sitting pretty in Colorado until December 2021. The next stop after Colorado is unknown, and I spend an hour or so every week scouting gigs online to make sure we have something lined up for when the time comes. As a mother, jumping around complicates things like dentists’ appointments, mail, and well child checks. However, where there is a will there is a way! It just involves more paperwork.

Another personal adjustment to our lifestyle change has been showering. In our sticks and stones home the shower was my escape. I think every stay at home mother can relate. When you live in a camper, with a grey water tank, showering is a necessity. Lingering in the shower is a luxury we do not have.

Lately, I have seen women posting online reminding each other that personal hygiene and errands do not count as “me time”. I try to remind myself of this every time I am missing my long, borderline too hot, showers. Instead, I make sure to carve out legitimate ‘me’ time. Reading. Writing. A murder documentary in quiet. Anything that caters to me. These simple acts of self-care are so much more difficult than they appear, I promise. Pausing and taking a moment for myself is hard.

Here is my bombshell confession (or maybe it is not that surprising) ... We have discontinued the use of cloth diapers. The day Ember turned 20 months was the first day a disposable diaper touched her little bum (since the hospital after her birth). At first, I felt like a failure because we did not make it to potty training only using cloth diapers. Then I remembered 20 months of using exclusively cloth diapers is nothing to shake my head at. I cut myself some slack and I moved the hell on. Ember will be potty trained soon enough.

The last 'going tiny' adjustment has to do with Doug, our dog. As many of you know he chewed through the camper door while he was left alone for the first time. When we lived in a house, we could leave him alone, and out, without any problems. I think COVID-19 (us always being with him), and our change in living space triggered some serious separation anxiety. When he was a puppy, he chewed a kennel so badly he messed up some teeth (and escaped). We obviously cannot leave him in the camper unsupervised. This issues’ solution is still a work in progress. We are lucky to have a good place for a run here in Georgia. In Colorado we will be working on site, so he will never be alone. After Colorado though, I have no clue. We will have to cross that bridge when we get there. I am open to suggestions!

There you have it! My frustrations with tiny living as of six weeks in! I am sure I will come across more obstacles and frustrations, but if these are the worst of my problems, I am damn lucky.

We are damn lucky. And we know it.

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