My husband and I are building a 400 square foot tiny home on wheels. We sold our 2,000 square foot home in Los Angeles in order to simplify our lives and spend more time with our son. There were many life events that catapulted this decision and it was one we didn’t take lightly. Just one year ago I would have never considered living in a tiny home but life has a peculiar way of drastically changing your perspective. We have all the faith in the world this is the best decision for us right now and I have no regrets thus far but I want to tell you what scares me about building a tiny house.
The house is looking awesome (if I do say so myself) even better than I envisioned. I’ve reveled in the gleaming sweat and tears we’ve shed during the build. Oh yes… I took the hammer, the power tools, and the “manly toys” and got to it. The build has been one of the most difficult challenges we’ve brought upon our family but I can now see a solid bottle of wine (or 2 or 3) and an entire chocolate cake waiting for me as I cross that finish line. I’m bruised, cut up, sore and dead tired so I get giddy with excitement at the thought of finishing it. However, I’M SCARED SHITLESS OF MOVING IN!
Yes, the unknowns are pretty deep and scary. Yes, we’ve invested so much into something we don’t really know if we’ll like. All the profits from the sale of our house have been invested into this project (by the way).
THERE. IS. NO. TURNING. BACK.
Most people (maybe you) would say “that’s risky” and they (you) are probably thinking, “you’re either crazy or stupid or both.”
Here’s the thing…my fear DOESN’T stem from the reduced space and complete life change. I’m also at peace with people (including family) thinking we’re crazy or who can’t understand this decision. I admit that I do get nervous when I’m looking at my present shoe collection (which I have proudly dwindled down to 25 from 100) and where it will all fit. Or when I think about where I’m going to hide from my 6 year old when mommy needs a chocolate break (why should I share? I already gave him life and even nursed him for 2 years!). Or, where I’ll storm off when I’m at the boiling point and want to wring my husband’s neck. Oh, total nerves.
However, the fear isn’t really about the investment, the stuff or the space. I’m realizing that what I’m most scared about is the possibility that in spite of the minimizing, the less stress, the simpler life…I may still fail to be the type of mom I want to be.
You see, after having my son I quickly learned that I couldn’t have the career I wanted AND be the mom I wanted to be. For me, it’s not possible right now. My career was too demanding, my house needed too much work and upkeep, my stuff was overwhelming me, and all this didn’t allow me to focus on being a more present parent (physically, spiritually and emotionally) that can enjoy the small everyday moments. THIS is the reason I started this journey.
After I move into the Tiny House I won’t have these excuses anymore. What if in spite of alleviating all my current pressures I am yet to be a more present mom? What if I don’t enjoy it as much as I believe I will?
WHAT IF I FAIL AT THIS MOM GOAL?
And by then I’ve sold my house, gotten rid of 70% of my stuff, deviated from my successful career, and now I’m living in a BOX! These things won’t matter if I can reach my mom potential…but if not?
What carries me through is the fact that I realized I wasn’t happy with my parenting or how my son was being raised and I’m doing something about it. I’m taking some drastic measures but they are all in hopes of creating a better life for my family, a life that fits our current ideal and no one else’s.
I hope I succeed but if not at the least I can say (to a therapist), “I built a Tiny House!”
Sarahi Nunez Mejia is an organizing wizard, events mastermind, wife and mom. She lives in a 500 sq ft tiny house with her family in Los Angeles and blogs about the lifestyle of downsizing and minimalism, prioritizing experiences over things, and using your money smartly at Tiny Living In LA.
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