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How do you make Tiny life work if you have kids?

I’m a single mum of two. But the funny thing is, this was never a question I asked!

I was always more concerned with the fact I’m 6’3 with a tendency for claustrophobia 😅

I think there’s a general assumption that Tiny life with kids necessitates a 10m+ Tiny House with two lofts.

While this is of course an option, it’s not the route I chose.

Four years ago, my budget was so tiny that I really had to take what I could get.

My meagre budget only stretched to a very basic pre-loved and homemade 6m Tiny. The home has no lofts, but a platform queen bed.

When we first moved in, my then 7yo son and I bunked together in the main bed, and my 13yo daughter slept on the modular couch.

While not ideal, she never seemed to mind.

I have my kids during the week, so they’re with me realistically only for evenings. The reason I think this worked so well for us is that my kids are definitely not the active types! My daughter is ASD so after an anxiety-filled day of school, she retreats onto her device with headphones on. My son (who I suspect may also be on the spectrum somewhere) is similar.

If my kids were with me on weekends when we were at home full-time, it might have been a different story. But school holidays and the odd occasion they were at home with me were the exceptions, so we usually went out somewhere like the movies, the park or friends houses.

It was a good year after we moved in that I could tell my daughter was really craving her own physical space.

I was very fortunate to be offered family help, which allowed me to start the design process on a massive upgrade- a custom built 7.2m Tiny with twin lofts from Designer Eco Tiny Homes.

It was a dream come true.

BUT. Then I sat in the display model which was set up exactly like I had ordered.

Even though it was bigger by all accounts- I actually felt really hemmed-in. It was the strangest feeling!

I think it was due to the twin lofts (and both sets of stairs), that there was far less open space than our current smaller Tiny that I was used to.

It was a huge decision- but in the end I canceled my build contract (I hope Grant has forgiven me! 😅).

Then I realised if I pulled the project entirely I was going to lose my deposit of $15k. Freaking OUCH!!

I had to have them build SOMETHING for me.

Initially I thought I’d have them build an office on wheels.

Then I realised that duh- my daughter still needed her own room, so…

I decided to have them build a 3.6m Tiny House for my daughter!

We took delivery at the perfect time, only a few weeks before the first Victorian lockdown.

Her house is a super simple layout with just a bed and desk, basically. It’s a “dry Tiny”, which means it has no bathroom or water supply.

It was the PERFECT solution.

It’s my daughter’s private retreat where she can come home and close the blinds and sit in the dark and quiet. Which is an absolute necessity given that my son and I tend to break into spontaneous song pretty often 🤣

The kids have adapted to off-grid life pretty well, considering we have a super basic setup and limited power.

Their bugbear is the waterless toilet- remembering to cover their business each time without spreading pine all over the bathroom floor is a work-in-progress! Hoping to upgrade to a new compost toilet soon so this won’t be an issue.

My setup wouldn’t work for everyone.

But even if your kids were super energetic- kids are adaptable, they find their own way.

Whether that means they spend all day outside making cubbies out of sticks, or finding a quiet spot under a tree away from their siblings, off-grid life is an incredible way to bring out their creativity and resilience.

Life skills are something that should be taught in schools but aren’t. The only way to learn them is out in the real world, trouble-shooting on the fly- like WE did as kids.

I feel all kids should be so lucky to have that opportunity.


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