living space

I grew up in big houses, but as an adult, I have never lived in more than about 1450 sq feet with one bathroom. Most of the years as a parent, we lived with three kids in about 1100 sq feet with one bathroom.

We just moved into 3500 or so sq feet with three bathrooms. For the first time, each child has his/her own bedroom.

I am finding that we all get along MUCH better having all this space. But I feel somewhat guilty about this because all over the world, happy families live in very small spaces without any issues. Is there some defect in our family that having this room to spread out seems to have improved everyone's mood and coping skills?

I actually think that it might be less a function of square footage than of needing separate bedrooms and at least two baths. But again, all over the planet people live quite happily without their own bedrooms and baths.



DanceDiva said...

Here's my thought: I live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, less-than-1000-square-foot A house in Oak Ridge. It's just me and a 4-lb. Chihuahua. I'm astonished there weren't more divorces when these houses were first built for small families in the 40s.

I think there's something to be said for the ability not to have to be in the same room with a person while you're cooling off after an argument. I'd take it one step further too--not having the same person in your face all the time might mean less arguments.

Or maybe I'm just spoiled from having had my own room growing up. Maybe that hindered my problem-solving ability. ???

Anonymous said...

The rule of thumb I always heard for comfortable living space is 500 sq ft per person in the living quarters.

Laura Linger said...

Don't be guilty.


Guilt serves no purpose and is actually an arrogant, selfish, self-important pursuit. I know from experience...I am a world-class guilt-ridden former Catholic schoolgirl.

Life is too short for you to mire yourself in such negativity.

Anonymous said...

Or just invite a poor family in to share your space.

Anonymous said...

When the weather gets cold, all five of you will be cozied up in the one or two rooms you can afford to heat all day and all night. Unless that lovely old house has been insulated and storm windows put on every window, you're gonna be chilly. Everyone will come back together around the hearth with longjohns on pretty soon,and you won't have to feel guilty at all.
Space is good. Don't feel bad.

Anonymous said...

We have 3200 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and two teenage boys who prefer to use our bathroom and hang out on our bed watching tv (we have 5 tv's) in the evening. What's with that? Oh, well, I guess we can have sex when they move out.