It’s tricky, finding quiet in a small house that usually contains 10 people.
We each have a private space, where we can leave things and know that no one else will move them. When private spaces are close together, we can wear earphones or play music when we don’t want to talk.
Here’s Jeremy and Christiana’s office:
And mine and Tony’s (yes, it’s the garage.):
Scott and Sebastien share a bedroom that has a division of space (and I didn’t ask them if I could take a picture).
And the kids each have their own spaces.
My kids have their own slightly smaller spaces in our bedroom, but our entire bedroom is also off-limits to the other kids. My kids (one of them, anyway) have quieter temperaments than the other two and need a place to get away. It seemed like a reasonable trade: you get the big master bedroom and ensuite, but the kids all play in YOUR room (sorry, Christiana and Tony!). We are considering raising the bed in our bedroom so that my eldest can have a place to work on projects quietly alone, but we haven’t made time for that yet. Everyone needs a place to work.
The other place I’m often finding a need for mental space is in the kitchen. It’s not the clutter; if we’re not on top of that all the time, it gets crazy, so that’s often fine. There are a number of kids that like nothing better than to help in the kitchen, which is wonderful.. in theory. In practice, after having spent the day with short people, I’d much rather have some space to myself when I’m cooking. We have devised an ingenious plan, for the times that we Do Not Want To Answer Any More Questions: THE APRON. When someone wears the apron, they are Not Available.. for ANYTHING. Perhaps if there was a fire, or an accident with blood, the person wearing the apron may take it off, fold it carefully, and then attend to whatever needs doing, but otherwise kids have to go ask someone else. If more is needed, the person wearing the apron can also wear headphones and listen to music. These are things that one can do, when there are other adults around to pick up the slack.
We’re chugging along, contacting co-op developers, and hope to have something together on paper soon so that we can go ahead and Actually Buy Something. More news soon, I hope!