What it’s REALLY like living in a Tiny Home Skoolie with 2 Toddlers!!!
I know, i know . . . living in a tiny home “Skoolie'“ is totally in right now, and I am part of that hype!
Well, I am here to tell you what it is really like living and Mothering in a Tiny Home School Bus!
I’v now been adventuring with my two toddlers, puppy, and my love Shane since April 2018. Holly heck what a dream come true it is, but also….. holy hell none of those Tiny Home Instagrammers ever told me about so many of the things I have experienced. So here it is, I’ve written about the top 10 things you should REALLY know about before moving into a mobile tiny home with your family!
Great things no one told me about:
Cleaning your tiny home is awesome!
Seriously! I can clean my entire home within an hour! I love it! Managing my children and dog alone is enough and when you add cleaning to that equation it gets nearly impossible to keep up with it! I have found a deep appreciation for the size of my tiny home because I can accomplish keeping it generally clean. Along with the size helping make it quicker, the size also keeps every member of the family in check with their belongings! If you don’t put them away right away, you have to literally walk on them or get them chewed up by the puppy. I have definitely become a neater person who is more mindful of where I put things when I am done, and I see my kids and partner taking more accountability for their belongings as well.
Living in a small space encourages us to be more mindful, have intent with our actions, and to respect our environment.
What I mean is, when you are living in a tiny space with your family, “issues” and “things” don’t really have a place to hide. There are not many places to sweep things under the rug, both literally and figuratively. If I throw my shoes on the floor instead of putting them away, my whole family has to trip over them. If you raise your voice in a small space, it affects everyone in the tiny home. When someone is upset, the energy is felt immediately, allowing the rest of the family to be aware, ask how they can be helpful, and work towards resolving the issue immediately. I am grateful for the increased awareness, intention, and teamwork that every member of my family has grown into since moving into our School Bus Conversion.
It is so much easier to keep only what you need!
Holy heck, every mother out there must know how difficult it is to keep up with the filtering out of toys, clothes that your children have outgrown, shoes that you no longer wear, food in the back of the refrigerator that has been bad for who knows how long! Well, a tiny home is definitely a kind of cure! You no longer have room for ANYTHING you don’t need or use very often. But, you surely do have the perfect amount of space for everything you do need and even a few items that just make you happy to have. So if you want to hop on the fast track to minimalism, a tiny home might be ideal for you!
It brings you closer to your family
So yes it literally brings you WAY closer to your family, but it also connects you all in a more intimate and emotionally connected way. There are no “rooms” in our tiny home which means that it is a lot easier for me to have a conversation with Shane while i’m doing dishes in the front and he is working in the back of the bus. Being in closer headquarters allows for more opportunity to chat with each other while doing life tasks. I found while living in the city in a 2 bedroom home that often I felt alone. The kids would be playing in their room and Shane would be working out back and I was cooking in the kitchen. In between all of the tasks parents have to do to maintain income, a clean home, homemade meals, and playing with the kids there often isn’t really much time to “chat” or connect with your partner. Although sometimes it is overwhelming to be so close, it is also very nice to have my family in ears distance when I have something to say. :)
Life is Simpler
It’s am simple as it sounds. Without so many things around, without room for that TV, without space for many of the things that can often overstimulate the kids or distract us from our passions, we are able to naturally fall into the activities that we would prefer to be doing. Picking up that guitar, or working on the garden seem a lot easier and attractive when you have less “things” around to distract. It is really awesome how living a minimalist lifestyle really helps shape you into the person you want to be. There is only space for what you use, so choose wisely my friends~
Not so great things no one told me about
Technical problems are more plentiful when living in a Mobile Tiny Home
For example, now instead of just worrying about the regular maintenance of a home, add onto that the maintenance that must be done to maintain your Bus! Here are some things to plan ahead for: cost of vehicle registration, regular maintenance, and unexpected happenings ( like breakdowns or accidents). Also, getting a converted school bus insured is NOT the easiest thing!
If you aren’t a natural “Fix It” person, you might struggle!
If the plumbing goes out, the electric isn’t working, or the roof is leaking in an unexpected snow storm you have to be able to fix it pretty much immediately! When you are traveling, you no longer have your plumber neighbor near by to come help you out or your local carpenter to come help. We have been boondocking several times in the middle of the forest when these things happened and thank God Shane is a genius! I am a strong wonderful mother but I struggle even trying to split a piece of wood! I don’t know that I’d feel as confident traveling in a tiny home without my reliable fix it partner. I’m not saying you need a man in order to live this lifestyle, i’m encouraging you to educate yourself, learn some skills, and take some tools with you when you hit the road!
Personal Space can disappear if you aren’t proactive about making that happen.
At the start of our travels we naturally fell into ALWAYS being together! It was nice until it wasn’t. It didn’t occur to us until one day Shane and I felt like we didn’t like each other anymore! We talked about it and realized that really we felt like we had given up our individual selves. I couldn’t even think a thought without hearing someone or bumping into someone. It is important to plan individual time every day in order to encourage personal growth and personal enjoyment. When you find the balance, you are able to be a fulfilled individual and come back to your time home with joy to share. You begin to love the little dance around your children you have to do when you pass them in the hall way. We are still learning about this and getting better at it every day! Never forget how important self love is and how important it is for you to facilitate that space for each member of your family. This means even for the children! I intentionally let them wander outside in our forest yard and create a magical space where only children exist. I sit in the bus and have a snack and watch them out the 5 windows of the living room wall and giggle at how inventive, creative, and fun they can get when they are left to explore in nature (in eye view of course).
Having Guests Over Isn’t So Simple
Sure you kind of think about this when designing and building your tiny home but the fact is you prioritize what your family members need. Depending on your tiny home size and how many children/pets you have, it can differ. We were visiting some friends along the road and it wasn’t actually till we had casually invited them over for dinner that we had to really figure that out! So we did. It can be done and it can be enjoyable, but it can take a bit more creativity and effort. Our solution has been to set up a tiny table in the hallway for the children to eat at, that way the adults can sit at our front table and enjoy each others company. Usually we can put a short film on for the kids and put them to bed shortly after dinner. Then we can continue to mingle into the night~
Finding Parking while Traveling isn’t as Simple as it Seems
Not everyone wants your bus parked in their neighborhood, the RV parks are full, you can only stay a certain number of nights at the campground, and so on. We have often be seen as the “cool tiny home family” but some others judge us as “homeless, hippies, or intrusive.” We’ve had people leave notes asking us to move our bus, we have received parking tickets, and even locals who came to yell at us demanding that we leave their town! We truly respect our neighbors every where we travel and happily move when we are asked. My biggest piece of advice is to plan ahead. This enable you to reserve campsites, talk to your friends in the area, and educate yourselves about the towns you will be traveling through.
So the Moral of the Bus Story is : Living in a Tiny Home is Awesome! It helps to educate yourselves, plan ahead, and always be flexible to grow in ways that accommodate your new lifestyle. This Blog was originally written and posted by me on www.instinctivemotherhood.com . Check out Instinctive Motherhood for more on Holistic Mothering, My Doula Birth Services, and Mother’s Blog!