Manhattan Parents Putting Their Babies To Sleep In Bathrooms Reminds Me Why I Left NYC

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shutterstock_92837770__1398700980_142.196.167.223Manhattan parents – desperate to make space in their apartments for their expanding families – are doing something many people may scoff at; putting their kids to sleep in closets and extra bathrooms. The very fact that this seems reasonable to me should tell you how much city living warps your view of what is comfortable and acceptable.

From DNA Info:

Downtown parent Joanna Goddard, who lives with her husband, 3-year-old son and 10-month-old baby boy, recently wrote in a post to her popular blog that in a bid to help her youngest get as much sleep as possible, she moved his crib into a bathroom of her two-bedroom apartment.

It felt like a lightbulb went off in Goddard’s head when she realized her family’s little-used second bathroom could be the baby’s new bedroom.

As someone who spent the past decade living in Brooklyn, this makes perfect sense to me. City-dwellers make do without real closets or storage space – an extra bathroom seems like a pure luxury that most would be willing to part with for more usable space. GOMI got a hold of the post, and as you can imagine several people on the message board thought this arrangement was crazy. Others admitted to having make-shift bedrooms in walk-in closets. Again, to a city dweller – this sounds reasonable. That is part of the problem.

New York has become so incredibly expensive and it is so hard to find an apartment that once you do, you will put up with almost anything. Had we stayed in Brooklyn instead of deciding to leave when we realized we had a second baby on the way, there is no way we would have left our apartment. It was an entire floor of a brownstone in one of the most amazing neighborhoods in the city. Still, it only had one tiny bedroom. The room had just enough space for our queen sized bed, our son’s crib and a very small dresser. When I say “just enough space,” I mean that literally. His crib was sandwiched between the head of our bed and the back wall of our room. We couldn’t close our closet door because his crib was too long and blocked it. We had about a foot of space between his crib, our bed, and the wall.

Yes, we could have moved his bed into the living room and moved our new infant into the crib. But that would have made the largest room in our apartment basically unusable after bedtime. I didn’t want to be slammed into my kitchen/dining room so my kids could sleep soundly. And that’s when I realized that I was a great city girl, but an awful city mom. I always lucked out having incredible, livable spaces in the city. I wasn’t willing to live all jammed up in our apartment with all of us. I would love to move back to the city if we could live comfortably, but living comfortably as a family of four in NYC takes a lot of money. A lot.

I don’t fault these parents one bit for doing what they have to do to make room for their children. Now I have a huge house with a laundry room, a yard, a garage and a chef’s kitchen – but I miss New York everyday. I just don’t miss it enough to rather my kids sleep in a closet.

(photo: Alexey Losevich/ Shutterstock)