Saturday, December 6, 2008

FAQ-Don't You Get On Each Other's Nerves?

In the spirit of trying to remember to keep answering the FAQ here and not just each time someone asks, this has been another common question we get asked. I'm guessing people ask for two reasons: that we spend a lot of time together due to the homeschooling and working from home and the size of our tiny house.

The short answer is yes. Just like we did when we each went our separate ways daily and went to school and work AND had a huge house.

The biggest difference now is, we either figure out really quickly how to work through those issues rather than retreating to our own corners, or we really get on each other's nerves. While I don't enjoy it in the moment of working through those conflicts, I can wholeheartedly say it has been a great thing for our family as a unit and as individuals. It's been great to learn to deal with issues right away so we can then move on and have fun again. It's become similar to house cleaning, it's just what we have to do as a matter of business so we don't get too (emotionally) cluttered.

I'll also note that this wasn't thrust on us all at once since we've been on the road. It was the biggest adjustment when we moved to becoming a homeschooling family and a working from home family, so much of that adjustment had happened long before we did this. And I'm grateful for that now because the rest of the lifestyle changes have been more than enough to adjust to without throwing that into the mix.

It's not been the biggie on our list in other words. We're used to being together all the time. We tended to congregate in one room even when we had space to spread out. What can I say, we like each other and to spend time together. Usually. We like to spend time together because we've learned to work out our issues. So it goes hand in hand I guess.

As for the lack of personal space, that is a change that has taken a bit more adjusting to after living in such a big space but again not as much as we guessed it might be. When it's cold or raining and we aren't out running around, it is very hard to be inside the RV for any great length of time without it wearing on our nerves. Luckily it is normally warm and sunny so we go and do and see and all of that, and rarely see the inside of the RV. It's the place we sleep in for the most part.

I think we've learned a bit better boundaries, or maybe I should say we all understand the value of respecting each other's boundaries better meaning we give personal space when needed because we know we want the same. A closed door is a valuable tool in our world when we need a time out or time to read or think or maybe even have a private phone conversation (which are extremely rare in our world).

We have older children so we can easily say I need alone time and know that short of blood and fire, they can fend for themselves for a short time. I do value the rare moments when I have no one but myself to interact with. Laundry and grocery shopping can be used for those times. I've noticed that we have each found our unique ways to do that.

And again, we try to respect that with each other and give what we want ourselves. It's the only way to make it and not kill each other. Or at least want to kill each other. Because although we are learning to work it out, I'd never claim that we haven't entertained that thought from time to time. We are still very, very human after all. (grin)

These are all things that I think are useful to my children, to help them in their lives no matter what paths they choose. There are so many times that people will ask if we do x, y and z and when I say no their response is that they (meaning the non-adults) have to learn it sometime in their life. Usually I am thinking, "Perhaps. And if and when that times comes that it would be beneficial for them to learn it, then I trust they will."

So while I wouldn't necessarily use the same phrase in response to "I could never do what you are because we'd get on each other nerves", I do think something along the lines of "well.....learning to get along with others especially when they work your nerves is a great tool to have in life. Unless you plan to live on an island, it is a useful tool in almost every life situation in fact. And when my kids (and the big kids meaning the adults) needed to learn it-we did."

We find a way to make it work because we want to. So could you! No deep, profound, mystical unlocked secrets allow us to do this. Just desire and determination.

Stepping down off the soapbox now to go and play and enjoy life and all it has to offer including the ones that get on my nerves.


jaci said...

What an excellent post! It can apply to the "I Could Never Homeschool My Kids" comment your hear so often, too.

little castle said...

Yes, it sure can. The same principles apply, don't they? =)