‘We cloth diapered so we can stomach cloth toilet paper if it comes down to it. We live the camper life, full time. COMMUNICATION IS VITAL.’: Mom who lives in camper says ‘it’s OKAY to need space right now’

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“Life has temporarily changed for a lot of you.

We are not ignoring the current state of the world but we’re not itching to address it either.

Honestly, we have nothing of value to offer the conversation. Purely our own opinions based on what we’ve consumed and quite frankly, you are as over exposed as we are, so let this be a space of reprieve if you need it.

Instead, we can talk about how these changes may be affecting your relationship in a way that we are very familiar with… Constant contact plus limited space.

Hi-yo We’re your people.

Three years ago, we packed up the essentials and moved 600 miles away from our home for the first time. My husband had taken his first union pipeline job and since we were ‘connected at the hip’, we decided it would be better to travel together than see each other on the occasional weekend. That first job lasted 5 months and it was clear that we needed a more viable way to move our family of 4 (+ 2 dogs) from state to state… so we bought a 2006, 29’ travel trailer and started affectionately referring to it as ‘home.’

1 year later and several jobs under our belt my husband decided to splurge and upgrade our 100 sq. foot house into a 39’ palace. We’ve now lived the camper life, full time, for 30 months (2.5 years) so it’s safe to say we know a little something about small space confinement.

Outside time is vital.
Quiet time is vital.

Tiny living
Natural living

And we cloth diapered so we can stomach cloth toilet paper if it comes down to it… well, I can. Casey actually gagged over cleaning out the poopy diapers and would leave them for me to wash out.

Moving on… If you are accustomed to hours apart throughout the week, there will be an adjustment period. While I’ve always had our kids’ home, it generally takes a week or two to establish a new routine once Casey is laid-off. The theme remains: COMMUNICATION IS VITAL.

Honest communication is so important for every relationship and extra critical when you’re around each other for extended periods of time.

It’s OKAY to say, ‘I need space right now.’ to your husband OR your kids. It’s okay to institute mandatory quiet time, mandatory separation by room and mandatory outside time. We’ve done it all and it’s a game changer.

Courtesy Raquel McCloud

I think the key is to implement those things before you’re on your last nerve and screaming in a decibel you didn’t know you could reach. It’s both beneficial and healthy to make outside time a part of your routine. Kids need space to be free, unconfined by trivial rules like ‘no climbing’ and ‘inside voices’ … open spaces give their body the freedom it needs to stretch and bend and move. The sun nourishes their soul and the earth grounds them. Creativity can flourish, curiosity abounds and the best part … outside time can restore a mama’s weary heart too! Quiet time is another healthy opportunity for both parent and child. We live in a culture that pushes constant entertainment. It’s unnecessary. ‘You’re bored? Good!’ For honesty’s sake, my kids HATE when I respond to their cries of boredom that way but it’s okay because I mean it. The world’s greatest minds did not change history because they were constantly occupied, they made history because they learned how to think critically, question things and study them intently … probably after whining about being bored.

Despite the cause of this change, perspective is everything. This could be your most connected year … if you allow it to be. Look for the blessings and speak them out loud. Years ago, we would take turns saying our favorite and least favorite part of the day before bed. One of our kids is naturally pessimistic and would dwell on the least favorite. It would keep her awake and crying, sometimes for hours and even showed up in her nightmares when she finally drifted off … so we adjusted our bedtime routine.

Now we take turns naming 3 things we are thankful for every night.

What 3 things do you have to be thankful for right now?”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Raquel McCloud, 31, of North Carolina. Follow her family journey on Instagram here and her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from Raquel here: 

‘I was 14 and pregnant. ‘Would you be willing to meet?’ 9 years after she was born, my birth daughter’s family encouraged her to hug me. I didn’t want to let go.’: Woman shares perspective as an adopted child, birth mom, and adoptive mom

‘He never asked why we needed the help, he simply said, ‘Things will get better.’: After a miscarriage and husband’s layoff, woman says, ‘Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.’

‘It’s important they can come to you and ask what a ‘BJ’ is and if it can give you an STD. Yes, I said BJ.’: Mom explains the importance of answering kids’ sex questions

‘I was 13 when an older friend said, ‘I’m out of condoms but it’s fine, I know what I’m doing.’ I believed him.’: Woman says the key to a healthy sex life after a ‘past’ is communication

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