When we were looking at houses a few years ago, we were short on time and budget. We had certain things we wanted in a house. At least 3 bedrooms, a playroom space, decent sized yard, and a large open concept kitchen. I now laugh at that last “criteria” because we ended up with far from that. When we saw what is now our house, there were many things I liked about it. It had the 2 living spaces, which makes for the best playroom, 3 bedrooms, a great backyard, etc. However, our kitchen is far from what I wanted. It is small, probably the smallest kitchen I’ve ever seen. This definitely caused me hesitation initially but I knew our time frame and our budget for a house only allowed for so much.
So we bought the house and moved in. I found myself, and still do, telling people “yeah, it’s a small kitchen” as if it needs some sort of explanation. We painted the walls grey over the dark green, painted the backsplash white over the copper, and added new hardware. These touches brightened up the room and taught me a lesson in loving what we had and making it what we wanted it to be.
That was just the first of the lessons to be taught in this kitchen though. We have been raising two toddlers in this little kitchen and that’s where the lessons have come from. In the two years we have lived here, my kiddos have grown. We’ve replaced baby bottles for sippy cups. I remember having the bumbo chair on the counter for our boy when he was little, and now he is running around the place demanding “more wataaaa!” There is no room for personal space when doing dishes or cooking, but there really isn’t any personal space in this season of raising toddlers anyways. So having tiny feet trample over mine is normal. It has taught me to enjoy the little things and the little messes. My two littles always want to help, and often I let them. That may mean setting them on the kitchen counter so they can clean off apples, and there goes half of my counter space. Or if they’re placing magnets on the refrigerator, there’s hardly room to maneuver past them. Oftentimes if I need some entertainment for them during dinner prep, I’ll give them playdoh or another activity to work with on the floor. This, of course, ends up in the middle of the kitchen, so I’m stepping over them to go to this cabinet or that. We keep our filtered water stand in the dining area, on the other side of the kitchen, so now our little ones know to get their cups and go fill it up by themselves.
Without designated areas of cook space versus play space, we have to work together as a family. These are where the best memories are made. Our little girl remembers when we baked cookies together and flour was all over the floor. Our boy loves helping pour water from one container to the other. There may be messes here and there but plenty of memories to be made.
Our little kitchen hasn’t held us back. We continue to have people over for hangouts and meals. By now our friends know where things are and to help themselves. The little kitchen has taught us minimalism and to enjoy what we do have. We cannot have everything we want in this kitchen so we make the most of what we do have. Trust me, I would love to have a big beautiful open concept kitchen, but in this season, this little kitchen has blessed me more than I can imagine.
No matter the size of your kitchen, the style of your home, or your family dynamic, enjoy the messes and the memories.
Do you have a space in your home that has been a special blessing to your family?