Small Space Living With Kids: How Parents Make Room for Themselves

Sandeep Salter’s two daughters, who are ten and seven, have also long since moved into their own rooms. When her first daughter was born, she and her husband lived in such a small space that they didn’t have a choice but to all sleep in one bedroom. Even when Lowe Roma transitioned to her crib at six months, it was positioned in the living room, a shared space where Sandeep could always see and hear her. 

Sandeep, who owns the Brooklyn Heights boutique Salter House, considered the co-sleeping experience so magical and instrumental in bonding that she did it again with her second daughter, Eta, for a full year even though they had been then moved into a two-bedroom apartment. “I often say that having kids is a slow process of them moving farther and farther away from your body,” she tells me. Even so, there was a point where her kids didn’t fit in her bed anymore. “It became frustrating,” Sandeep recalls. “The physical aspect of just not being able to rest when there are too many bodies that are too active [in the bed].” 

Today, Sandeep’s kids share their own bedroom. But she calls herself a “softy” because when they occasionally ask to sleep in her bed, she usually acquiesces. Even with a wall between them, Sandeep still wears earplugs to bed every night because she stirs awake at the slightest movement or sound, a holdover from the days where there was always a baby in bed beside her. “I did not have enough space for myself for years,” she admits. 

A corner of the bedroom that Elizabeth’s sons share.

Photo: Elizabeth De La Piedra

These days, to get her alone time, Sandeep sometimes lights a candle and takes a long bath which her daughters refer to as “mom spa.” Twice a week, and on weekends, she takes a ballet class with other moms that are all former dancers. “Everybody’s very chill, and it’s non-judgemental,” she says. “I don’t have to share myself with anyone there.”

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