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Behind the Blog

March 15, 2012

You know when someone asks you a question and you answer off the cuff and then three hours later you realize there is more you’d say? Well, that’s how it was when Erin Goodman interviewed me for her podcast series, “Behind the Blog.” I wanted to call her back and tell her so many more things, including that when I suggested ignoring your kids as a way to get them to play independently, I didn’t really mean it like that. Except, y’know, maybe just a little.

our living space (minus the bedrooms) in its entirety

Also, I nattered on blithely about our family of four living in 800 sf, which really is a non-issue until it’s a family member’s birthday and I want to throw a party. But our house is so small I feel like I have to post one of those signs like the one on the door of our neighborhood 7-11 growing up, “only 2 students in the store at one time.” Except it would say: “before you and your family come in, another family has to leave. Enjoy a beer on the porch!”

I also forgot to mention that living in 800 sf is a non-issue until it’s food-preservation season and I’ve got 2 boxes of peaches exhaling over-ripeness on our dining room table and 6 pints of ketchup cooling on the floor, one of which Dan has just stubbed his toe on. And there’s bowls of chopped tomatoes, peppers and onions co-mingling into salsa on our dining room chairs, except we don’t actually have a dining room per se, but we do have this table, which is where we eat and draw and do school work and play yahtzee and dump our mail and sun our tomato seedlings in March, all 29 of them. And sometimes I think I need to install turn signals on the kids so they can navigate our small space without bumping into each other, which they would do anyways on purpose.

I just wanted you to know that these are some of the things I forgot to tell Erin.

Erin Goodman, who writes the blog Exhale. Return to Center, started this series, Behind the Blog, to delve deeper into who bloggers are behind what they present to the public. Erin is so disarming, wonderful and wise, that when our interview was over, we ended up talking for another hour. You can hop on over to her blog and listen to the interview here.

Have a very wonderful weekend,


13 Comments leave one →
  1. abozza permalink
    March 16, 2012 5:10 am

    I think you did just fine, but I can certainly understand the desire to go back and restate or rephrase. Happens to me all the time, as so much of my life is public speaking. At that point, though, I guess you just have to let it go and say, “Eh…it is what it is” and hope that people get it. :)

  2. March 16, 2012 7:50 am

    We have a little bit bigger house and one less child, but space is still an issue. None of the rooms in our house are big enough for more than 3 or 4 people at a time. Thank goodness for the big yard, which is our living room for as much of the year as possible.

  3. ike permalink
    March 16, 2012 10:12 am

    Yes, it is nice to have more room but kids don’t usually notice such differences in living spaces until they are teenagers. I grew up in a similar sized apartment with two older brothers and I can say there was no adverse effect on any of us kids. It is only when looking back as adults that we all marveled at how we were happy and did well in that small space. I confess that we all three live in comfortably sized houses.

  4. March 16, 2012 10:14 am

    i could totally tell you guys did not actually hang up when you said fake goodbye. it was awesome, i loved it. so super cool to hear your voice, it’s like i gained another dimension of knowing you. i love erin’s program and i am glad she has such great taste in guests! i loved hearing about your experience post-college and those realizations that i had, only i didn’t really have them fully until midway through my masters program and… ugh. in my case, if you want to go anywhere big you need a phd, but my masters does get me jobs in my field, thankfully. it’s a messed up world. and yet it makes it that much cooler when you find people who understand about this stuff.

  5. March 16, 2012 6:39 pm

    hello dear! i will have to go listen to you! an invite over here always comes with a disclaimer too! loud, way too many kids, no where to park, and not enough room! it makes us ‘appear’ very popular in a sardine kind of way!

    have a lovely weekend!

  6. March 16, 2012 9:48 pm

    I am new to your blog and came via the podcast. I really enjoyed the interview and chuckled about the ignoring your kids part. I totally get it, no need to back peddle.
    As for the 800 square feet, sounds pretty big to me :) We all fill the space we have, ya know? Ok, off to read about road kill now :)

  7. March 17, 2012 4:57 pm

    I loved hearing your voice as I a fan of your blog and also of Erin. I had to giggle about your comments about being in a small space with your kids. We live in a large space a pregnant neighbor worried to me one time about gating the large open spaces because she would want to know where the baby was. I said, from my experience you never have to worry about that. They are always right where you are, clinging to your legs and sitting underfoot! And I love that, by the way.

    And saw nothing wrong in your “ignore them” comment. Kids need to get a little bored in order to access their full creativity!

    The interview was wonderful. Thank you.

  8. March 19, 2012 2:42 pm

    I call ignoring the kids by the euphemism “benign neglect” and am always happy to hear other mothers extolling its virtues. Great interview, Rachel. Loved hearing more about your journey to this place, and brought up all kinds of questions for me like, to what extent do you feel defined by motherhood?
    Wanted to say that Santa Fe has a public school homeschool program.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 19, 2012 4:31 pm


      I feel very defined by motherhood. Not in an oppressive or claustrophobic way. But in the way that my motherhood colors and effects how I view the world and myself. And in the way that my kids are always rattling around my brain even when they’re not with me. But I also realized when Rose was new and I was in the thick of parenting a toddler and a baby that I would need time and purpose outside of my kids to nurture parts of myself that developed long before I ever became a mother at 32 yrs old.

      And you? To what extent do you feel defined by motherhood?

  9. Jamie permalink
    March 21, 2012 1:30 am

    I’m always impressed with people that can live in small spaces and actually enjoy it. We (2 adults, 2 small children, 2 small to medium dogs) just moved from a 730 sf apartment to a house that is a bit between 800 and 900 plus a big backyard! I wouldn’t say I have a lot of stuff, but I do like the stuff I have and it was just uncomfortable trying to get it and us into that apartment. Now, its almost like heaven! The dogs are out for most of the day, the kids have their own rooms and my kitchen isn’t in my living room :) I can fit more than one extra adult comfortably and they will also have a place to sit! It’s great.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 22, 2012 10:40 am

      An extra 100 sf makes a big difference. Plus…a backyard! Huge!


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