One month before our baby was born we bought a house. A lovely 3-bedroom house with a rose-filled garden in the most homely of home county towns. Bliss.
Four months after our baby was born we upped sticks and moved to Sweden.
Our new home? A 2-bedroom apartment with a small balcony just a stone’s throw from the nearest tube stop.
Ten months later we’re in Swedish apartment #3 with a slightly bigger balcony and several bus stops within spitting distance (we haven’t tried by the way).
Before we had our daughter, the thought of living as a family in a flat filled us with dread. Too small. No real outside space. Not ideal.
But, you know what? I actually quite like it.
First things first, apartment living is the norm in Stockholm. Unless you live further out or you’re totally minted (hej there, royal family) it’s the only way.
Secondly, when your child gets to stair-climbing age you’re quids in if you don’t actually have any stairs. Ours tried to access the fridge via a stupidly-placed step ladder, but apart from that we’re generally safe.
And finally, our apartment, like many in Stockholm, is so open plan that you can pretty much see the child from anywhere within. You’re never more than a couple of steps/panicked leaps away, at least.
So whilst I’d love to worry about my daughter running wild in another wing of our imaginary mansion back home, I’m pretty chuffed that we’ve found ourselves in what is actually a decent-sized apartment 15 mins from town.
Because the money saved on stair gates and the like is money I can spend on everything else that comes with living in an eye-poppingly expensive city (and yes, I have lived in London).