“Living as an adult in a multigenerational home is not as normal in the United States as it is in other countries and I think that’s such a shame,” says Martina Thornhill (@martinathornhill on Instagram). Read about her unconventional family life in Oregon, USA…
Martina Thornhill, 32, lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband Drew Steadham, their seven-month-old son Dodge and Drew’s mom Marcela. Martina is a a full time parent with a part time career as a ceramic artist.
Our mornings are … my favorite part of the day. We co-sleep, so when Dodge wakes up between 7 and 8am – all happy and full of energy – we usually play, nurse and snuggle in the bed for an hour or so while I get my bearings. I’ve never been a morning person so I’m very grateful he’s not a crazy early riser. Once we’re up it’s diaper changes and breakfast and chasing him around the kitchen until he goes down for his first tiny nap and I finally get a chance to sit and drink my coffee.
My baby mainly wears … Vintage Osh Kosh overalls, itty bitty Converse high tops, striped shirts, and lots of handmade clothing that I’ve sewn or knit. He also has a pretty great collection of Baby Degen sweaters and a couple of the cutest jackets from Red Creek Kids.
I cope with clutter by … keeping baskets in every room. I’m realizing that that is the most typical mom answer, but they’re seriously the best. After Dodge goes to bed I toss all his migratory toys into various baskets throughout the house and then I put all the throw pillows back on the couch. Even if that’s all I do it makes the house not feel like a disaster in the morning.
I never leave the house without … My phone. Lame answer, but Drew works regular 8-5 hours four days a week and it breaks his heart to be missing out on so much time with Dodge, especially at this age where it feels like every day he’s learning something new. I make a point of sending Drew photos and videos every day he’s not home so at the very least he can see how we’re spending the day and be able to watch the highlights.
When no one’s looking I … eat my hidden $6 bars of 85% dark chocolate.
I encourage creativity … by making time for it. There are plenty of nights where vegging out in front the TV is all we have the energy for, but we really try to reserve our post baby-bedtime evenings for creative time. Sometimes I’ll work in the ceramic studio while Drew works on videos. Other nights it’s knitting or sewing at one end of the dining table while he draws on the other side. Occasionally we work on projects together, but spending that evening time creatively makes us both happier people and, I’d like to think, better parents as well.
Drew and I are also so lucky that his mom moved in with us after Dodge was born. Living as an adult in a multigenerational home is not as normal in the United States as it is in other countries and I think that’s such a shame. In addition to helping with all the day-to-day mayhem, she watches Dodge for a few hours two days a week which allows me consistent time in the studio and it makes a world of difference to my mental health.
I’ll never be able to part with … my plants. Some of them have moved across the country with us twice, and some of them didn’t make it through those first few crazy months after Dodge was born, but having a home full of plants brings me so much happiness and makes our house really feel like a home. Now that Dodge is becoming more mobile we’ve had to shift them out of his reach and quite a few are missing baby fist sized chunks, but I’m determined to keep my jungle.
When all else fails we … smoke a joint and have a dance party in the kitchen.
Follow Martina on Instagram: @martinathornhill