Ready to have a nervous breakdown!
I posted prior to moving into my apt. and everyone here was very nice~ now I've been living in my new apt. less than 2 weeks and I'm already panicked! A quick review~ I live on the 2nd floor of a two-story apt. with my 2 young children (toddlers). When choosing this apt. one thing that drew me to it (aside from beautiful grounds, safe area, and affordable price) was the complex put in their ad that they are 'sound insulated' between floors. I was on a waiting list and a 2 bedroom upstairs unit became available. They knew I have 2 young kids and I specifically asked about insulation, as I also play acoustic guitar and didn't want to cause any irritation to neighbors. They assured me it shouldn't be a problem, as other tenants have pianos.
Well, my acoustic guitar hasn't been a problem, thank goodness. BUT it seems my children are and I don't know what to do! It turns out the apts. have horrible insulation between floors~ there are areas in the living/dining room that if I walk across even lightly the sliding glass patio door will shake!
I have done what I can to prevent noise from myself or my kids. We take our shoes off at the door, I have been teaching my children even before the move to use "quiet feet" and that there is no jumping/hopping/running allowed indoors. I put down a heavy carpet in the main living areas over the existing wall-to-wall carpet.
I introduced myself to my downstairs neighbor a few days after moving in and told her if there ever is an issue where we are bothering her, to please let me know. She immediately made a comment about the noise/vibration my children make, as the insulation is poor and she has dishes hanging on her wall and she would be very upset if they fell off and broke. My kids had gotten out of the tub the night before at 8 pm (well before the noise curfew of 10 pm) and when they got out my little one was excited and hopped in the bathroom a few times before I could calm her down. She said if any of her dishes broke she would be complaining.
I was very upset to hear this, as I have strongly been working with my kids to be gentle when walking. I do what I can, but they ARE kids and occasionally (NOT all the time) they will run into their room, or hop when I'm taking them out of the tub, etc. I can tell they are making an effort, but come on they are 2 and 3 years old! I can't very well tie them up in straight jackets.
I introduced my kids to the neighbor and she likes them. She also has been friendly towards me and I've made a big effort to say hello and keep things good between us. I don't want to sound judgmental but it does sound like she may be someone who complains often to the apt. manager (she told me this is the fifth apt. she's been in here in town and this is by far the worst, and she has complained to the mgr about how she feels the apt. is cursed w/ bad luck, or something to that effect, regarding noise/problems/etc).
Today she told me she heard my 2 year old crying yesterday and was wondering what I was doing to her!! I told her first of all, we do not even spank~ we use time-outs for discipline so if she hears her crying then either she's in a time-out, fighting with her sister over something, or she's hurt herself. She said she figured that. I still thought it was odd for her to ask me about it!
I hear my neighbors, too~ loud music, tv, even voices, but I accept it and tune it out. This is apartment living, after all~ you have to expect to hear those around you!
I feel like I'm becoming a nervous wreck, trying to tiptoe around my apt. This afternoon I was carrying some candles and one of them accidentally slipped out of my hands and onto the floor. I thought I'd have a heart attack! I'm so self conscious and I feel like I'm constantly telling my kids to walk quietly, not run, not jump, not walk heavily, not go on their knees on the floor, etc. I can't do this to my kids~ kids do have to be kids! They can't walk on eggshells all the time, and neither can I.
My brother lives in the same complex and he thinks I should talk to the mgr myself tomorrow and just let her know my concerns~ that I want to be a good neighbor but I can't keep my children from being children, although I am trying to make them conscious of walking and not running or jumping.
Do you have any advice for me? I am so stressed out over this. :( Thanks.