Motherhood

Should Children Share A Bedroom?

March 17, 2015

 

When I moved house almost two years ago post-separation I got a bit sniffy about downsizing my home. This was in the days when I believed that the size of your house was directly relevant to your happiness, you understand, and not because I was a massive insufferable snob back then (HONEST). But I’d been spending the last few years in a four bedroomed house and I literally did not know how my life would adapt to two bedrooms.

HAHAH.

I’m one of the luckiest people I know in that I rent a house off my mum and dad. I still pay them rent (so maybe not THE luckiest) and do everything a normal tenant would do – but it means that whenever anything goes wrong or the grass needs mowing my dad will come to do it. And when, as a newly single woman, they offered to rent the house to me, I bit their hand off. It’s in a great area of my town and is a truly wonderful home, but it only has two bedrooms.

Two bedrooms.

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Before moving here I was seriously concerned about two bedrooms. How would I survive with no spare bedroom? How would my not-out-of-nappies-at-night children cope without their own space? WHY ARE MY DIAMOND SHOES SO TIGHT?!

The truth is that two bedrooms is one of the loveliest things that ever happened to us.

Elfie and Hux now share a bedroom that has a small separation by way of IKEA’s Stolmen, which I use to store their clothes and give each of them their own identifiable space. Though they were once children that had their own rooms, they now share, and despite me thinking this would not work out well it’s actually been a dream.

Haha, just kidding. I don’t have dreams any more, I just tend to pass out until the next sleep interruption.

In all seriousness I love the closeness that bedroom sharing has brought to my two. They were as thick as thieves before but their bedroom arrangements has turned them into co-conspirators, bosom buddies. Upon waking up (far too early) in the morning they first chat to each other before coming into wake me, and they like to have a bit of a natter before they go to sleep at night… usually the finer points of Woody vs Buzz, or whether or not Spiderman lives in a zoo (Elfie: no, Hux: yes).

I went to check on them at 9pm a couple of evenings ago to find Hux had turned the lights on, piled all his toys on top of a fast asleep Elfie and was playing with Buzz and sitting on her legs. Goodness knows what had happened in the two hours since putting them to bed but it was pretty cute.

I no longer feel sorry for myself for my poor two bedrooms. I LOVE what two bedrooms have given us. Closeness, friendship, hugs, laughter, early mornings… all of it. Sleeping in one room means for Elfie and Hux that their best friend is next to them when they fall asleep and next to them when they wake up. It means they are constantly there to reassure, wind up, comfort and tease. They love it. I love it. All my hesitations were proved wrong pretty quickly. Yes if one wakes up then the other is sometimes disturbed, but they both soon learned to sleep through a loud noise Skream would be proud of.

Last night I heard Elfie say, “You’re my best friend, Hux. I love you sooo much I don’t want you to go to sleep”.

Would you have your children sleep in the same room?

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26 Comments

  • Reply Harriet March 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Alice! Evie and Cass share a room and I wouldn’t change it. We are in a very small 3 bed at the moment, but we chose for them to share. When we move next month to a much bigger house with 4 bedrooms (!) they will still share. I love the closeness they have sharing and hearing them ‘chatting’ to each other. I think put daughters will share a room until they request not to!! X

    • Reply alice March 18, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      I think it’s so lovely too – that chatting (even though they don’t know many words yet!) is just lovely x

  • Reply Kat March 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Alice I just love this. Mainly because I really needed to hear it – house-hunting at the moment in a lovely (but expensive) area and it’s looking like two bedrooms is going to be the (only) way forward for us. Always a fan of your writing but this post is a belter and has given me so much encouragement, thank you.

    • Reply alice March 18, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      Thank you very much, Kat! It almost feels like your failing, I think, when you don’t give your kids their own room. It’s how I felt anyway, even though it’s bonkers that a 2 and a 4 year old need ‘their own space’ ;)
      I hope my two will share for years and years to come.

  • Reply Muddling Along March 17, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    My girls are in together – they have bunks although recently they have been going through a phase of sleeping in the same bed together… Not sure if we’ll move Littlest in with them, maybe if he starts to sleep a bit better

    • Reply alice March 18, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      That is very sweet that they like to sleep in the same bed!

      I think sleeping in the same room helped my two. They don’t sleep as well if either isn’t there, I think they feel safer.

  • Reply rach March 17, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I shared a room with my sister until I went away to university and I can’t imagine how different my relationship with her would be now if we hadn’t… we hated it as teenagers (or I did… because I was the oldest…) but there are just so many fun and happy memories associated with that shared room I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. Shared bedrooms for the win!

    • Reply alice March 18, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      I love this. Thank you for commenting – I fear it’s probably a bit different for boys and girls sharing past the age of, say, 10. But I hope they enjoy it for as long as possible!

  • Reply Kim Carberry March 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    We have 3 bedrooms and last week my girls decided they wanted to share a room again…..They had their own rooms but now they share and have a playroom….They love the company and seem to settle better on a night together….

    • Reply alice March 18, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      I think mine definitely settle better together, too. If one of them is missing they don’t sleep as well (and end up with me)

  • Reply Kathy Roller March 17, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Oh my goodness…sharing a bedroom is the sweetest thing. Now..I didn’t like my sister very much growing up because we HAD to share a room…but, my boys share a room because they like each other…and I just LOVE that!

    • Reply alice March 18, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Aww, that really is lovely!

  • Reply Carie March 17, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    My girls are in together with the idea that at some point their baby brother might actually sleep in his room. They’ve only been together a couple of months but they seem to really love it, and the perk that they play with each other when they wake up is not to be underestimated!!

    • Reply alice March 19, 2015 at 11:38 am

      You are SO right. I love the fact that they spend a good few minutes entertaining one another while I wake up :)

  • Reply Charlotte @ Educating Elsa March 17, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    I was always skeptical about this when we first thought about moving Elsa out of our bedroom. As it happens she stayed in her cot in our room until I separated from her dad, and then she moved straight into her own room. Her cot at her dad’s house is now in her big sister’s room but she doesn’t stay overnight there so I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not yet! There is a pretty big age gap between our two though (6 years) so it’s slightly different- we have to think about the eldest getting up for school etc.

    I think it sounds like you have the perfect arrangement for your family though! :)

    • Reply alice March 19, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      I wonder what it must be like with a slightly larger age gap. It definitely is a great arrangement :) x

  • Reply Caroline Magovern March 18, 2015 at 11:08 am

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for us. We are hoping to move to Cheltenham, a particularly expensive area in Cheltenham, and to enable us to afford to do this we need to downsize to a three bed. As a TTC-er we may, one day, need to have my two eldest share a bedroom and I was a little concerned about it. Reading this post and everyone’s comments has definitely made me feel at ease. Logan doesn’t spend much time with us either so it would only be like semi-sharing! I also used to share with my sister which doesn’t appear to have ruined my life! Great post x

    • Reply alice March 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Ooh I love Cheltenham when I was younger and alway wanted to live there ‘when I grew up’. Happy house hunting! x

  • Reply Katie @mummydaddyme March 18, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Ah I read this with interest Alice as my two are just about to embark on sharing a room. Nice to hear Elfie and Hux love it- I hope it will be the start of an adventure for mine! x

    • Reply alice March 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      I’m looking forward to reading about your bedroom sharing experiences! Hope the transition went well x

  • Reply Deepa March 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I shared a room with my sister until I was 18, when we were younger it was lovely and were so close! It was harder trying to tiptoe in from the pub drunk when my 12 year old little sis was asleep but apart from that it made us closer.

  • Reply Hayley Goleniowska March 18, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    My girls have their own rooms with double beds ( I know…) and I find them asleep hugging in the same bed every night :) They are different ages and stages so their own space is nice, but I love that they want to be together in the night.

  • Reply Fromfuntomum March 19, 2015 at 4:38 am

    I shared a room with my brother until I was 9 or 10 and we were super close. My mum then thought of separating us in different rooms. Within a year we started to almost avoid each others and retreating to our rooms. We have never been close since. Only starting to ‘not avoid’ each other now that he’s married and he gets on with my husband and I with his wife. My girl and boy will share for as long as possible.

  • Reply Carolin March 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    My sister and I shared a bedroom until I was 13 and I hated it as she always wanted to get involved when I had friends round. We did have quite a big age gap with 6 years though. I don’t think it’s much a problem when kids are as close in age as Hux and Elfie and I believe it can really help them bond x

  • Reply (Mostly) Yummy Mummy March 19, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    All of mine have shared at some point and it has always worked wonderfully for us. My little girls still share now, in fact they’ve even taken it upon themselves to share a bed! I’m treasuring every minute while they are still the best of friends and secretly hope that it will last for a long while yet. Your children are so close it’s so lovely to see x

  • Reply Gill Crawshaw March 25, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Great to read this as my two will be sharing at some point in the near future. It’s kind of enforced at the moment (we bought a two bedroom house, with a third in the half-converted loft that needs to be done when we find a spare £30k down the sofa). But I think I’d like them to share anyway – when they’re this young it doesn’t seem like they need loads of space, and it just seems like a lovely thing to do x

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