An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Why My Children Share A Bedroom

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Why My Children Share A Bedroom

In a world where everyone has their own phone, own car, own toys and independent everything, I'm making my children share a bedroom. 


I was hanging out at my yoga studio recently, talking mom talk with the other ladies who take the 9:30am class (seriously, there isn't a man in sight at that time). One of the moms I chat with regularly was complaining about how her 5 year old now wants her own cell phone for her birthday, since her sister, who was just slightly older at 7 years old, recently had gotten one. The mom was actually going to ATT after class to pick it up for her young child. I was shocked. Not only is that insanely young to "own" such an expensive piece of technology (iPhones are nearly a grand!) but that the mom felt like what the older one had, the younger one "needed" too, just to keep jealousy at bay. This, my friends, is part of the reason my children are sharing a bedroom.

In an indenpendednt-contered culture, my kids will be sharing a bedroom to learn some old fashioned lessons


Doesn't make sense yet? Hold on. It will.

We have a decent sized home in Dallas. This is Texas, after all - we do things big here! We've got plenty of bedrooms to have each of our kids have their own. But when we found out we were having another boy, I knew instantly that I wanted my kids to share their nursery. My husband thought I was crazy. "We have plenty of bedrooms! Why wouldn't they have their own rooms?!" He asked.

Call me crazy. But I remembered when my sister and I shared a room growing up. We had bunk beds and made a fort out of it, regularly playing that we were lost at sea and the bunks were our ship. I had the bottom bunk, and we'd drape a large blanket around it so it was like a private room. Or, sauna. The bunks were up against a heat vent, and wrapping a blanket around my bunk created a sweat-lodge-like effect.

I don't think I've shared a single pic of our boys' double nursery! Here it is :)

There was a time when we didn't have to share a room, too. I was really young - in first and second grade. My sister had a double sized bed in her room. Every night, I mean every. single. night, I would cry and beg her to let me sleep with her! I wanted nothing to do with sleeping in a dark, scary room by myself. Every night, she would tell me no. Nope. No way! And when I hung my head in defeat, she'd change her mind at the last minute and scoot over for me to join her in bed. I think she just liked having all the power. It was cool. I got much bigger much more quickly than she did, so I took that power back reeeeeal quick!

I could reminisce all day, but what I'm trying to say is that by sharing a room, my sister and I learned how to have a relationship together. We learned how to play. We learned how to fight (I'm still sorry about the time I punched her in her face for the remote control, catapulting her into instant, pitiful tears!) We learned how to share, and we learned how to take turns. One of the biggest treats growing up was who got to ride in the front seat of the car. My sister and I had that down! We simply took turns. Every other trip the other sister got it. There was never a single fight about it - we had worked out our system! How many parents can say that of their children these days?!

*I realize 7 year olds no longer sit in the front, but are regaled to car seats and boosters until they're about 18 years old*

Only one changing station necessary in a shared bedroom!

I don't want my children thinking that whatever the other one has, he can - nay, SHOULD - have too. That sense of entitlement disgusts me, and it's very much learned as opposed to part of one's nature. Guess what Otto, you're younger than Henry, so Henry will get to do things and have things before you. That's how it goes. That's life. I don't care if you don't think it's fair. What's fair has nothing to do with who "deserves" what, and who deserves what has nothing to do with who's earned what. The earlier my kids learn this, the better off they'll be.

Will having my children share a room make them great people? Will it teach them every life lesson they need to learn so they can be wonderful adults? Will it mean that they'll fight less and love more? No. But it will help them to learn to share. It will teach them that just because we have a house big enough for everyone to have their own room, it's still nice to be together. It might teach them that just because something CAN happen doesn't mean that it WILL. Just because I CAN buy them their own iPhones doesn't mean that I WILL. Because I wont. I want to foster a sense of togetherness that's inclusive, not separate exclusiveness. That's why my children share a bedroom.

20 comments:

  1. I love this. My girlfriend had her boys together their whole childhood and when she separated them finally at 11 and 14 she would find them in each other's room sleeping on the flor in the morning. So cute!

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  2. A cell phone for a 5 year old?! That means in 6 months I'd be getting A a phone. No freaking way! I don't even want to get her a phone until she's like 16, but I know that's not realistic the days. I think sharing a room for kids of the same gender is a good idea. I always wanted a sister growing up to share everything with.

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  3. I'm still not over who a 5 year old needs to be calling......seriously though an iPhone for a 5 year old?!?!?! I mean my sisters kids have a tablet that they get for 30 mins a day but a phone? Anyways, I love that they share a room. They are going to grow up being such good friends. Mark and his brother are only a few years apart and they talk every day (it was just the two of them). I need to ask him if they shared a room. I love this concept and something you don't hear about too much nowadays because kids are so damn spoiled now with their own rooms, phones, clothes and every other newest product on the market. Thank you for this parenting 101 come back to reality check :)

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  4. I love that your kiddos share a room! I do think it would present more of a challenge if there was a huge age gap, but what a way to build lasting memories for your kids!

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  5. Great post! We have enough rooms as well for our children to not share but we put them together. We are a family. We function as a family. You don't have a right to anything. It's just the way we chose to live. Go you!

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  6. I totally agree with your reasoning. Our twins share a room out of necessity, since we only have three rooms, but even if we had more, they would still be in the same. In fact, as soon as they all go to bed at the same time, I'm thinking of moving them in with their older brother. I think it brings closeness and a bond that all siblings should have. And a cell phone at 7-years-old? Ridiculous.

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  7. I think sharing a room with a sibling that's so close to your age and the same gender is a great idea and like you said only need one changing table! The phone for the 5 year old...outrageous - who on earth are they calling!?

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  8. I'm with you. I think that kids should share a room. I feel like we all need a little more togetherness in our lives, instead of things that separate us, like cellphones.

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  9. I love this! I've been trying to convince my husband that our kids should share a room but he's not yet convinced. My daughter really wants bunkbeds like Peppa Pig :) I loved sharing with my sister when we were younger, it was only as we got older we really needed our own space.

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  10. My children share a bedroom and I have no immediate plans to give them their own rooms! It works well for us and it's teaching them valuable lessons.
    I truly can't imagine a 5 year old and a 7 year old with a cell phone! WHAT?!?

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  11. Aww this is so true and I would've never thought of it that way. A 5 year old with a cellphone blows my mind.

    xoxo, Jenny

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  12. This is a very different perspective. I actually like the idea of having siblings share a space just because I feel like it will probably make them closer. I never shared bedrooms with my siblings growing up because they were a lot older than me. I don't have kids yet, but when I do, this is something I'll definitely consider.

    LiveLifeWell,
    Allison

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  13. "Inclusive, not separate exclusiveness."
    That is the best line I've read in a very long while. I think I'll want to do the same thing if my kids are close enough in age and the same gender. I wish I would have been able to share a room with my sister for longer. I don't even remember it because I was so young.

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  14. My brother and I shared a room for a lonnnnnngggg time growing up and not because my mom wanted us to, but because of space. My brother is about 4 years younger and a total boy and I'm a complete girl... but we learnt a lot from each other and are incredibly close. Looking back we also learnt a lot about personal space, responsibility and caring for others. It made the college dorm experience, several years later, so much easier.

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  15. I absolutely love this post, Paige, and all of your sentiments and memories of growing up with your sister because I can completely relate! I loved sharing a room with her growing up and I also believe it taught us so much. We moved into separate rooms when we were older, but the memories, bonding, and lessons we learned were so valuable.

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  16. I totally agree! My kids all share a room.

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  17. I shared a room with my sister for most of my young life, and only got my own room as the oldest child when I turned 13 years old. There were a lot of good memories about sharing rooms, lots of fun when you're little, but sharing when you're older can turn deadly! Haha. I think it's good to learn to share things when you're little though.

    Also the cell phone thing is crazy. After some terrible experiences with my friends's kids (who managed to disable their parental controls on their tablets and look up stuff they're not supposed to at the urging of older cousins/friends) I wont be giving my kids (should I have them) smart phones at all. It's too dangerous. If they get phones they'll get those ones where they can only dial certain numbers-no internet access.

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  18. Love this! My kids share a room for the exact same reason. I have a boy and a girl, so there will definitely come a time when they won't share anymore, and we have the room for them to have separate rooms, but at 1 and 3 it is working perfectly. I usually find them snuggled in the same bed which is unbelievably cute :)

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  19. fabulous post girl.. i obviously don't have kids but it bothers me how so many children 'these days' are so entitled and the parents let them have whatever. obviously i won't know what kind of mother i'll be, but hopefully more grounded. i never shared a room growing up, my brothers did, but i still think it helped me learn certain things that your boys are learning.. we lived in a super small house so i think we all basically shared a room haha.

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