When we were looking to buy a bigger house two years ago, there were a few things that topped the “requirement” list—a big mudroom, green space behind the house, a court and an eating area that we could fit in. Many were surprised that “more bedrooms” did not make the list. The conversation came up again recently when I mentioned on Facebook that Cousin Matthew was staying in the spare room of our house for a few weeks. Spare room? Six kids and four bedrooms—how could there possibly be a spare room? Well, there is!
My love of kiddo room-sharing goes back to the days when my parents also had an empty bedroom because my sisters and I all bunked in together. No one wanted to miss out on the late-night giggles and sleepy chats in the dark. The first time I had my own bedroom was when I was 20 years old and in second year university.
My kids began their room-sharing early. My daughter was 4 months old when she moved in with big brother, who’s 15 months older. We have spent the better part of the last 12 years with two cribs in our house, regularly with both in one room.
The room-sharing benefits are many—those late-night giggles and chats, hearing the big kids read to the little ones ‘til they’re asleep, knowing each has someone close by to provide protection from the boogeyman or next zombie apocalypse. I also like that it forces us to be efficient with space. If I went crazy buying kiddo clothes, we’d be featured on the next episode of “Hoarders.”
Some people think kids need a lot of privacy, but I’m not exactly sure what for. There are plenty of places one can go to be alone and have quiet time. Perhaps I’ll get more requests for solo bedroom space as they get older, but I’m not banking on it. With Cousin Matthew staying in the spare room, each kid was taking turns bunking in with him. Two of them anxiously awaited their turn and then bailed after five minutes to go back to their own rooms, claiming “homesickness” for their regular sibling companions.
But don’t think that room-sharing is all the land of milk and honey. There are some shenanigans that can drive a mama wild. For me, having to deal with these is a small trade-off.
What are your thoughts on room-sharing? Have you given it a try yet? Has it been a dream or an absolute nightmare?
January is upon us and it means the season of the world’s worst parenting is over and we must now reform the monsters we created.
Christmas provides moms and dads with the perfect opportunity to parent badly. December is all about “Santa is watching” and “You better be good.....or ELSE!”
We spend four weeks bribing kids (“If you’re good, you’ll get presents!”), and providing a full supply of empty threats (“Be naughty and you won’t get presents!”). I know some pretty naughty kids who have not received coal in their stockings, so I don’t think we’re fooling anyone.
A couple of years ago we got our hands on one of those Elf on the Shelf® characters. It seems this little trend really caught on and I heard parents buzzing about Elf on the Shelf throughout the festive season. The Elf acts as a sort of ‘enabler’ by encouraging our bad parenting ways. It sits on a shelf in your home and acts as a spy for Santa. The “Elf on the Shelf” watches your kids’ every move then reports back to the big guy each night while the kids are sleeping. Every day, parents everywhere find themselves saying “I wonder what the Elf is going to report to Santa tonight?”
Now we have a bad parenting accomplice in the form of that wee Elf, I say we just accept that December is Bad Parenting Month and embrace him as a partner in crime.
The problem is that, now it’s January, the Elf is hidden in the basement and Santa threats are 11 months away. On that note—Happy New Year, and good luck reforming the brats. If mine take too long, I’ll be introducing them to Krampus on the Shelf.
Krampus stuffs naughty children into a sack, then brings them to his lair to devour for Christmas dinner. Nice!