Saturday, June 18, 2005

The need for space.....

My dear pal Kas has been posting a lot in her journal lately about "space" and "living arrangements" as she gets her home ready for her new son. It got me thinking about another question/statement people tend to make when they find out that you have more than the typical 2.3 children. "Boy you must have a HUGE house. How many bedrooms do you have?". I tend to like the look they get on their face when I now answer "THREE".

The boys have the largest bedroom since eventually there will be 5 of them in there. The girls bedroom is in the middle sizewise since there are only 3 of them. Mine and Jay's is the smallest, since it need only hold our king size bed and a couple dressers! We don't need space on the floor to play polly pocket or WWE wrestling figures or for our lego creations to sprawl.

It seems that the majority of the people I encounter equate bedrooms with space. They also seem to believe that all children NEED their own bedrooms. I do think that people sometimes need SPACE, a place they can go to be alone, but why should that mean their own bedroom??? can be a nook in the family room, a playroom, a craft room, an office, the basement, the front porch, a deck. Sure it is great to have a place so the kids things are strewn everywhere...but what do toys/things have to do with sleep?

I believe that most people woudln't "chose" to sleep alone. How often do you run into another mom who might say "My husband is out of town, I just can't sleep." So it is "normal" for a 30+ year old woman to not want to sleep alone, but we should shove babies and toddlers into their "own" space? Doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense now does it?

Our kids have always graduated from our bed into a room with a sibling, usually the same bed as a sibling. They like the closeness, they feel safe. I love sneaking into their rooms in the morning and seeing the tangle of bodies. The choice of when it happens has been their own, usually it is in the months following the arrivial of their newest sibling (they discover it is quieter in another room).

My children realize that their friends with only one or two siblings usually have their own bedrooms. The times we have talked about it, the kids always come up with more negatives than positives about having their own rooms. Could be that they are such social creatures, that they are just used to having to share bed(room)s, that they don't like the idea of being alone? You could argue that they don't say they want their own rooms because they know it won't happen, but I disagree. I KNOW I can't have that 1960's mustang convertible, but that doesn't mean I don't drool over everyone I see!

Brett bugs me at least once or twice a week with the question of whether Will is sleeping through the night yet. He asks this because he knows when the answer is finally "yes" it means his baby brother will join the other boys in their bedroom. Will will be "one of the boys" and not the "baby". Brett hasn't quite yet figured out that mommy will be holding onto her baby as long as she can!

OK so I jumped from "space" to the family bed and cosleeping. Don't know that there is really a point here. Just my musings and ramblings.....


madcapmum said...

Just a comment on sleeping arrangements... I wouldn't argue that room-sharing really does work for your bunch, but it doesn't in our house. In fact, I had it all "arranged" before my kids arrived that they'd be happily sharing a room until puberty. HA! What did I know? We finally gave up and separated them so that they'd finally get some shut-eye. I can't share a room either - even with my husband!

millennium hippies said...

We co-sleep. It's just me and my three kiddos. We now have two beds in the room, and the two older ones share one bed, while I sleep with the baby. But every morning when I wake up, everyone is in the same bed. At some point in the night, they migrate over to me, no matter how cramped it is! I'd love to have a small bedroom and just cushion the entire floor to make one huge bed! :)

I was an only child with my own room, of course. I love the idea of shared sleeping. I wouldn't move any of the kids out in their own room (or own bed) unless they requested it.