Six Months in Their Room and The Best Parenting Decision I Ever Made

We are now six months in Montreal.  I’ll show you what I’ve changed since the first two weeks, what works, what STILL doesn’t work and how much it cost. (Canadian winter. I have spent a lot of time indoors.)

Arlo’s Room BEFORE

Arlo

Farrah’s Room BEFORE

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Arlo and Farrah’s Room AFTER!

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What Changed:

In the first two weeks I set up Arlo’s room so he could have space to hang out by himself but Arlo never did that.  I set up his room for what I thought a five-year-old would want, but I should have set it up for what Arlo wants and what Arlo wants is company.

My husband was always keen on the kids sharing a room but with a 3+ year age difference it felt out of reach.  Plus Farrah wasn’t sleeping through the night and we didn’t want her to disturb Arlo’s slumber.  So when we moved to Montreal we rented a three-bedroom apartment and put Farrah in the back sunroom.  But I should have set Farrah up for what Farrah wants and what Farrah wants is company.

I always felt uneasy about this configuration too; Farrah Star all alone in the furthest room from me, surrounded by windows and doors.

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No good.

So one day I heeded my maternal instincts and put them in the same room. I just did it. I bought a twin mattress off craigslist and thought if didn’t work – if no one slept or if Arlo protested – I’d only be out one mattress from craigslist.

What Works:

Everything.  The kids are happy.  They play.  They sleep.  Arlo puts clips in Farrah’s hair when it hangs in her eyes.  Farrah wakes him up every morning to read to her and he happily does it.  This is the best parenting decision I ever made.

The decorating pales in comparison to the love up there, but here are some pics anyway:

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Some details:

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Farrah likes for Dolly and Monkey to hang over her head like this, holding hands.

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The third home for these wall decals.

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Arlo’s suitcase holds Farrah’s diapers and wipes until we travel again.

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The same rules apply as before: no noise, no toys; but there is a bit more punch and color to engage them when they do spend time up there, which they do, a lot more than ever before.  They sit and read together or they throw their dolls and stuffed animals against the ceiling.  It’s all good.

What Doesn’t Work:

We rent a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath but live in a two-bedroom, one-bath.  Convenient when visitors come, but for the other 50 weeks a year it is pure waste and I feel sick about it.  Now that we know we are happy in a two-bedroom, we will have to make a serious decision at the end of our two-year lease.

Cost:

$100 mattress, $6 plants, $5 sheet = $111

Thanks for looking.  I consider home-making my profession – it is certainly my passion – and I appreciate your feedback.  I would also like to know about your experience with kids sharing a bedroom.  Was it an easy decision?  Did it work out?  At what age and how did they separate?  Share in the Comments!

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4 thoughts on “Six Months in Their Room and The Best Parenting Decision I Ever Made

  1. We have toyed with our two sharing a room and even have bunk beds in one. We had a beautiful three-day honeymoon with both kids in one room, being friends and then they had a serious falling out and we use the top bunk for a pop-up princess castle/pirate cabin. Since we hadn’t dismantled the other bedroom, no loss, except the cost of the bunk bed. It was sweet while it lasted. The moment you go down to two-bedroom, I predict is the moment they will suddenly need their own space….so don’t ever move.

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  2. Pingback: Curb Creativity in a Trunk Reality | Black Panty Salvation

  3. Greyson and AJ have always shared a room. (Well that is, when AJ had finished her night time feeds and wasn’t co-sleeping anymore, that is.) When it was time for AJ sleep on her own, in a crib, in Bermuda, Greyson upgraded to a toddler bed. He felt like such a big boy. We never really thought too much about sleep disturbance, cause, well, when you are tired enough you’ll sleep, right? When we arrived in Halifax and lived in a 2 bedroom condo provided by the company we spent our summer sharing our bed with AJ and Greyson had his own bed/room. But the transition when we moved into our new house was a big one so we bought a bunkbed and put them in the same room with one of them hopefully transitioning to the upper bunk. They still share the same bed in the same room. AJ’s room is still empty. AJ often wakes in the night to share our bed and Greyson does the same if his feet get cold. Apparently it is easier to walk to our room than it is to put the covers back on. ( l love it). They will continue to share as long as they want to share. We have a chat with Greyson about moving to the top bunk but he isn’t interested and we don’t push. They share and they are happy and we are very lucky. Very, very lucky. The main arguments are who gets to sleep next to the wall each night as we have to now take turns with that. Thank goodness they like different pillow cases so we can figure out who was where the night before cause man I forget. Sad, isn’t it? Anyway I loved this article and your pictures. xo Thanks. As I say to you frequently but the meaning behind it is still with the same respect each and every time I say it….YOU are a good mother. xo

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