Kids sharing bedrooms

I've recently been considering the challenges of getting the kids to not disturb each other when going to sleep or upon waking in the morning.

I thought the challenges of sharing were a normal part of life, and not just because we have five kids.  I just assumed that most people had their children sharing.

But apparently not.  Over the years I've observed that the many people renovating and extending their homes are doing it so that they can give their children their own bedroom (especially their teenagers).

At the moment we are happily renting a three bedroom house.  We have a boy's room and a girl's room.

Now I'm wondering if maybe my kids are getting ripped off.   Is this some kind of a 'Training for living in slum conditions' boot camp I'm running?

But I hardly think so.  Many people in the world all sleep in the same room - and cook in that space - and do the washing - and do all the living.

Problem is ... my kids seem happy enough.  Actually, the youngest is completely hopeless at sleeping on her own.  A few months ago her big sisters were away on a camp and she begged her brother to share with her.  He wasn't so keen.  He quite likes his own bed.

I know it isn't easy for all of them.  Especially the older kids.  But hey, this isn't a hotel.  It's our home.

And here are my two concluding thoughts:
1.  I have to share my bedroom every day of my life.
2.  If they want a room of their own, they might need to get a job and work out how to rent something for themselves when they finish school.

Hey, I'm not that heartless - I'll feed them when they come back to visit!


Taara said…
Our two share a room and some nights it's tough to get them to sleep. We were planning on putting baby #3 in the same room, but now expecting twins eventually I think we'll need two bedrooms.
I thought we were the only "third world" parents... Two girls (7 and 3) in a room with 10 week old bub in our room for now.

There's one other school family--four kids in a two bedroom house!

Thanks for sharing Jenny.

BTW My misses 7 and 3 share a bed as well as the room, more often than not!
Karen said…
We are in a 3 bedroom house here too. The two big boys share a room (and have done since the younger one was 10 months old). Our three year old girl is in a room on her own, and the 14 month old toddler is in with us still while we work out what to do with him. At the moment it's looking like he may share with his big sister for a while. We think this will be okay while they are little.

We are half heartedly looking at 4 bedroom houses to buy, but it is not a good time to be selling what we already have (and there are many things I do like about this house, walking distance to school being a big one right now!) so there will be room sharing here for some time to come, I think...
Petrina said…
Theoretically, I'm a fan of kids sharing rooms, but practically I'm always interested in how people do it. I'm an only, so no experience from my childhood.

At the moment, we have Mr 3 on his own & Miss 1 in a divided-off end of the sleepout (fully enclosed, not a veranda!) The thought of tough bedtimes puts me off moving her. Also, Mr 3 has rest time & Miss 1 sleeps. How do people manage that?
Rosie Holland said…
Love love love your blog jenny! Our boys share a room in a bunk bed and our girls share a room with an ikea bookshelf as a makeshift divider. Look, they do fight a lot and sometimes evenings are horrible. But as they have gotten older i think they are closer because of it, and I suspect would probably still be fighting anyway! Over the years, staggering the times they go to bed has been helpful or putting a child to bed in our bed and moving them later has often been a 'keep the peace' option. As they have gotten older into their teens my husband and I are finding the later bedtimes frustrating and crave time together, so we often we go to bed earlier to escape the children! But that's a topic for another blog...
Tasmanian said…
We have a three bedroom and three children, one more on the way. Eldest is a girl and the others (incl bub) all boys, so my daughter will eventually have a room to herself (when modesty requires it, whatever age that is!) But I am not keen for a bigger house because I JUST keep up with cleaning this one to a manageable standard. When kids are old enough to clean their own bathroom, vacuum properly etc, we will look at bigger houses.
We often separate the big two, putting one in our bed until they are both asleep then moving that one back into their own room.

And congrats Taara on twins :)
Jenny said…
Yes, we've done a bit of juggling over the years to get them to go to sleep at night. But during the day they would have rest times/sleeps in different rooms. The most I had at home at the same time was 3 - the ones sleeping would get one of the bedrooms and then the older one would usually get the living room for a quiet rest time.

It's a juggle and you become quite creative, but now they're older and not sleeping during the day, it is just the nights to sort. We still have issues - especially in the mornings when the early bird riser wakes the never wanting to wake teenager.
Samara said…
I don't have kids but this has been something I have been thinking about lately. I always assumed we would need to have a bedroom for each child but the more I think about it the more I want to have my kids sharing, regardless of whether we have the extra rooms for them. I think it is often helpful if a bedroom is viewed as just that- a room for your bed.
Libby said…
We have had all three (5,3,10mths) sharing up until just recently. We have a 4 bedroom house and were happy keeping two spare as we really wanted the kids to be all in together. The first two have been together since Miss 3 was 6mths. We have bedtime rules and usually they follow them if we are consistent in making sure they do. Miss 10mths has just been moved out again (she went in at around 6mths) - we have found that she tends to wake in the 5s (much to our 7am rising dismay!) and was waking Mr 5 and he was getting affected due to lack of sleep. So now she's on her own with the door closed so I can let her make noise until the 6s and I don't have to get her up for fear of waking the others (which was the other option but we don't rise in the 5s so it wasn't really an option!). We figure we will have to divide into boys/girls in a couple of years.

Rest time for us happens in separate rooms (when both older ones slept, one was in their room and the other in ours) - now it's nursery, kids room and spare room/playroom (it's up to him - he's the eldest so gets the privilege of choice). It's nice having my room free again so I can have a lie down if I so desire too.

My Brother-in-law's family have 5 girls and they are all in the same room :)
Katrina said…
One year on college mission my billet told me that having your own room was a basic human right, and it was tantamount to cruelty to make kids share. I think I just blinked and said something about most of the world shares a room with someone else. I'm still bemused by that conversation!

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