My boys share a bedroom. They are currently four years old and 19 months old. They’ve been sharing a bedroom since my littlest was four months old.
There have been times in the last year that I’ve wondered why on earth we decided to subject ourselves to this torture, but in the end, it’s always a craving for temporary comforts rather than long-term benefits.
The majority of the time there isn’t a problem with their sharing a bedroom, and honestly I think they both are better off for it even now at this young age.
I’ve been asked by more than a few people why my boys don’t have their own bedrooms (we’ve always had enough bedrooms for them to have their own), as well as advice on making it work. Therefore, I thought a post would be a good way to share more about our arrangement as well as the why behind my boys sharing a bedroom.
Why My Boys Share a Bedroom
1. Promote family togetherness
We are currently in the process of finding a new house to make into a home. Our top priorities for the house we will buy is for it to have an open floor plan in the living areas, have office space for my husband and I to work (we both work from home), a bedroom suite for Mommy and Daddy, a bedroom for the boys, and a place we can dedicate to corralling our homeschool supplies and books.
We’re not looking for a house that allows our children ample space to getaway and be alone behind a closed bedroom door. We want our home to promote family togetherness. Our children’s bedrooms are for sleeping. That’s about it.
As they grow, we will carve out time and a place for quiet and solitude because as a fellow introvert, I get that need. I’m sensitive to it, and I know it’s important to have that time. However, the answer for us is not a bedroom all to themselves.
2. Establish accountability
I don’t get my own bedroom as a married adult. I didn’t have my own bedroom as a child. I shared a dorm room in college. I had roommates post college.
When it comes to the life stages the Lord has placed me in, I believe room and space sharing is a natural way in which He has provided accountability for me.
We’re created to live in community. We’re created to love our neighbor as ourselves, and though there are ways we can do this that don’t involve sharing a bedroom, I think it’s a great way to learn to love our neighbor.
Our children sharing a bedroom will bring greater accountability into their lives as they grow into mature adults. They learn to serve another in how they share the space (because I’m likely training a husband over here). They have to deal with conflict and grow through biblical resolution. They have less time alone for secret endeavors. And the list goes on and on!
3. Stay within our means
By having our boys share a bedroom, we limit the house size we need. This helps us to live within our means instead of extending ourselves too far to provide bedrooms for everyone in our crew.
4. Makes transitions easier
This one came to me after the fact. I had completely finished outlining this post when this thought came to me.
We move a lot as a family. We’re not military. We’re just strange and keep saying, “Yes, Lord.” It is my prayer that the Lord has us where He wants us for the long-haul, but we’ll see. I’m not holding my breath or putting my hope in my earthly residence.
But I digress a bit. The point is that our lives are a constant transition right now. We have found that our boys sharing a room together has made all of these transitions easier for them.
It only took them a couple of nights to acclimate to their surroundings because they were together. They weren’t alone in a big, new room. Sharing a bedroom eased our transition and will hopefully ease the next one as we move into our own home soon.
Tips for Children Sharing a Bedroom
1. Start them young
Once my youngest moved out of our bedroom because he was sleeping for longer stretches at night, he was ready to move in with his brother.
However, I wasn’t ready for him to move in with his brother just yet. I was scared that it wouldn’t work. I set my littlest up in his own room for another month or so. It was horrible. It didn’t work for us at all.
I moved my youngest in with his brother and even though some nights were hard, it was easier to have them together than separate. I can’t really explain why. It certainly didn’t feel easier at the time, but hindsight says that it was.
Starting them young has helped sharing a bedroom to be a normal part of their life. It’s just the way things are for them and it has never occurred to them that it could be different.
2. Be in it for the long haul
When you first put them in the room together, it will seem pointless. It’s all so new! They are children and they will act like children.
They’ll talk and giggle and maybe even climb in bed with one another. They’ll have a harder time falling asleep, and you’ll extend the bedtime well past the mark you prefer.
But it’s short lived. The new will wear off and they will get used to being together. It will be routine soon. It gets easier with time.
3. Choose bedroom furniture that fits
When my oldest was born, people kept asking me what sort of nursery he’d have and what my colors were and on and on it went.
We didn’t have a nursery. I didn’t slap a beautiful color of paint on the wall or have pretty monogrammed blankets. Quite frankly, we couldn’t afford it, and we didn’t have the space!
As they have grown, I’ve found that the temptation to have Pinterest-perfect rooms grows with them. I love to decorate! I love Pinterest too! I like themed-birthday parties and choosing color pallets for my kitchen.
However, my children’s bedroom (or any room) is not mandatory for it to be fancified (I’m making that word up) from the start. Sometimes you just have to choose what works from season to season. Live within your means and be okay with it.
Right now, my boys have a cute (to us) primary color theme (with superheros and random car rug thrown in) that’s simple and changes with them as they grow. Choosing beds that fit the room and dressers to hold their clothes that are modest and fits safely into the room is important to making it work.
4. Stick to a bedtime routine
Just like we have a morning routine for our boys, we also have a bedtime routine for them as well. Our bedtime routine starts after dinner around 6:30pm, and we’ve stuck to it pretty closely since my oldest was about four months old. Yep. My oldest. You read that right. We’re big on routines around here! 😉
Our Children’s Bedtime Routine:
Once we start the routine, we move from one thing to the next without a lot of stalling in between. Occasionally, bath time will go quickly and they’ll get some wrestle time with Daddy before stories. This helps our youngest get all of his extra wiggles out as he’s much more active than our oldest.
We don’t put our boys to bed at different times. They go to bed together. There have been nights that my oldest falls asleep while the youngest pitches a good little fit about the sadness he feels over bedtime. Other days they’re both wailing until they giggle at each other for crying too. But most nights, they whisper their good nights and settle right into sleep!
We have found they both fall asleep faster when they go to bed together rather than separately.
5. Train them to obey
Obedience is a constant work in progress in our home. I’m sure it is in your home too.
I think bed time obedience starts with day time obedience. Training our children to obey our instructions is important to making bedroom sharing easier.
6. Use a fan or white noise machine
A big concern we had was whether or not our youngest would disturb our oldest’s sleep when he woke for a night feeding. We needn’t have worried. Not once did my oldest seem disturbed by the little one’s cries. If he did wake up, he merely smiled at me sitting in the rocker and went right back to sleep.
We did find that a box fan in the room helps to cut down on any extra noise either of them makes (or we make from outside the room).
This is what works for my family.
If your children don’t share a bedroom, this is in no way of a judgment of you. I definitely see the benefits of both ways, and this is what works for our family. We’re free in Christ to choose for our own families!
I think my issue comes with entitlement. The thought that my children deserve to have their own bedroom and I need a bigger house to provide it bugs me.
Sometimes people try to make me feel guilty for “forcing” our children to share a room. I can guarantee you that right now my children don’t see it that way. They love it!
What about you? Do your children share a bedroom? What pros and cons have you found? What tips do you have for making it work?
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