When we moved in to our current apartment, I immediately started to imagine how the space would work for the kids when they’re teenagers. “They will grow up here!” I would say. Somehow, I found myself in rare and awkward conversations where friends asked if we would ever move to a three bedroom so River would eventually have her own space. Everyone seemed to be thinking light-years ahead of me. A three bedroom to this New Yorker, feels excessive. But maybe I had it all wrong? When we had Oak, I was more than settled with the reality that they’d share rooms until one of them moved out. While I entertained three bedroom conversations for a while, I had to intentionally recenter myself with what I know to be true:
Everything is enough.
In retrospect, that doesn’t feel like a profoud moment, but a little reminder amongst the well-meaning opinions of others goes a very long way.
When it comes to not only their room, but raising River and Oak, I am passionate about fostering a special and tight bond between the two. I grew up with a rowdy group of siblings that I am still incredibly close to, and so much of that has to do with the work of my mother. The way she forced us to be in each other’s spaces, navigate one another’s emotional flow, and battle it out until we all came out on the same team again, feels paramount to who I am today.
While I know that I am not entirely in charge of the path their relationship takes as the years go on, it feels like keeping them in close quarters (despite the obvious gender differences) remains the ground for a quality sibling relationship. I keep on thinking about what Oak is already learning and what River is learning, and how that will help them navigate the world they live in and become an integral part of.
Do you have a boy and a girl? Do they share a room? If so, why? If not, why? I would love to hear about your choices!
Rad Women Worldwide
Wallpaper c/o of Chasing Paper
Hey, love this post. Something that resonates with me. I have 3 children 4, 14 and 17- and yes I was 19 when I got married! We live in the UK where it's still very negative about not having a garden and a "house" when you have children. I was raised for a while in Germany and my parents had a very Eurepean way of home life. As such the 5 of us now live in a 2 bed apartment.. ..sans garden! My husband and I have the living room and my daughter shared with my middle son until she was 13. The boys now share a room. I live 5 mins walk from my mother and 5 min walk the other way to my sister's. None of us want to move as we all love being close. Home is how you make each other feel not where or how you live. Once again loving this so much. And no I won't be moving any time soon! Peace x
hehehe it totally reminds my childhood, i used to share room with my sister, but there's 5 years gap between us, so when she demanded her own space, because, of course she was growing up and being teenager, i stared to share room with my brother, we didn't matter at all but it happen the same… eventually, we grown up and when we were teenagers, my cousins landed in our home while they were studying their college and else, we didn't matter of course, my mom always was wise and she encourage to be close and also to be kind and share.. so i think you are so wise to put River and Oak sharing spaces, eventually they will learn more about each other and i guess that's the idea isn't? 😉 (i totally love the wallpaper..!!!)
As many people like to tell me, and I think they're right most of the time, your children would let you know when they need otherwise, like in case that jeopardize the peace or well being of the family, right? Don't we as moms always look for peace and harmony within all members of the family. I mean I know you said that your mom did that and it actually helped, but I lived the other face of the coin and doesn't always work, I learned no to repeat something if it's not working for my family.
Anyway, I recently found your blog and I loved it! Thanks for sharing.
"sans garden" I loved it!
"Sans garden" I loved it!
Sorry about the last reply, it was for ONE RED BUTTON. Thanks for sharing your experience I was raise with 2 sisters and we share all the time till I moved out, now that I have boy & girl I just going with the flow and trying to read de signs when they actually need their space individually. I guess I could wait to worry when their teenagers right?
This is constantly on my mind… My two girls share a room but I think one day maybe the two youngest will share instead, a boy and a girl. The gender thing is not a problem to me. And we live in a part of our town where many of my kids' friends have to share with several family members. So though our house is not big I remind myself we are very lucky. We could give all three kids a room of their own by putting up a wall or giving up our own bedroom. But really the house is good now and I hope they will be able to share. Our friends from university and work live in other parts of town where it is taken for granted that all kids should have their own room and often playrooms too.I feel thankful for the space we have and that we can make it work for our kids, both girls have their own desk and shelves. And the view from their desks is out to the wood though we live close to the city center. We have lots of outdoor space though no real garden with a lawn that people seem to think is necessary for kids. We are close to nature and the fact that our house is not too big makes us really get out in nature as a family.
My husband wanted our boys (sorry, this comment can't apply to the gender part) to share a room. I was hesitant, but 5 years later I am still counting it in the top 3 decisions we made as a family. What it has done for each of them individually and their relationship is remarkable. I like Elena's point though, that I while I may 'plan' that this will always be the way, I know things may change and need to be reevaluated for the well-being of the whole family.
Personally, I have always wanted and needed my own space. I shared a room with my sister (2 years older than me), until I left home. I always felt that my on space would have been better, despite the fact that we got/get on. Even though I am now married, we each have our own bedrooms. I think it is to do with me being an extreme introvert.
All my girls have shared a room since they were babies! they are all five years apart, but now that they are 22, 17, and 12 they are all very close. Particularly my two oldest. People think they are twins. My son who is now seven actually has the living room as his own room because our house is a bit smallI. We've made it look cute for him. My oldest is in college now, and my 17, and 12 year old still share a room! We've made it work all these years especially since we've moved around so much, and the fact that I grew up in a three room house sleeping in the same room with my sister, and mother until I was 18 with our shower, and bathroom outside didn't mind my kids sharing a room for so many years! I believe in a small cozy house as opposed to a huge one! Not small like the one I grew up in, but small enough to where we at least have some space! Maybe that's why our family is so bonded. Sure there are moments of craziness, annoyingness, and some yelling, but at the end of the day we say our prayers, and thank god to live another day in our small home!
I have three kids- 2 boys and a girl, and they all share one room. It's a neccesity, since our house only has two bedrooms, but I think even if it wasn't, it's what they prefer. For awhile, they all sleep with their mattresses next to each other on the floor, it was like a puppy pile, and even though we have two bunk beds now, I still find them together occasionally, especially the boys, who have always been close. But beyond that, I think it's good for kids to see that there doesn't need to be a divide between whats "girl stuff" and what's "boy stuff". I am still in the process of decorating their room, but it's filled with "everybody stuff". And they have to learn up close and personal about sharing space, setting boundaries, etc. It's been one of the best things we've done for them.
We have a three bedroom now but we have three kids. My oldest has his old room. My daughter has her own room right now, but our younger son has his things in there. But he's only one so he doesn't sleep in there yet. When we move, we keep going back and forth as to who will share with who or if we'll get a 4 bedroom. This post makes me lean towards having them share.