There was an error in this gadget

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Help Me! I'm Drowning In Indecision!

As most of you probably know, I have four children. And if you've read this post, or this post, you know that I hate my house, and have only two bedrooms. And a husband, let's not forget him! That makes six people, and two bedrooms. To be fair, they are very large bedrooms, but still. Only two.

Right at the top of the stairs we also have a fairly large room, but the stairs come right into it, and there's no window that would be in the room if we walled part of it off (and the fabulous 1925 construction of this house won't support a dormer), and you have to walk through it to get to both the other bedrooms. Currently we use it as a family/catch-all room. "Family" because it has a tv and a futon, "catch-all" because it's also crammed with everything normal people, with normal closet-filled houses would put out of site.

So you can see that this room is not a proper bedroom - just a space where someone could sleep.

One of the bedrooms houses all three boys. The other - the math is pretty simple here - belongs to my husband, myself, and my two year old.

Can you see the problem here? Can you see the difficult position I'm in? Can you see how I need an answer to this dilemma? (Moving would be an acceptable solution, if only it were an option). What do I do with all the children?? When do my husband and I get our room back??? I have a few possible scenarios, but none of them seem all that great.

First lets take the boys room. Do any of you know what it's like to have three kids in the same room? It isn't always terrible - especially if we stagger their bedtimes, but it definitely has its drawbacks. For instance, all it takes is for one kid to be feeling very awake, very obnoxious, or get the giggles, and bedtime becomes a joke. Especially if someone else is legitimately tired, and trying to go to sleep. The other night when the Missionaries stopped by just after we'd shut them all in there, it sounded like a war zone with all the boys yelling simultaneously at each other to shut-up.

This word is not even allowed in our house! I'm sure I would never say such a thing...

Anyhow, listening to all the yelling (and wondering why they couldn't understand that if someone actually WOULD shut-up they might get some peace), and trying to nod and smile at the Missionaries, brought my problem into the forefront again.

How do I get peace at bedtime? What to do with the girl-child? Can that room hold one more? Can that room stand ONE MORE VOICE??? I know this will come as a shock, but despite her very feminine and lady-like manner, the girl can hold her own when she's around her brothers. Besides that, she would be way too much of a novelty in there. They'd be so busy playing with her, and trying to make her laugh, no one would EVER get to sleep.

So much for option one.

On to option two. This would be moving someone out into the "family/catch-all" room, and then filling the void in the boys room with Miss Meara. Sound good? Maybe not. In the first place, we like to use the family room. And (even though this sounds totally paranoid) I worry that if there was a fire, anyone sleeping out there would die fast from smoke inhalation, since there's no door. PLUS, even with one kid out of the bedroom, putting Meara in there would cause all the same problems. She'd still be loud, and she'd still get everyone distracted from sleeping.

This makes me wonder if I should just stick with plan one after all.

Or, we could just leave things the way they are and hope that some miracle will occur, making moving an immediate possibility.

But I really want her out of my room. I am NOT a kid-in-the-bedroom kind of mom. I can't stand it that whenever she wakes up - night or morning - she knows I'm right there.

And so it goes. I run these exact options through my head, with these exact arguments, follow this exact pattern, and end up exactly where I am now.

Completely undecided.

So if anyone out there has an opinion - or can see an option I haven't thought of yet - please share your wisdom with me! There must be a best (or at least better-than-all-the-rest) option out there... If only I could see what it was.

I'll be waiting in suspense for all your sage advice.

Please don't disappoint me.

(But if you can't think of any advice, sympathy and commiseration are totally acceptable). (Thanks).

19 comments:

sue q said...

Well, there's the tent in the back yard idea. Or you could farm your children out -- better yet, RENT them out so you could earn some money to buy a new house.

Sorry for the tongue in cheek. This is a serious problem, and one can only put up with this kind of chaos for so long. We had three girls in one bedroom for six years, and it was only through a lot of prayer and fasting and many, many miracles that were able to move to a larger home. Hopefully, it hasn't been (or won't be) that long for you.

*MARY* said...

Jen I feel your pain, I share a bed with two other people, neither one being my husband.
Ew that sounds bad, the two people are my kids.
If Full House taught me anything it was that attics, basements and garages were excellent accommodations for extra people. Uncle Jessie and Uncle Joey didn't seem to mind.

LisAway said...

Sorry, Jen! No advice for you. Unless you want to do what we did. Move into a much larger place that you can't afford (but you were sure you could at the time)and then have a severe amount of stress about it. That way you'll look back on the days of crowding and be able to wonder which is worse. And you'll realize that crowdy bedtimes are better than financial stress. *sigh*

I hope one of your readers with come up with just the thing!!

Claire said...

I say stick 'em all in the one room. If night times are a riot anyway, you may as well stick onother one in there. And offer treats to those who are quiet. Hahaha..

I don't know. Sell the kids. It's an option i think about constantly...

Heidi said...

I have to vote for the move your daughter in with the boys, no matter how insane it gets in there. Unless Meara could sleep in the family room? Terrible options, but better than nothing. Other than that, I think you need a miracle so you can move!

Jen said...

Mary - if only I had an attic, basement, OR A GARAGE!!!!

If only.

Barbaloot said...

Well-you could teach your kids about the joys of camping, and tell the boys their new room is the great outdoors!

Then stick your little girl in their room!

Okay-maybe not entirely realistic, but it could work for maybe a week. Or a day?

kate the great said...

I am definitely NOT a mommy who can handle kids in her bed (and I only have one). We lived in a one bedroom apartment. Yeah, no fun. So we stuck the little sleep-depriver out in the living room. Not the perfect solution, I'm sure, but I got my room back :) So maybe put Meara in the family room. That's what I'd probably do. Or maybe just shove them all in one room. There's always room for one more, right?

Kimberly said...

Can you and hubby take the family room (maybe hang some curtains or something to give it more privacy?) and put Meara and one of the boys in your old room? Split things up a bit?

Machen Family said...

I think you should put her in the room with the boys, and give them all a healthy dose of Nyquil before laying them down to sleep. You can call it mommies magic sleeping potion, like what I tell my children.

Melissa Bastow said...

Man, that stinks. I have my baby in our room right now too (but she's only 5 months old, so it's less annoying at this stage, and she'll eventually get crammed in the "girl room" anyway, so this really isn't helping, why do I keep talking about myself, I'm eating candy corn because I forgot to buy chocolate, and the bottom of the left foot itches.)

Anyways, the suggestion of you and the hubby moving into the family room was kind of cool - as long as neither of you die of smoke inhalation, that is. I'm also thinking you should hang a beaded curtain for your wall. Because that would totally be NOT ANNOYING AT ALL to go through for a late night trip to the bathroom.

Or hey, you said the other bedrooms were big? If you had enough windows you could make one room into two small bedrooms. Maybe a wall would help your non-sleepers shush a little.

Jen said...

Just to clarify - Meara is in our room, not our bed. I draw the line at letting kids sleep in my bed - unless I'm not in it, or they just had a nightmare.

Some interesting suggestions. I'm thinking sheet hanging somewhere just might be an option...

Kristel said...

My life age 13...sharing a bedroom with 3 younger sisters. We could barely fit a bunkbed and a double bed in the room with one dresser. We lived like this for five years. Yes there was giggling and I got a black eye once when a sister threw a stuffed animal at me which had a music box inside. Later when I was 19 we did it again while my parents were building a house. Did I mention that we only had one bathroom with three teenagers?! My parents slept in the living room in one house we lived in for a short time too. You just do what you have to do. One family I babysat for kept their newborn in a closet under their stairs...

Kelly said...

Why can't Meara's bed/crib be in the family/catch all room? That way, the boys don't get disturbed (any more than they all ready are), Meara gets out of your room, and even as paranoid as I am about things too, I seriously doubt she'll die of smoke inhalation (although I totally understand).

Get a new smoke detector and put it right at the top of the stairs. I swear, those things are good. My pizza stone heating up in my oven sets off the one in my family room! Talk about sensitive.

Now if you get a boy cranky about why Meara gets her own room, spell it out for them...she's the only girl. Get used to it. Or make up some other excuse.

The only other possible space/nook/cranny in your house is downstairs, and I am guessing if the possibility of smoke inhalation freaks you out, having a kid totally separated from you in a fire is not an option...

Although, I doubt this is something you haven't thought of before. Good luck with this one!

Annie Valentine said...

My superior brains says this (and my opinion is most valid since I know your house so well):

Put a WOODEN partition up in the family room and slide her crib behind it. That way, she won't see people entering and leaving the bedrooms, and if she's asleep and the boys want to watch a movie, no problem.

We both know you rarely listen to your younger siblings (of which I am the only one), so I won't mind when you poo-poo my suggestion.

Natalie said...

Hmmm... I dunno. Have I told you that even though we have 4 bedrooms all 4 of our kids are sharing a room w/ two bunkbeds in it by choice now? My kids prefer to share. Wierd, huh? So, that said... I would probably throw Meara in with the boys & stagger the bedtimes further. Knowing the floorplan of your house, that's really the only option I can think of other than converting something that you already use & need like that little cove off of your living room.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Wow, you have a challenging situation, ha? Is renovating an option? Dumb question probably since you would already think of it if it were possible. But I know you can buy one of those screens/partitions. If you get a couple of those and and create "a room" in the catch all room, that might help. You also mentioned that the bedrooms are pretty big. Are they big enough to split ino 2 rooms? I mean my brothers had closet-size rooms, but they were their own and separate, so it worked. Well, I hope you will find a solution and if it takes a miracle, I hope you get your miracle.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

I only have sympathy and commiseration, but you can have all of it. I understand totally!!!

Alison Wonderland said...

I'd love to come up with something brilliant but I can't with out seeing it. That's just how my brain works. So I'm going to defer to Annie and say good luck.