I'm after some advice here about bedrooms...
Our situation is myself and DH have a DS who is 2.4 and a DSS (DH's son) who is 9 almost 10 who we have 3 nights a week.
At the moment DSS has the big bedroom with his toys in and a TV etc - (no wardrobe as DH's EW does all DSS's washing etc as thats the way it was before I even came along and DSS brings a backpack with him when he stays with us with clean clothes etc) and our DS has a small bedroom with just enough room for his bed and his wardrobe. This works well for us at the moment.
However I brought the subject up this morning of maybe in a few years time say when DS is about 6 the boys would be able to swap rooms and DS can have his toys in his the big room and as DSS would probably be out more with his mates or playing computer games etc so I said we could decorate the small room for DSS new carpets etc, get him a flat screen tv, new desk etc and a games console and DS can have the bigger room.
Apparently this is a no go area as DH thinks this in unfair on DSS. Whereas I think this is unfair on our DS who would be in the small room 7 nights a week with the big room free 4 nights a week.
I would just like some advice / opinions on this please.
And before anyone says anything I love my DSS very much and have been with his dad for 4 years and would never want to kick him out or make him feel un welcome I just think swapping rooms is common sense.
Yes, in practical terms it makes sense. You know what though, as it isn't an issue right now, personally I would try and park it. You may find that things change naturally - after all you're talking about in 4 years' time, when DSS will be 13/14, and like you say he may be out and about more. Or they may want to share the big room and have the small room as a den - you never know. Concentrate on things that are an issue right now, and leave things that might be an issue in the future in the future....
I know its not an issue right now and thats what I keep telling myself, dont worry about it now but easier said than done today!
Especially as it resulted in a bit of a heated discussion between me and DH and I was left feeling like the bad one for apparently "kicking" DSS out of his room!
Will try not to worry about it now though like you say... who knows!
My DSD (15) has recently moved - of her own volition - to the small room, which has left a larger room free for my DD (9) who is with us most of the week, whereas DSD comes only at weekends. I'd been in the same situation as you of wanting this to happen, but DP being uneasy about appearing to turf her out her room, but she initiated it. She wanted a chance to get rid of her childish bedroom, desk covered in stickers, etc, and is quite happy in the small room. We have let her decorate it herself, and bought her a new desk. So I think you can quite possibly get where you want to be if you get DSS on board with the move.
You're absolutely right that by 13 or so your DSS will probably want to spend his time either out or on his computer. No more spreading toys all over the floor. But he'll see this himself - as long as you can make the move to the smaller room appealing in some way, you should be OK. Meanwhile, you could get your DS some good shelving or storage to keep his toys and leave him some floor space.
We have 3 bedrooms, I have 2 sons and DP has a ds and a dd.
My sons have a room each through the week but when DSS and DSD come to stay they share a room and DSS and DSD sleep in the other room.
As we have 3 boys and only one girl the rooms are very boyish and full of the usual clutter that boys surround themselves with!
DP suggested my boys share a room all the time and decorating the other room pink for DSD so she has a girly room at ours.
I was against this because a) its not practical for all 3 boys to share (DS1 is nearly 13 so needs some privacy) c) Why should DSS have to share a room with two boys while DSD gets a room to herself and c) I'm not prepared to leave a room empty for 12 nights out of 14 just to accommodate one child and DSD is the youngest of them all as well so she doesn't need privacy or space to do her homework.
I will get roasted for this but I do think that the child(ren) that live in the house most of the time should get priority when it comes to bedrooms, where possible.
I do agree though that you should maybe cross that bridge when you get to it, but it is a sign of things to come if your DP makes you out to be the wicked stepmother when you make a suggestion. This needs addressing now or it will create a division in your family.
Having said park it earlier, I guess it depends on whether this type of discussion is worryingly normal for you - does your DP disney parent DSS? Is this issue just one among many where DH is only worried about DSS and not anyone else? Perhaps that's the real question.
If this is just one of many issues where DSS - a child -calls the shots, rather than you and DH, then perhaps you need to address it, as Kaluki says.
Of course you may find that in 3 years time, DSS moves voluntarily, or asks to move, or you speak to him, and he doesn't mind. Your DH is ASSUMIMG that DSS would feel this was unfair. He may totally see the logic and not find it a problem.
Thanks for your comments.
Yes I suppose in someways DH does disney parent DSS to some extremes and he is very overprotective of DSS in someways a bit to much.
I'm sure DSS wont mind swapping rooms as when I first moved in with DH the small room was his room and the big room was empty. If we offer to decorate it to his taste and a new desk TV etc i'm sure he will be thrilled. Like you said UC it is just DH assuming he wont want to move.
But hopefully it wont be an issue when time comes for them to swap over as DH will realise its the most sensible and i agree with Kaluki that the children living in the house the most gets priority over rooms, thats just common sense!
Yep, another vote for the full time kids getting first dibs, or at least the parents considering their needs first.
Dss has two bedrooms, one at his mums and one at his dads. I often wonder why people don't put extensions on to give the resident children two bedrooms too do they don't feel left out!
Remove yourself from the emotions and think if you would still feel the same about bedrooms, if you do, then I think you should bring the subject up again at some point in the future.
Ha ha I've never thought of it that way before theredhen I might bring that up tonight with my DH!
I'll try not to think about it for a few years now, no need to worry about stuff that hasnt happened but I will be bringing it up again in the future as I think its only fair!
I almost think the whole world is programmed to worry about step children first and think it goes back to the days of parents being widowed and living in dire financial circumstances, step children were only one up from orphans.
Times change, but attitudes don't always keep up. Sometimes people forget that step children now aren't necessarily disadvantaged and should be pandered to. There are lots of kids who miss out on things whether they are in a lone, together or step family. Just because they are in one of those family units does not automatically give them more rights over children from a different family unit.
In the meantime if you have any toys that spread all over the floor that both boys play with - tell them that as DSS has the larger room, that is where the toys can be played with. DSS may get fed up with DS playing in his room, and ask to swap.
When I moved into my old house, my DS was quite keen to have the smaller room on the grounds that he wouldn't have to let his younger sister in to play there. Privacy is more important than space as they get older.
I just finished reading Stepmonster - it sums up situations like this - has a whole chapter on understanding your partner (i.e. the father of the step children), and gets to the bottom of why so many step mothers feel (and are) misunderstood, frustrated, and how easy it is to make them the bad guy. It really helped me to understand some of the difficulties of step parenting - and overcome the guilt that I often feel about my feelings and actions.
I agree, park it for now. I'm pretty sure that when the time comes to consider it, your DSS will be easily swayed by the promise of a new TV and newly decorated room. You probably won't even need to try and persuade him, when he asks for something you can just tell him you'll make him a deal and he can have it if he moves bedrooms.
I have just found out I'm pregnant and my dp and I have already discussed putting his 4yo into our box room which currently is my wardrobe and the new baby and my clothes sharing the slightly larger room. This discussion as I put it was me suggesting it him huffing and puffing for 2 weeks about how could a baby who will be in the house everyday need more space than his 4yr old who spends 1-2 nights per week wif us eventually he saw the light and now agrees that dsd will not need a bigger room than new baby and my clothes so I hope your situation will work out like mine and that common sense will prevail! Good luck plant the seed and let it grow!
And well done for changing his mind!!!
We had the same discussion when we moved in June. Our house has 3 bedrooms, 1 being a box room.
DH straight away earmarked the middle room for DSS and said the small room was a perfect nursery. I felt horrible saying it but it's true (for the most part) as one child is there all the time, they should probably have the bigger room (they will have lots of stuff)! And it would feel strange to have a big room not being used every other weekend.
DH was not happy at first, but we talked it over again, and I calmly explained my reasoning. He thought about it and agreed. DSS doesn't mind, he has got a great room (a cabin bed helps with smaller spaces) and is nicely decorated. That's all that matters
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