Bedroom allocation for 'non-resident' stepchildren

(32 Posts)
PlinkertyPlonk Sun 07-Oct-12 13:16:10

So just wondering how people here have tackled this dilemma. We have a new baby and 3 tweenage stepchildren who visit every other weekend (2 girls, who can share, and a boy). The problem is we will soon only have 3 bedrooms. Ideally we'd like to give them a room each so they feel like it's their home. On the other hand, it seems bonkers for bedrooms to be sitting empty and not used for most of the week.

Any suggestions or advice for tackling the sleeping arrangements? I can see this is going to end in tears!

SavoyCabbage Sun 07-Oct-12 13:21:58

I would put the baby in one of their rooms while they are not there and in your room when they are there. At least for the time being.

SavoyCabbage Sun 07-Oct-12 13:25:30

Gah, pressed too early. Then, when the baby is a bit older perhaps you could redecorate one of the rooms, depending on whether the baby is a boy or a girl, so thst they can share.

That way it will become more of the baby's room but not straight away so that it's less of a big deal.

ineedamiracle Sun 07-Oct-12 13:35:06

My DS (8) sleeps over at his Dad's house every other Friday. When Cafcass were assessing if his house was suitable for him to stay over (Dad, OW, her DS (8) and their baby boy (1) in 3 bed house) he told them DS would have his own room. In reality, DS sleeps in the office/dining room downstairs on his own sad
DS doesn't seem to mind, so this is a battle I'm willing to concede.

Hulababy Sun 07-Oct-12 13:39:04

Is your baby a boy or a girl?

goldygumdrops Sun 07-Oct-12 13:39:23

The baby won't care for a good few years (except it will probably prefer to share with you initially ....) whereas it is possible your stepchildren will feel like your partner is setting up a 'new' family and may feel vulnerable for that, so I would let them have the rooms to help them feel more secure. And the rooms will not be empty as such most the week, because stepchildren need somewhere to keep their things at both houses. It helps makes the house feel a 'home' to them.

goldygumdrops Sun 07-Oct-12 13:40:37

How old are your step children? Because that could affect what I have said thinking about it some more .....

AThingInYourLife Sun 07-Oct-12 13:47:51

Tricky...

I guess for now it's not an issue when the baby is in with you.

It sounds like the older children are too big for mixed-gender sharing.

I would think that the baby will need his/her own room/nursery eventually.

Is the baby a boy or a girl?

Graciescotland Sun 07-Oct-12 14:34:54

I'm not really a fan of having the baby in your room, DH snores and wakes baby which wakes DH, it's an exercise in torture for me.

I'd be tempted to label one of the rooms baby's room straight away and deal with the fall out as it'd be more difficult to take the room away down the line. Babies for all their size have an enormous amount of stuff and it may get annoying to have it all in your room/ living room.

Is there anywhere downstairs (dining room?) where you can put a sofabed?

purpleroses Sun 07-Oct-12 19:52:29

I'd let the girls share and DSS have his own room on the understanding that when the baby needs to move out of your room it shares with him. Unless there's any possibility of using a loft conversion or downstairs room?

brdgrl Sun 07-Oct-12 21:17:45

Do you mean three bedrooms total (including you and DH) or three for the kids?

I would ABSOLUTELY give the baby its (sorry, would say "his" or "her" but I don't think you said which it is) own room! It is the only one of the children living there all the time, and deserves to have some stability and security. Even if the baby is sleeping in with you at nights now, you will want a place for its things, and for naps during the day. Things change very quickly, and as gracie says, it will be harder (and actually I think more difficult for the DSCs) to take a room back later on to give to the resident child.

The DSCs otherwise end up with two bedrooms apiece (one at your's and one at their mum's), while your DD or DS ends up with none. That seems really bad precedent to me.

If it were me, the girl DSCs would share a room, and the boy would have his own. If there were ever times when a room was needed for a visitor at the same time, the boy would be expected to take the sofa.

monsterchild Sun 07-Oct-12 21:21:55

I agree with brdgrl, we have this issue, a two BR home, a DSD and DS1 on the way. We have told DSD that she will always get to sleep in "her" bedroom (not on the couch) but that it will also be DS1's room too!

She is 6, and will be 7 sson after he is born. So eventually they won't be sharing rooms, but for now it's how it has to be. We do have a little guest house, and I am guessing she will want to sleep out there when she's a teen anyway!

AandAmom Mon 08-Oct-12 15:03:55

Sorry if I should have started a new thread on here but new to this and sounds like I need similar advice. Live in a 4 bed house that we chose together but my partner of 11 yrs bought and pays bills in. I buy food and make it in my opinion home. Have my two kids living with us his two visit weekends. Have one spare room and did have twin beds in kids rooms so when partners DS and DD visited his son went in with my son of same age and his daughter went in win my DD one year older, this room has en suite. When my DD moved to Uni 5 weeks ago I swapped the twin beds for a double and explained to husbands DD she wold be in there when my DD was away but in hold my DD would have her room back and Partners daughter would use spare room or because they get on they could share the double, partners daughter fine with this. My DD came home for visit this weekend and when she had gone my partner had a go at me saying his DD should have slept in usual room, I tried to explain that that room is my daughters bedroom of 5 yrs with bits of her stuff still around and his daughter was fine as she does not consider it to be her bedroom as all her stuff is at her moms. He said I am wrong and it is his house and my DD has moved out o needs to fit in when she comes home ! I feel like I have no say and am dreading next time my girl comes home, help !

monsterchild Mon 08-Oct-12 15:27:08

Have a talk with both girls, see what they want to do. Then do that. It sounds like they are both old enough to know what they want, and they both sound reasonable too! If DP gives you trouble, tell him the girls figured it out.

monsterchild Mon 08-Oct-12 15:27:50

And it IS his house if you are not married and it's only in his name.

purpleroses Mon 08-Oct-12 15:31:48

AandAmom - if you just decided unilaterally to replace two twin beds with a double, without consulting your DP, I can understand why he might be a bit cross! Why on earth wouldn't you discuss something like that together? A double is only really suitable for one girl at a time, meaning you'd make it diffiuclt for his DD to visit during the university holidays. If one girl is a student and the other lives mainly with her mum, then neither really live with you, but no reason to try and push either of them out and tell them it's not their room any more confused

AandAmom Mon 08-Oct-12 15:50:30

No we all decided to replace single beds with a double cos the girls like sleeping in a double at any opportunity so we had the discussion before my DS went away, he just sometimes has an issue with my DS treating place like a hotel - glasses/plates left in room etc - and has now made an issue out of it but made me feel uncomfortable throwing in the "my house my daughter gets the en suite" statement. Wish we had never bothered now !

PlinkertyPlonk Mon 08-Oct-12 19:12:30

Hello, back again. Tried to post last night but internet crashed. Grrr. Anyway, what I was going to say was...

It's a minefield isn't it!

The baby is a girl, 7m, so too young to share with the other kids (9-13yrs). We've just moved DD into her own room for exactly Gracie's reasons.

Currently the DSDs share and DSS has is own room. To answer Nellie - things they keep in their room mostly amount to dirty clothes, damp towels and sweet papers. To be honest their rooms are disgusting and I wouldn't want DD sharing their rooms (and nits) - she would end up choking on something they'd left lying around. They are lovely children but they aren't expected to keep their rooms tidy at their mums and it's a battle I chose not to fight at ours. Hmm... might be time for a rule change.

We could use the sitting room as an extra bedroom and the kitchen & breakfast room as a sitting room (it can just about squeeze in a sofa), but it seems bonkers to be crammed into one room when half the house is empty for most of the fortnight.

purpleroses Mon 08-Oct-12 20:00:57

Why don't you use the downstairs room as a bedroom for DSS when he's there, and use it as a living room when he's not?

In terms of your baby chocking on things, or catching nits - these are going to come up as issues whether or not she shares a bedroom with them. Teach the DSC not to leave small things within her reach (eg put them on a desk that she can't reach) and treat their nits!

charlearose Tue 09-Oct-12 00:00:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PlinkertyPlonk Tue 09-Oct-12 10:00:38

Apologies goldy, I called you nellie for some bizarre reason. I am clearly losing the plot.

"Teach the DSC not to leave small things within her reach" I am trying. Not having much success currently. I swear they are blind and can only see something the size of an elephant and only if it is sitting on them.

Agree, DD gets her own room. Baby sharing with DSDs won't work as DD wakes at least 3 times a night.

"most teens seem to see there parents as the devil itself and your just so not cool enough to be enter their lives". grin Oh so true!

So does anyone here use their sitting room as a part-time bedroom for their kids? How does it work? Do you just use a sofa bed and hide the kids stuff away when they aren't there? What about pinning stuff on the wall?

charlearose Wed 10-Oct-12 21:16:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Petal02 Thu 11-Oct-12 10:45:11

Excellent post Charlearose - very sensible advice.

charlearose Thu 11-Oct-12 15:29:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PickledLily Thu 11-Oct-12 19:05:02

Charlearose - I think you are spot on. I've been feeling guilty that they won't have their own space but actually I think if we manage it carefully they will be ok with it.

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