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Bedroom Situation- Help me!

(211 Posts)
NameChangeyy Sun 23-Oct-16 01:49:50

Name changed as this could be quite identifying... Would appreciate thoughts on WIBU, and if it's me, please help me see some reason/ perspective... This could be long!

Background: I have 2 DDs (3,8) and DP has 1 DS (8). We've been together since my second DD was very little (5m). Kids get on well for the most part, bar some minor issues/ differences with the eldest two, but nothing out of the ordinary. I own a two bed house and he owns a one bed flat.

We are now at the stage where we are starting to think about buying somewhere together. I have some equity in the house and am in a position to save around £1k a month towards a deposit. DP does have money in flat, but I reckon it will struggle to sell, so renting it out may be an option. He saves around £200pm but this covers birthdays, xmas, holidays, emergencies etc.

And so here is the dilemma, 3 bedroom or 4 bedroom?

And here is my AIBU: I think it is perfectly practical and sensible to not overstretch ourselves, and buy a nice 3 bedroomed house in a reasonable area with affordable payments and enough of a buffer to still be able to save money each month. 90% of the 4 bedrooms close enough to be near my family wraparound childcare (out of house for 12hrs a day, nursery only 10hrs) would be top end of budget, new-builds with small rooms. DP is absolutely adamant that DS needs his own bedroom.

Fine, I say. We'll look at older larger 3 beds and the girls can continue sharing for the medium term. Because of the 5 year age gap, I don't think it's really fair to make a 14yo share with a 9yo sibling when there is a bedroom sitting empty for 6 nights of the week? He says he will not have his son feeling pushed out of his own home.

I understand where he is coming from, I do. Hence why I would have DDs share so he has his own space while they are all still young. But from my point of view, DS already has a main home with his DM, who is still in the marital home (big 4 bed, lovely area). I am responsible for providing the main home for the girls. DDs dad lives with his mother so they have their dads room when they stay once a week and he sleeps on the sofa. I also feel like reminding him that while our finances are still separate, he is contributing to £200 pm DS's main home, while the girls father is contributing £400pm to their main home- although I accept maybe IABU with that point.

So DP wants DS to have own room and playroom at his mums, and own room at ours.. While DDs share room at ours, and don't have a room at their dads.

I just don't think it sounds fair at all and I'm starting to doubt the whole thing and wether or not this will even work.. It goes without saying I love DP, and care about DS but this just feels like the tip of the special snowflake iceberg. I always feel like there are too many times we are all tiptoeing around DS because he doesn't get to spend as much time with his dad as the girls do. If he's here at the weekend it goes without saying we go where he wants to go, if he doesn't want to watch a film we don't watch it. We went on holiday, DS only likes 3 different foods (I'm not kidding) so all of us could only ever go to places that definitely did those foods. He won't eat ice cream so had to say no when DD asked to go to ice cream place. If it was my kids I'd be saying well DD, we're having X and I'd like it if you tried some. If you don't want X thats fine, we'll get you something before/ after but everyone else likes X so that's what we're having. I've since found out its a lot of rubbish and DS will eat most foods, he just prefers for example McDonalds chicken nuggets than having say a normal restaurant kids meal. But I don't blame the wee sod when his dad is putting up with it, and fighting his corner in front of him if I dare to ever question it.

As I said, we all get on really well for the most part but I can't help feeling a bit resentful that while DP is trying to make sure his son isn't getting a raw deal, its going to end up that the girls are. My thoughts are they can share until oldest hits teens and they stop having toys littering the room.. Then girls get their own rooms and for the 1 night DS is here (when he is a teenager, will he even want to come?!!) DDs bunk in with each other and DS sleeps in DDs room. We have really neutral decor anyway, their room is white just now with teal bedding and its the way we all like it. The DDs will be fully aware that its DS home at the weekend too and he gets his own space when he's here.

The only other option is a 4 bed, which I'm really not keen on and will take at least another year of saving :-( as well as much tigher budget, more to clean (we both work long hours full time as it is and I frequently bring work home!) please tell me if IABU??

VimFuego101 Sun 23-Oct-16 02:28:32

I think the issues you mention would come into far sharper focus and be far more frustrating if you lived together to be honest. If you really want to live together then you need 4 beds otherwise I can see a huge amount of resentment towards your partner's son developing.

ClaudiaJean2016 Sun 23-Oct-16 02:32:42

I think you need the 4 bed. Even if one is a box room. Your DDs will need their own rooms at some point due to age gap, and DS can't share with either of them so he does need his own room.

If he doesn't have a bedroom to sleep in at his dad's he isn't going to feel welcome there.

38cody Sun 23-Oct-16 02:37:00

I think your plan sounds perfect - he doesn't actually need a bedroom if he;s only there once a week. The only problem I forsee is that if you give him the 3rd bedroom at yours until your DD id a teen then at that stage you need to 'take his bedroom away and give it to one of your girls' - from what you've said that will cause problems. He doesn't have a bedroom with his dad now as you say his dad owns a 1 bed flat - his bedroom is at his home - with his mum, so if he's never had a bedroom at dad's flat why will he need one at dad's house? It's one night a week! I would give the girls a bedroom of their own at their main home, just like he has and they will know that when he comes to stay they will vacate for the duration of his stay and bunk in together. He doesn't need his own room, it's ridiculous for your girls to have to share when there's a mainly empty bedroom in the house.

TyrionLannisterforKing Sun 23-Oct-16 02:44:16

How do you feel about his parenting? Because once you live together, your DDs will be around his DS more, and might want the same privileges. Or, they might be upset because of the special way your DP treats his son. Would you be happy with either situation?

Parenting aside, I agree with you. The house will be your DDs' main home. They should have each a room, if possible. The way your DP suggests it, it feels like there will be two families in one home: Your kids in one room, his in another, and you both on the third. I think it could create a problem with family dynamics.

AddictedtoGreys Sun 23-Oct-16 02:45:36

As PP said I think that if you allow him a room now it will be harder to take it away in the future and unfair on him. Also with your DD's want to share for 1 night a week or will they feel that it is unfair they get moved out of their room for DS? I understand how you feel about him having a room at his mums but to avoid any future arguments I would just go for the 4 bed and make my peace with it. Then everyone has their own room and no arguments.

38cody Sun 23-Oct-16 02:46:55

You can't buy an expensive 4 bed that you don't need with smaller rooms and less comfort in your day to day lives because DP's DS stays once a week - it's just daft, keep a box of his stuff, boys duvet cover etc stashed somewhere and throw it on your daughters bed when he comes with a box of his toys - he should be more than happy with that and frankly he;s there to spend time with dad, not worry about the sleeping room décor - DP is being a bit precious imo. And the financial contribution isn't equal but that might be a tricky one to deal with, would irritate me tho.
Do keep us posted.

Rubies12345 Sun 23-Oct-16 02:48:31

*I think you need the 4 bed. Even if one is a box room. Your DDs will need their own rooms at some point due to age gap, and DS can't share with either of them so he does need his own room.

If he doesn't have a bedroom to sleep in at his dad's he isn't going to feel welcome there*

Why do they need their own bedrooms? I never knew any child with their own room growing up, the first I've heard of this is on mumsnet

kiwigeekmum Sun 23-Oct-16 02:51:40

A very tricky situation with no easy solution for sure.

My personal opinion is that DS does need his own room. So either you get a 3 bed and your girls share, or you get a 4 bed.
Why? I think the kids should ideally be treated equally. Making comparisons between what the other parent provides for them only creates division and competition.

BUT I can also understand why you might feel differently. It is a very sensitive issue and you need to decide together what's going to work best for your blended family.

NameChangeyy Sun 23-Oct-16 02:54:22

Thanks for all the responses... I think so far I am mostly not being that unreasonable so that is a relief!

Itmustbemyage Sun 23-Oct-16 02:54:39

If I am reading this right at the moment your DP lives in a one bed flat at the moment so I guess this means that his DS doesn't have his own exclusive room when he stays with his dad? So a similar situation to when your DD's go to stay with their dad? Going by your timeline you have been together at least two and a half years so your DP has been happy with that situation so far. Why is he so insistent that his DS needs his own exclusive room in a potential new house? It also seems that there is quite a financial imbalance between you both at the moment which needs to be worked out. The number of bedrooms seems to me to be really not the main issue here you have a lot to discuss with your DP you have a problem with him not his son and you do sound resentful of his son which isn't really helping the situation. Your DP may be indulging his son's food preferences out of guilt at not spending more time with him but if you are all going to be living together this will need to change, but really would you like your DP as much if he wasn't a good dad who looked out for his DS?
The worst possible thing you could do would be to buy any property , regardless of how many bedrooms it has, until you have had a few honest discussions about what each of your expectations going forward are.

Itmustbemyage Sun 23-Oct-16 02:57:09

Oops cross posted with some pp, I need to type faster

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sun 23-Oct-16 02:57:27

Buy a 3 bed now, sell up and upgrade to a 4 bed in 5 years?

NameChangeyy Sun 23-Oct-16 02:57:47

Rubies I agree to an extent, I shared with my brother until I moved out, we made do with what we had!

Its more of a case of a two bedroomed is too small, so it's really a 3 or 4 and I would prefer the more practical 3. I don't have an issue with my kids sharing (they share now), and if they had to share as teenagers then that's fine, needs must. My issue is with them sharing while a bedroom sits empty.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sun 23-Oct-16 02:58:53

That's a great post itmustbemyage

AlrightSon Sun 23-Oct-16 03:04:31

I think save up and get the 4 bedroom. Maybe you need the year to make 100% sure you're doing the right thing by all moving in together..
Also, it's just fair that way. You can't blame the guy for wanting his DS to be treated the same as your 2?

NameChangeyy Sun 23-Oct-16 03:09:40

Yes I didn't even think of the implications of effectively giving him a room and then taking it from him in a few years time...

It does sound like a 4 bed would be fairest for everyone and safe an awful lot of disagreement. I just resent spending that much more money on something which will be used once a week confused for the sake of fairness.

gleam Sun 23-Oct-16 03:10:55

Why don't you rent out both properties and rent a 4 bed together - you can try living together and see how things go? Things seem to revolve a little too much around ds's preferences at the moment.

It seems unfair to me that dds' father would be paying £400 a month for them to share their only bedroom (same as now) whereas ds would have exclusive use of 2 bedrooms (a step up). The dds' money shouldn't subsidise ds's life.
(Hope it's clear what I mean, op, not trying to be horrible about ds.)

AcrossthePond55 Sun 23-Oct-16 03:19:28

Why don't you rent out both properties and rent a 4 bed together - you can try living together and see how things go? Things seem to revolve a little too much around ds's preferences at the moment.

I think gleam has the right idea. TBH, the catering your DP does to his son's demands wouldn't fly with me on a regular basis. It's much easier to tolerate 'Disney Parenting' when you have your own safe haven to return to in the evening. Much harder to put up with (especially for your girls) when you're all living in the same house, whether it's a 3 or 4 bed.

NameChangeyy Sun 23-Oct-16 03:20:44

Itmustbe yes, currently DS doesn't have a room at his dads, they both sleep in his bed when they stay there. Around half the time DS stays at DPs mums on his night, as he does work some weekends and its just easier (I live an hour away). Sometimes he stays here with us and DP and DS have our room while I sleep on the sofa.

Yes there probably is some financial imbalance but I raised it in more of a.. I recieve CM because I'm responsible for childs main home, he gives CM because his mum is responsible IYSWIM?
If I've come across as resentful of DS that really wasn't my intention, it was more just to highlight that it's not the first time where I've felt that my kids take a back seat because DP is set in his pre-concieved ideas of "fairness". He can be very "Disneydad" for want of a better term.

But, it's nothing that would be a "deal breaker" and for the most part we all get on brilliantly.. It's little frustrations like him not being so strict with DS as we'd be with DDs, because "dad time" must be 100mph fun. I read quite a bit about that kind of behaviour over on Step-Parenting.

NameChangeyy Sun 23-Oct-16 03:30:54

Across yes I feel like I do struggle with the disney parenting, but actually thinking about it (and after many chats over a cuppa with my mum) it's really just 1 night at the weekend and holidays that I have to work through.

We've obviously talked a lot about how its going to work and I've shut down a fair few of his ideas already... DS, his DM and DP all live an hour away and so naturally he has activities and clubs etc that go on through there at the weekend. Apparently DP thought we'd all be jumping in the car on a Saturday morning to pick him up and watch his sport for an hour... And then back on a Sunday morning to watch his other sport before spending the afternoon visiting DPs family. Every single weekend. hmm Eh, no! Yes, we need to get involved in his life but I also feel like if DP wants to be with us, then he needs to do more so DS can have a life here with us too! Rather than us just slotting in to his DS's needs.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 23-Oct-16 03:31:05

it's not the first time where I've felt that my kids take a back seat....He can be very "Disneydad".... like him not being so strict with DS as we'd be with DDs...."dad time" must be 100mph fun....But, it's nothing that would be a "deal breaker"

I think it might be for me, at least as far as living together before the children were grown. DD2 is young yet, but if DD1 doesn't see this now she will in the near future. And perhaps she'll wonder why her mum allows her to be treated unfairly.

What will you actually gain from this new arrangement? Sounds to me as if you're giving up quite a lot, actually.

purplefox Sun 23-Oct-16 03:35:29

You can't overstretch yourself financially just to have an empty room for over 80% of the year, when right now your DP chooses not to have a room for his DS at his own house.

There also seems to be resentment from you towards DS, beyond the room issue, and as a former step-parent with similar issues with the whole Disneydad, regardless of the effect it has on my child, I definitely wouldn't be considering buying a house together at this point.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 23-Oct-16 03:39:57

We x-posted. I think you've answered my post pretty much, you must be psychic!

It's good that you plan to keep your and your DD's own lives going as usual.

Frankly, for only 1 night per week and holidays, if it were me I'd want the 3 bed house. I think it's foolish to have a bedroom for someone who will only be there 4 days most months plus a week (or so) during holidays. I think I'd want to see if there could be some way that the girls' rooms could be set up to allow for them to bunk in together and DSS use one of their rooms when he's there.

As a side note, I certainly wouldn't give up my bedroom for DSS and sleep on my own couch! If that's the way his dad wants it at his flat, fine. But certainly not in my own home! I think it sends the wrong message to DSS about your place in the pecking order.

NameChangeyy Sun 23-Oct-16 03:45:33

Across when you put it like that...confused she's picked up certain things on occasion, true. I suppose it's a very messy, complicated situation in that we have a great relationship.. The DDs both adore him.. But yes, I suppose I do allow them at times to be treated unfairly because I'm wary DP can be over-sensitive about me speaking up... Our first holiday together was very much outdoor & activity based, something DP and DDs enjoy and he's more of an iPad child.. There was a few times when DD would get to something first (because she is faster), and he had a bit of a go at me that I hadn't been telling her that wasn't ok. I still don't think there was anything wrong with that, thats life. And although he dropped it (his way of admitting defeat), i admit I'm very much a peace keeper and do think twice about things now.. Probably over-compensating to DS snowflakness to the detrement of DD.

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