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What would you do(41 Posts)
I think I’ve name changed for this - worried it might be a bit outing, but I’m genuinely not sure what to do and would be interested to hear how others would handle this.
We currently live in a tiny three bed house, with two okay sized bedrooms and one absolutely tiny box room. My partner’s two boys (13 and 19) shared one of the okay sized rooms in bunk beds until about four years ago when the older one moved into the box room.
The younger one stayed in the okay sized room with a bunk bed with a desk underneath - this is where he spends most of his time! Either in the bed or on his PC under the bed. The older one has a single bed in the box room and his overnight visits tailed off as he has got older. He’s now away at uni and when he comes home spends a lot of time at his mum’s or at his girlfriend’s. If he does stay, he tends to use the double sofa bed in the living room with his girlfriend.
The younger son is here four nights a week (two week nights, and it used to be all day Saturday through to Monday but as he’s also got older it now tends to be late Saturday afternoon through to Monday).
We have a baby girl who is currently in with us and will be for a while yet, and we’ve just bought a project house which will be ready to move into at the end of the year.
The house has a loft bedroom (for us), two large bedrooms and one ‘box’ room, which is much bigger than the box room here but still only has enough space for a single bed.
Originally my partner and I just agreed that the baby one would have one of the big rooms as she’s there 24/7 and somehow has a lot of stuff (which currently takes over our whole room, and her toys are just stacked over and under the table at the moment in our living/dining room).
However both boys are now arguing they should each have a big bedroom and the baby should have the box room. My partner is keen for the 19 year old to have a big room so we can also use it as a guest room. I think that’s fine, and that the 13 year old could use the box room as he only uses his room for gaming and sleeping, and he’s had the bigger bedroom out of him and his brother for some years now, but then neither of them are a fan of this idea.
From my point of view, it seems a bit pointless to move for more spacious bedrooms and then have one occupied only on occasional visits and the other occupied around 50% of the time, whilst the child who is there all the time, has more toys and books and ‘plays’ more is in the smallest room.
We’ve shelved the discussion for now, but I was curious about how people in a similar situation would handle it, as I’ve had very mixed opinions from my friends, but none of them have step children to consider.
Sorry if it’s an essay but I wanted to give full context! We’ll also have more downstairs space too - but my partner is very keen for us not to have baby paraphernalia all over the living space, which is what we currently have!
The child who is there all the time should get a bigger room. The other's have space at their other home.
The 13 year old gets the box room. It’s still bigger than the room his older brother had in recent years, and perfectly adequate for his needs.
Baby lives there full time, so gets big room.
Older boy sometimes has his girlfriend there and you want a guest room, so that room gets a double bed.
Younger boy gets a gaming set up, which will be his priority.
When DP and I move in together we’ll be getting a 4 bed house and it will be organised by who spends the most time at our house.
Biggest room will be mine and DP’s
Bedroom 2 My DD (9) - I have her 100% of the time, so 30/31 days a month
Bedroom 3 My DS (4) - I have him 22-23 days a month
Bedroom 4 DP’s DDs (10 & 14) will share when they come to stay - 4 nights a month. They will have bunk beds and share a room like they currently do at DP’s (he has a 2 bed house currently).
DP initially argued for my DD and DSD10 to share but I have put my foot down as it’s her only bedroom and DSD10 can at times be a bit of a bully and I feel it’s important for DD to have a space that’s solely hers. All of the children then will have a bedroom in their lives that’s exclusively theirs (DSDs have their own rooms at their mums).
I am struggling with this at the moment but I feel the child who is there 100% of the time should have a big room.
We've got 4 between us and one on the way. My DD and DPs DD have their own rooms, our DS's share but I just can't work out how we're going to fit baby in!
The child who lives there all the time should absolutely have the biggest bedroom. My step children have the smallest of our bedrooms here (still a double for 2 of them to share) which they weren't happy about but they're only here for a few nights a week compared to my DC who lives here all the time and has a lot more stuff here.
Your position is perfectly reasonable. I wouldn’t be financially and practicality exhausting myself on a bigger “project house” only for my baby to have, as her one and only full time bedroom, the box room, while her (presumably by then near enough 20 year old) adult brother, who is pretty much moved out and independent, gets the largest bedroom for the few nights a year he will be present. It’s an absolute piece of nonsense that was ever discussed.
whoever is there the least gets the box room.
I would put your DD in a big room. Toys take up room & she'll need floor space to play soon.
I'd probably put DSS 13 in the next biggest room as he's there more often. But ask if he'd be willing for his room to be used as a guest room (when he's not using it) if not he goes in the small room. Depending on that depends where DSS 19 goes.
I have 3 step children (all adults now) but my 2 DSS's had to share (as they did at their mum's until they moved out)
My 2 DS's share a double room & DD has the smallest room.
The baby gets the big room, especially as you need somewhere for all the baby gear and toys. The younger boy gets the other big room if he's there 4 nights a week, and the 19yo gets the box room.
When my boys were younger, the older one was away at boarding school and had the box room when he came home. The other boy attended a local school and had the bigger bedroom because he was home most of the time.
Absolutely the baby gets the big room, being there fulltime, and the boys do not get to dictate. The eldest especially doesn't get a say as he's not likely to spend much time there at all given he's an adult now and away at uni.
Thank you everyone! I thought it made the most sense but then a couple of my friends said ‘but the youngest always gets the smallest room, that’s the rule’ - but the dynamics are different when not everyone is there all the time!
I really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences. This past year has been hard as I’ve felt like my own space has reduced to nothing at all and I fit around everyone else in the house, and I don’t want the new house (which is a big financial leap for me!) to feel the same, and part of that is my child having adequate space too.
We have a sofa bed which I’ve thought about putting in the baby’s room - then when the girlfriend stays or if we have guests we can always move the baby out for a bit.
We have to do some more house stuff this week so maybe I’ll broach the topic again...wish me luck! Sometimes I think my partner feels guilty about having another baby so he really overcompensates sometimes - there are plenty of instances like this but this is the most permanent one!
Will you be happy being on a completely different floor to the baby though? Might be worth you and the baby having bigger rooms on the middle floor and using the attic as a guest room for now? I'd be worried I wouldn't hear her getting up in the night
I think by the time we’re ready to move in, it’ll be ok - she’ll be around 16 months at that point - if the work takes as long as we fear! She’s been in with us way longer than I’d like as my partner was adamant we can’t use the box room even whilst his son is away as he needs that bedroom to come home to. I’ve been ok with this but I am looking forward to the day when I have a bedroom without a child in it...
What about turning the "spare" bedroom into a gaming room, with a sofa bed but big screen etc so the younger boy can use this as a den - but the older one can sleep there when he is home? This is what we've done with our uni dc's bedroom. It makes the most sensible use of space.
@oliviacat I like that idea and it was something we were going to do when we thought we were going to buy a bigger house (which unfortunately fell through).
However I can’t see the 13 year old being willing to vacate it when anyone is staying - I suppose we need to balance his gaming needs (v important considerations haha!) with his brother’s needs to have space with his girlfriend. And of course the baby’s need for space!
It’s such a headache, I never imagined logistics like this when I used to imagine family life when I was younger!
I think I would put baby in the big room (this is her only residence so she deserves to have her own room like her brothers had in their childhood), put DSS13 in the bigger room but have it arranged that if guests stay or if DSS19 comes over with his girlfriend, that he will sleep in the box room for the night.
Not ideal but maybe a happier solution for all.
I'm having the same argument with my dp. Our baby is currently in the single room. It's fine for now but when he needs a full size bed at around 4 it won't be.
He thinks his boys should get the double as it's mean else, it isn't they are here 2 nights a week not seven and we ve a seperate play area for xbox and pcs. So it literally for sleeping.
Baby definitely needs one of the bigger rooms as she's there 100% of the time. Can your DSS not 'share' the other big room, I.e when the elder is at Uni, the 13yro can have the room, but when he is home and comes to stay the 13yro sleeps in the smaller room? Are they both there at the same time ? You might find as the 13yro gets older he starts staying less like his older brother did and ultimately there might not be any issues.
Your dd should 100% get one of the bigger rooms, that's a no brainer her being there all the time.
I think your 19 year old dss has a bit of a cheek demanding a big room since he has effectively moved out to uni and rarely stays. The only way that might make sense is if you did want to make a nice double guest room which dss19 could stay in when he did stay, though it sounds like he would see this as "his" bedroom, so i'm not sure that would work.
I'd be inclined to make the small room the guest room since it doesn't make sense to me for a big room to only be used occasionally. You would also need less storage space in a guest room. I would then make this where dss 19 stays. Since it seems like his gf only stays very occasionally, it doesn't seem fair or an adequate enough reason to give him a double bedroom.
DSS13 is actually there more than half of the week so I think it is fair that he gets the other big bedroom. Though as others have said, I wouldn't feel comfortable putting my young child on a different floor to me so I would probably have the 13 year old in the attic.
When my older brothers moved out to uni, they were automatically downgraded to the smaller rooms. There was no guarantee they would even move back after uni and it doesn't make sense for a big bedroom to sit empty most of the time.
You need to put your foot down with a firm hand, OP. The baby gets a big room, end of! You have a say! Don't let the men browbeat you.
Out of curiosity can a small double bed fit in the box room? Surely this can be the guest room and the older SS can use this on the occasion that he visits.. the baby definitely needs her own room and the 13 should get priority over the other ..
The child who is there the most (your daughter because she’s resident there and it’s her only home) should be priority when it comes to bedrooms. No matter what the ages or sex of the other children.
Thanks all! The small room won’t fit a double - otherwise we’d happily do that and it’d save masses of hassle. And the loft room comes with an en-suite and after years of sharing a bathroom with three boys, I’m so ready to have my own separate bathroom - I’m not worried so much about being on a different floor as we will use our monitor. Currently I have to wear flip flops whenever I go into the bathroom, if you get my gist.
I’m going back to the debate this week armed with support! Thanks everyone! I thought I wasn’t being unreasonable but sometimes I find it hard to tell, and I don’t want to be the wicked stepmother so I always end up going along with the majority but this just didn’t seem right - although none of my friends agreed with me which fuelled my doubt.
I would make the loft a guest area and sleep on the same floor as your little one . Big guy can sleep upstairs on his infrequent visits. I know an ensuite is nice but l would not have a small child on a different floor between me and the front door.
Also l have 2 ds and l never had to wear flip flops in the bathroom and they are both in their 20s. What's with that??