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to want to move to a smaller house, even if it means 2 of my dc have to share a room ?

128 replies

TheOriginalNutcracker · 25/04/2011 17:41

Am i ?? Dd1 thinks I am.

Basically, I live in a 4 bed house owned by a housing association. It is in a nice enough area and the house is huge as is the garden, but I struggle alot with the upkeep of it as something always needs doing.

I'm a single mum, and I work 22 hours a week and so never seem to have the time or money to make the house anything other than livable.

I have today been to see a 3 bed house that is up for exchange. It is on a newer, nicer estate than mine, and would need less upkeep as it has upvc frames, smaller garden, rooms etc, but my eldest dd is creating havoc, saying she will not share a room with his sister. There is only 2 years age difference between them, but they are quite different in character.

I have already said that they can have the larger of the double rooms and I will make sure it is done out in a style they both like, but dd1 in particular is having non of it.

I think it would be good for us though. We originally moved into this house with xp, and he now lives in a flat within spitting distance and likes to know my business. This would put just enough distance between us that the kids could still see him when they liked, but that he wasn't on my doorstep.

So, aibu ??

OP posts:
WinterOfOurDiscountTents · 25/04/2011 18:17

Stop letting a child call the shots and do whats right for you all as a family. Tell her you are moving and tell her she will share a bedroom.

And don't even consider the ridiculous suggestion of sleeping in the living room! Insane. Shock

FabbyChic · 25/04/2011 18:18

I shared a room with my sister until I left home at 17, it was never miserable as we never spent time in our rooms we used to have to have family time until we went to bed, so only slept in our rooms.

higgle · 25/04/2011 18:20

Is there any reason the youngest two could not share, and the oldest DD have her own room? That way in another 4 years when she is ready to leave home the other two would have a room each, and she would need to accept the needs to share if she came home for holidays.

TheMotherOfAllDilemmas · 25/04/2011 18:20

You say you live in a nice area. I would stay put, with new build areas you may not like the neighbours you get, the security of a neighbourhood you already know it is worth the extra expense.

IMO the problem is not that the house is too big, is that your children are old enough to help since years ago and you are still doing everything for them.

risingstar · 25/04/2011 18:25

sorry, but whatever you think the issues you have now, i would be amazed if you did not put your head in hands and wish you had never done it.

if dds had never had their own rooms and they had no choice, it would be hard having to share.

as they have and you have a choice, i think you need to listen to what they are saying. if they are dead set against it you are making life very difficult for yourself.

my 16 and 13 year old dds find it hard to share a house, let alone a bedroom.

Dozer · 25/04/2011 18:35

Is a tough one. At the end of the day if you're paying, you decide.

Agree with hairylights though that not moving further away isn't really a compromise, is v hard for kids in high school to move.

If you do plan to move, check out the area/neighbours etc as much as poss before committing, eg go there on a friday night with a friend. To check that is as good as it seems.

huddspur · 25/04/2011 18:37

I don't think you should make them share rooms if it is avoidable and in your case it is.

manticlimactic · 25/04/2011 18:46

If they want to stay in the house then get them to do the jobs that are too much for you to do. Smile

GypsyMoth · 25/04/2011 18:50

i sleep in the living room on a sofa bed.....i have no bedroom....thats so my dd's dont have to share. they dont get on atm and have had police involvement in their fights.

wont be forever tho!!

Mayqueene · 25/04/2011 18:52

My biggest boys shared till they were 14 and 16 (when we extended the house meaning all 4 kids had their own rooms) It was never a problem!
My DD says its "so unfair" that she's never shared a room and likes to share as a "treat" when on holiday.
The grass is always greener Grin
you choose, OP!!

EllenJane1 · 25/04/2011 18:54

When did this idea that all children need their own rooms come from? I shared with my sister until she got married and it was fine. My 2 DSs share now and will until the oldest leaves home. It's not a problem. Your DDs are the same sex and it's completely normal. You are the grown up, you get to choose. They put up with it.

Hopefully · 25/04/2011 18:58

Can't you sit DD1 (and others, but she is prob most important to have onside) and give them option a and option b:

(a) you stay where you are and they start helping with chores (write a list of chores that each DC will be responsible for, making it clear that each DC will take on more as they get older)

(b) you move, they don't have to take on more chores (or perhaps, fewer chores than in option a - DD1 at least is certainly old enough to hang out laundry/do washing up twice a week or whatever)

Hopefully it becomes more of a win/win situation for you, and your eldest will feel involved and important.

Triggles · 25/04/2011 18:59

I have to agree with those who say you are the grownup. It's your decision. They will have to learn to come to terms with it. Children sharing a bedroom is normal. She'll get used to it and they'll learn to get along.

IngridFletcher · 25/04/2011 19:00

I shared with my older sister until she left home. It was a small room as well. The lack of private space contributed to her leaving home just before her 18th birthday and into a horrible bedsit with an older bloke (who my parents loathed!). At the time I thought she was mad but then I got the benefit of years of privacy and as an adult I can see why she did it.

I am currently spending a fortune of extending my house so my kids can have their own rooms. I can see your DD1's point totally!

perrinelli · 25/04/2011 19:10

You know your kids best and whether this is what they would do or whether it would be something that would come back to bite you. I also think that sharing a room will get harder as they older, not easier.

But, personally I disagree with those that say that you are the grownup and you should make the decision alone and they just have to deal with it/come to terms with it.

Obviously you are the grown up and have the power to do this but I think the road ahead will be very tricky if you don't make this a 'whole family' decision and that democracy is the best option.

Is there no chance of a transfer/exchange to a four bed in the different area?

If not, I would ideally sit the kids down and explain the pros and cons. Explain what it could mean for them if you have more time/money because of a smaller house, and why you feel it will make you happier/less stressed (realise it may not be appropriate to share all the reasoning with them re. XP).

I can see it probably wouldn't be good for the younger two to share if they are different genders.

A third option (which you could put to the kids) is that two of them take turns sharing on a rotating basis, or that the younger one shares with you!

TheOriginalNutcracker · 25/04/2011 19:20

I do agree with alot of what is being said, but no one seems to be mentioning the fact that this house will be cheaper in rent and council tax and probably utilities too. As a single parent, that is a big deal to me.

This house is a cold house and costs a fortune to heat in winter despite me paying for things to make the windows and doors less drafty.

I am not just ding it on a whim because I fancy moving.

Anyway, I have decided to not discuss it any further with dd1 until we know when I can take them to view the house, which will probably be at the end of the week/weekend now.

OP posts:
Nanny0gg · 25/04/2011 19:21

Every child having their own room is a recent luxury and I agree one that is good if possible.
But if the status quo is causing the OP financial strain and worry I think she is being very sensible in looking to move.
Sharing won't kill them -especially as they don't do anything to help (OP- you may want to look at changing that situation!)
They need to be given lots of incentive (especially the thought that they can choose how their room/space will look - could it be screened in half?) and that there might actually be some spare cash if in a smaller house.

And I can't believe the suggestion that the OP should sleep on a pull out sofa bed so the girls can have a room each!

JustAnother · 25/04/2011 19:23

a lot of people are assuming that when DD1 is 18, she will move out. That might not be the case. She might decide to go to a uni near home, or simply work for a while and still leave at home. Would you kick her out in that case? What I am trying to say is that if they don't get on, the problem might get much much worse in the years to come, and those might be many.

TheOriginalNutcracker · 25/04/2011 19:26

I'd be more than happy to let them have lots of input into their new room and yep I could also look at some sort of screening device.

Dd is a bit of a tv addict and likes to watch in peace, but that would be fine as i'd be more than happy for her to use my room for that, or the dining room. Plus dd2 prefers to watch tv downstairs with me anyway.

I do agree that I need to fix them not helping me out around the house. It has gone on for too long and does my head in tbh.

OP posts:
GloriaSmut · 25/04/2011 19:39

Your dds need to understand ALL the reasons why this new house is a better option. They are old enough to understand why life isn't always straightforward and why they can't always have everything they want. It won't hurt them to share a bedroom and, quite honestly, right now it sounds like a luxury you cannot afford. I think, from what you say, that it is high time that they took your needs and feelings into account too but perhaps they don't actually realise why it would be such a good thing to move hence my suggestion of telling them the whole story.

Incidentally, when my sons were 14 and 13, we moved from a spacious 3-bedroomed house to a little 2-bedroomed flat where they had to share a room. I'd given them the choice of a much smaller place in a really good location in the centre of town or another 3-bedroomed house in one of the neighbouring (much less lovely) towns and villages. It took them about a second to choose the flat! They managed to share a bedroom for the next 3 years without significant grief too, so it can be done.

Triggles · 25/04/2011 19:42

I'd have to say that at 13yo and 11yo, they are both old enough to understand that this move is primarily about finances and frees up your money a bit more so if ever you hit a rough patch, things would be less stressful for you - and more likely less stressful for you all the way around. As teenagers, they need to understand that while it would be nice for them to have their own room, sometimes that's simply not possible and they need to learn cooperation and work together as a family to make this work for everyone's good. There is always that possibility that your 8yo and 11yo could share, if they are agreeable. And then THEY would have the bigger room, as they are sharing.

Personally, I shared a room with my sister who was 2 years older than me when I was a teenager (prior to that I was sharing with my younger sister), and we loved it. We decorated each half of the room the way we wanted, and had a right giggle over how "split" the room looked! We played cards late into the night by flashlight and talked for ages at night from across the room. We became very close during those 5 years, and I wouldn't change that for anything. We had times that we fought, but we did that before we shared a room too. Sharing a room is not the den of misery that everyone makes it out to be. And bottom line, they're old enough to understand that finances sometimes make our choices for us. They also should be helping around the house.

TheOriginalNutcracker · 25/04/2011 19:47

Thank you gloria and triggle, that helps alot.

I never ever ever put myself first and have dragged myself through the last 5yrs since the split without barley giving myself a second thought and now I think that for my mental health, and my finances, I should.

I agree that I need to sit dd1 down and explain more to her about why I think this move would be good for us, and I will do that.

I will come back and update the thread if there are any developments.

Thank's to all who gave advice.

OP posts:
kaid100 · 25/04/2011 20:03

Well, a solution is glaring out at me here "Darlings, I can't do all the housework by myself so unless you help me with it, we will be moving into a tiny flat with me in one room, you three in the other. If you don't like the sound of that, you can start on the hoovering now."

EllenJane1 · 25/04/2011 20:06

You have probably heard enough now but couldn't resist. I'm sorry, but family life isn't a democracy. There are adults and there are children. You discuss things with them out of politeness, but you are in charge. For goodness sake, 11 and 13 yos have no idea what is best for them. If my 8, 11 and 13 year olds were consulted we would only drink coke, eat burgers and never go to school! They can have a say, but only on those issues that are not important, such as orange juice or apple juice. Ridiculous to say otherwise! You will choose what is right for the whole family, and if that means, Heaven Forbid, sharing a bedroom to have a bit more money to pay the bills, then so be it.

expatinscotland · 25/04/2011 20:07

What EllenJane and Triggles said.

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