Mixed Gender Sibling Roommates
When we decided to try for #2, we had to talk out the would-be sleeping arrangements. Roy has a pretty small room, with space enough for his crib, a changing table/dresser, a rocking chair and not much else. And there’s really not another kid room to be had without making some fairly major changes. We’re certainly in no position to move anytime soon. Nor do we want to.
We decided the best option was to move the changing table into the laundry room/hallway right outside of Roy’s room. It will actually fit perfectly in front of a little window there. In further preparation, we installed a dimmer on the overhead hallway light, and Clint built some cabinets above the window, for extra storage. Once we actually move the changing table there and cute it up a bit I’ll snap a photo for you. It feels like a pretty creative, yet logical solution.
So. There will be room enough for two beds/cribs. Maybe a slim dresser or two. As the kids get older, surely Clint will build them the coolest bunk bed ever. We will make the most of every square inch. It kind of feels good. Like composting or re-purposing leftovers. We’re being thrifty with space.
Of course, there are times when I think that the kids need their own space. Deserve it, even. That a boy and a girl, especially, need the privacy of separate rooms.
Then I think about the third-world countries I’ve been to. Multiple kids of mixed ages and genders sharing the same room—the same bed, even. Or people living in more expensive cities, where the kid’s room is a closet. Literally. And then there’s the fact that the family who lived here before us raised four children under this very roof. And we’re worried about squeezing in two?
I love when other parents share their own boy-girl room-sharing situations. Even better are the stories from grown adults about how they grew up sharing a room with their sibling—of the opposite sex, even—and how close it made them. Just this weekend, a woman I met at a party, upon learning I was pregnant with a girl and had a boy at home already, asked, “You have rooms for each?” When I dove into a
defense description of our setup, she told me she happily shared a room with her younger brother until the age of 15. “It was a little strange getting our own rooms,” she said. “He spent a lot of time hanging out in mine.”
So I’m homing in on the pros, as related by those who’ve lived this situation. Things like late-night whisperfests and never feeling alone in the middle-of-the-night darkness. We will make the most of what we have and hope that sibling bonds do grow stronger with maximum together-time in small, shared spaces—regardless of gender.
Image: Love illustration via Shutterstock