In searching for some more serenity and peacefulness in my life, I’ve now focused on my house. I am ready to go through a “decluttering” around my home and I’m focusing on the boys’ bedroom as the place to start. Now, I said “bedroom” not “bedrooms” on purpose, they share a room. Yes, two energetic boys (ages 3 and 6) share one small bedroom. (Not) surprisingly, it comes with some challenges.

I had visions of raising our boys in a nice contemporary or cape home on 2 acres in Northern Fairfield County, Connecticut. We would have a large dog, a level yard and a swing set all on a serene road with other kids of similar ages in the friendly, quiet neighborhood. We would have 3+ bedrooms, 2+ baths and a 2 car garage.

But alas, due to a home purchase 7 years ago that seemed like a good idea at the time and the housing market plummeting soon thereafter, that is still just a vision. The reality is that we will be staying in our condo until some dramatic and unforeseen change in circumstances occurs. Our condo neighborhood is great, even though the surrounding area is not the idyllic scene in my vision.

We are making do and I really cannot complain. We have wonderful neighbors and a solid roof over our heads. The only thing I do wish we had was more bedrooms.

We have 2. One for the mommies, one for the boys.

I may have some bedroom (and storage) envy. I would look longingly at room pictures in Pottery Barn Kids and others with neat, organized little bedrooms with a full sized bed for the one child that occupies the room. How wonderful!

Even the shared bedrooms are beautiful.

[It does not escape me, however, that the rooms in these catalogs are perfect BEFORE furniture. There is no oddly-placed window or closet that makes the arrangement much more difficult.]

Those bedrooms seem so serene in the pictures. Our boys’ bedroom is the antithesis of serene. It’s purely chaotic. The room is chaotic and so are its occupants. (I would LOVE to have a bunk bed but they are still too young.)

Right now, their room is like a pirate ship/superhero fort/toy haven/race car track/overflowing bookshelf den of boyness.

I’m hoping that removing some of the “stuff” from the room will help the unwinding and peaceful time prior to bed. And a nice calm place for escape during the daytime.

(NOTE: We have a tiny bonus room in the basement that is a playroom. I want THAT room to be the Room O’ Craziness, not their bedroom. I’ve already moved the toys out of the living room, this is my next project.)

As for the current bedroom challenges, we’ve been handling them fairly well, I think. We’ve established a decent bedtime routine (even with our opposite sometime-single-mom-at-bedtime-work-schedules). It includes no video games, maybe one board game, each one gets 1 or 2 books (depending on how long the bath time was), teeth brushed, then lights out.

But that still doesn’t mean they’re calm and willing to go down every night. We can do the same exact routine for 50 nights in a row and some nights they are surprised that they’re supposed to go to bed at the end of the routine. It’s much harder to get both boys down when the same room together. If one is wound up, the other one may be tired, but he’ll easily get a second wind. Sometimes, sleep time becomes a slumber party where they just wind each other up.

Other room-sharing issues have come up and they may just be unavoidable:

– One wants the shades up, one wants the shades down

– One wants the nightlight on, one wants it off

– One wants the door shut, one wants it open

– One wants the heater on, one doesn’t

– We’ve had to initiate rules during playtime because Andrew wants to bring visiting friend up to his room to play to get away from his brother and Dylan throws a fit if he’s shut out of his room

– We even have some decorating disagreements from time to time. One wants his own artwork up, one wants Batman, one doesn’t want it to go there, etc.

I know this is all part of family life. I guess I was very lucky that my siblings and I had our own rooms when we were growing up. We could have different reading plans, bedtime routines, time away from each other (although house rules were the bedroom doors stayed open), and just our own space.

Maybe this will help prepare them for cooperation and negotiation as they grown up. Maybe their future respective college roommates will be thankful one day that they had this experience.

As for now, we are working on keeping the (roomie) peace and hopefully creating a more peaceful bedroom will help!

I’ve very open to ideas and suggestions!

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