Living Situation

SPof1December 14, 2011

Hello all,

I have only posted a few times and would like some advice again. I have a 9 yo ss who styas with us maybe once a week. His schedule depends on his fathers work schedule, but over the last few months it has been once a week or once every other week, some months over a weekend. Anyway, ss currently has his own bedroom. We also have a 3 year old daughter together with her own room. We are ready for the next baby, but I don't know how to approach the topic of "where are we going to put the baby and it's stuff"... HELP. My husband is VERY sensitive about me saying anything "negative" about my ss, and I DO NOT want to cause or get into an argument, but our baby will need a room. Any ideas of suggestions for a new arrangement or how to bring this up to my husband?


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A couple of ideas - since your daughter lives there full time and SS does not - SS and the new baby can share a room.

Another idea - since your husband is very sensitive about you saying anything to him about SS - is there another family member/close friend that can bring up the subject? Sort of casually like - congrats on the new baby, BTW - where do you think you'll put the baby once it's born?

You know - sometimes a husband won't listen to something you have to say - but if his mother/father or best friend says the same thing he will.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 1:48PM
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On the other hand SS needs to feel like he belongs and dads house is home also..Putting him out of his room isn't fair!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 10:13PM
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I agree with gardenandcats 100%....he will hold it against you for interfering with the relationship with his dad (right or wrong he will perceive it this way) and also the not yet born sibling.

I know this may not be a view shared by many...but i am of the opinion that no way does an infant "need" a room of their own. My and my ex had rooms for both our kids when they were born...but they were never in them. My ex was an extremely "attached' slept in a crib attached to our bed with bungee cords and one side open, so she could reach in at any time of night for breastfeeding (both kids were breastfed until 3 yrs old). Puts a cramp in your "couple" time for sure....but i was ok with it, and I to this day do not think it had much if anything to do with our problems. As a matter of fact I respected her for wanting to be so close to the kids at all times.

But again, that type of parenting is not for everyone...but I still think it is a bit of a spoiled american thing to think that a baby "needs" a room of their own. They pretty much need to be fed, held and everything else they are oblivious up to a certain age.

The precident has been set already, however, that the SS has his own room...taking it FROM him is way worse than not giving one to the infant.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:00PM
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it is a rather delicate situation. I guess I'm surprised Dh and you have not already discussed and preplanned for the event knowing a new addition of a child was being added.

First, whether a child was at my home one night a week or seven nights a week, I would not put a newborn baby in his/her room. Babies are way too intrusive with poor schedules to submit another child to. In my humble opinion if there is not a private room to put the newborn in, it belongs in your bedroom to start out.

Secondly, Gardencats is correct in that the SS is rather being intruded upon and/or evicted from 'his' room. You also really need to consider the thought that if something happened and Dh ended up with fulltime custody of his son that the child would be there all the time and you'd still be facing three kids and only two bedrooms for them. How would you handle placing the children/baby in that situation? Which child would be 'sharing' if that were the case now?

I 'get' you have an 'empty' room most of the time, but I will assume this 'empty' room is not so empty. If Dh has prepared and given his son his own room, it likely contains the son's belongings and is where his son finds his privacy and considers 'his place'. Setting up part of this room as new baby's space what with all the cribs and diaper changers and all that baby stuff...and then the whah whah whah at 2 am in the morning. I think you need to rethink a different solution. Perhaps some of the baby things can be in all three bedrooms (make space in closets for baby supplies and put the crib in your room. That way everybody is doing their part in accomadating the new addition.

It will be much easier on a 3yr old to 'share' than a 9 yr old. The 3 yr old will also be a bit more accustomed to have the baby around as the 3 yr old is going to be around the baby 24/7. You best think about how this 9 yr old will feel if he arrives and finds you're filling up his space with another child. He already is the child who has to adjust to being in two homes. Don't take his sense of 'belonging' away from him too.

My 2 cents.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:37PM
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Well, we were in a similar situation - We live in a small condo, SS was only here a few days a month and we were having a baby. His room needed redoing, so we redid it to be half his and half the baby's.
We knew that the baby would be in our room for sleeping, but wanted a space for the baby anyhow.

So, now that SS has moved in and DD is a bit over a year, we have a similar setup to mkroopy's was. DD's three-sided crib is bungee-corded to our bed and she nurses a fair bit at night. We've moved her dresser in to our room and so on. We put a desk into SS's room where DD's crib was.

But, if SS hadn't moved in entirely, it would have continued to be a shared room.
We live in 900 square feet with two adults, two cats, a baby and a 12yo. We simply don't have the space to have 100 of those square feet only occupied 4-5 days a month while three people share 140.

SS was cool with sharing for the time he was here. He still slept alone and it was treated as mostly his when he was here, so he felt he had privacy and control of his space. We also "bought" his acceptance. His side of the room was redone for him and he got a say in the decor. He got a new bed and mattress. I made him all new bedding.

It all worked out very well in our house :)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:45PM
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Thank you for the responses.. Let me start by saying that my intention is NOT to "put my ss out of his room." I understand that he needs his own space and I respect that. He shares a room at his bm's house with no problem and she has 2 extra unoccupied bedrooms. Anyway, The main reason for wanting to "split" his bedroom is because he isn't here most of the time. We go 2-3 weeks without having him here at all. We are already crammed into our home. We had planned on moving into a bigger house, but my husbands position at work was cut and he was moved to another position making less. Again, baby was already on the way. I would have no problem splitting the 3 yo bedroom, but if our baby is a boy I do not think that is a good idea, even at young ages. The likelyhood of SS living with us full time is slim due to my husbands work schedule and the custody agreement.

I understand that it may not seem "fair" to my ss, but how is it anymore "fair" to my 3yo? Before we got married my ss slept on the couch when he would visit because we only had a small 1 br apartment, he never complained. I'm not saying that I want to put him on the couch, but we will not be moving to a bigger house for a while..

In response to ss room being "fixed up" for him. It is not, he has a few changes of clothes here, a bed, and a few toys. The room isn't painted, decorated or anything. Again, not saying I am wanting to kick him out of his room, but how is saying he shouldn't have to share because he is only there a fews times a month and my 3yo who is there ALL of the time has to share right? I just need help..

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 10:00AM
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I would keep the baby in your room until baby can sleep thru the night. Then I would let the babys sex choose whose room it goes to, girl, your daughters, boy, SSs room....

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 12:50PM
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I respectfully disagree with the others about SS sharing a room with the baby. If he's only there part time it does not make sense to me that the kid who lives there full time has to share her room while the kid who only lives there a few days a month gets a room all to himself. There are ways to make SS still feel like it's his room too. For the first few months, the baby may wind up sleeping with you anyway. But you still have to think about down the road when the baby gets to be one or two years old. Hopefully your living situation may change by then, but if not it makes more sense to me that the SS and baby share a room.

It sounds like that's how you feel too, and you want help on how to discuss this with your husband? How about just asking him and see what he says? Something like - 'so any ideas where we should put the baby's crib?' He may surprise you and say that SS and the baby should share a room. Or he may not. But you won't know till you ask him. :)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Thanks Amber,

I tried that and he blew up at me, saying no he isn't sharing his room. The baby and our 3yo can share a room. I asked why he felt that way and he said because he needs a room here. I tried to explain that we should split a room with whoever has the same sex as the baby. He disagreed again and said "no". Needless to say he won't talk to me at the present time :(

I just wish he would look at things from another persepctive, but he gets very defensive about his son. I understand that, but it is a lot harder to be sympathetic when he will go weeks without seeing our calling his kid.. Sorry to vent..

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 1:39PM
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No problem, vent away!

But when you're done venting, you may have to let this one go. If DH gets so upset I don't think it's worth fighting over. While less than ideal situation, it won't hurt the 3yr old to share a room with the baby.

If you wanted to you could still store the baby's extra things in SS's closet, so the 3 yr old's room is not that crowded. Unless you think that would cause hubby to blow up again.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 2:16PM
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Wow. He's being a stubborn butt not to even discuss the situation. The issue has to be practical. Which is bigger room, the best layout blah blah.

I could see him going all crazy if you announced you intended to go all Babies R Us on the room with baby color paint, teddy bear wallpaper border and enough supplies for ten babies that you have neither the room or real need for, but that's not what you've stated and hopefully don't have in mind.

I'd put the crib in your own bedroom. I was just reading an older posting from a couple months ago and you mention how ss does not listen, is hard to get along with ect. I would want to be sure how ss is going to react to this new addition before I put them in the same room together.

If Dh is totally set against moving the baby in the seldom used but declared son's room, I suppose the only options you have is to put some baby stuff in each room. Instead of fighting over 'but why is it fair' with him, did you ask as to why it is so important to him to leave the son's room strictly the son's room? Not what/why you think, or what/why 'we' think, but what/why HE thinks. Is there more going on here than 'where are we putting the baby'?

Seriously, if it is going to turn into a major issue and/or cause damaging resentment, maybe think about puchasing a pull out coach and giving all three kids their own room. Put your drawers and such in each room and you and he be the ones going without. Seems drastic, but he currently does not sound like he is going to budge on the son's room no matter what you and or we think of it. If you got a 'no way, is not happening' you're going to have to keeping digging for a real solution that both of you (and the children) can all live with.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Thanks again guys... I do not in any way plan to "take over" ss room with baby stuff. I planned on keeping the baby in a crib in our room for the first few months (3-4), then have baby in ss room after that. I just need a place for a dresser to store baby clothes, diapers, etc. Both of the kids rooms are the same size, so it isn't that 3yo or ss room is bigger. Maybe I haven't been clear enough in explaining just how small our home is... There is NO room in any closets for antyhing else, we store alot fo things in ss room as it is (vaccum cleaners, strollers, weights, etc.) It isn't like the room is only ss and has never served another purpose, we've always stored other things in there because again he isn't here all of the time as it is. I guess it is something that we will have to continue to work through... I'm just a little sad that he seems to be putting his son first in this situation when this baby and the 3yo are his bio kids too.

Justmetoo... there are some other issues that could be causing friction.. the post I had written a while back mentioned that we were having scheduling problems. After getting some feedback on here and really thinking about things. I went to my husband and told him that I needed more help from him and that I felt that he put alot on me. He agreed that I had a lot of respsonibility and seeing as he isn't here he agreed that he needed to try harder when he is here. This resulted in chaning ss schedule to only being here on occassion instead fo eow. I know my husband isn't happy about that, but he is the one that agreed to it and this is what his solution was. Anyway, just a little "extra" insight to the situation.

Thanks guys! I am so glad to have somewhere to come and get another perspective.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 5:45PM
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Looking at it from an objective view, I would probably have your 3-yr old and newborn share a room. I think you're's not really fair to hold a whole room for someone that's only there a couple days a month. However, it seems that a 3-yr old and a 9-yr old are in much different places developmentally. A 3-yr old really doesn't care if they have their own room and whatever you do is probably going to be fine with them. I don't think that's so much the case with the 9-yr old.

I was kind of in the same situation a couple years ago. My second son was born when my oldest was 2-yrs old. At that time he was sleeping in our small bedroom and the medium sized one was for my husband's two daughters when they came during the summer and at Christmas. I had the same conflict that it wasn't really fair to hold a whole room for people who are only in our home a couple weeks a year. But eventually decided on having my kids share for a couple reasons: 1) my son was only 2 yrs, while my husband's daughters were older. It mattered more to them to have some privacy (especially since this wasn't their home) than it did to my son, 2) and I thought they would actually like being together rather than being alone in their room, and 3) I didn't really think that my newborn would really need his own room, as he would probably be wherever I was. I did switch their rooms though, so my kids had the one that was a bit bigger. Only one daughter was coming at the time and it seemed to make more sense since she was only one person.

I can see a few reasons why it would make sense to make sure they have their own room - such as if your oldest child is a poor sleeper and if having a baby in the room would cause her to wake more often during the night or not be able to nap. But if it's just the 'not-fair' issue, I'd personally let it go, as I just can't imagine that it would even enter into your young kid's minds that they're being treated unfairly. Then it just really becomes an issue of making sure your kids are being treated equally, and not really about what's best for your family (although I'm not saying that putting them in separate rooms is not what's best for your family).

Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:00AM
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