We all sleep in the same room.
You might have figured that out already, if you followed the transition from “Eva’s room” to “shared office/playroom” and realized that our lovely house is teeny tiny. With only two bedrooms, there were limited options.
The funny thing is, we don’t sleep in the same room simply because of space issues. Starting about a year ago, our family sleep pattern went down the drain. I was incredibly sick in the middle of my pregnancy, so I spent most nights wandering around trying to feel better. Then we entered the bed rest portion of the pregnancy and Kyle was booted out to the living room so that I could stay up until all hours. With the bed rest summer and the new sleeping arrangements, Eva’s sleep schedule got all thrown off.
By the time Calvin was born, Eva was awful about going to sleep. She’d wander around in her room in the dark or turn on her library light (unfortunately reachable via bunk bed) so we’d find her reading until all hours of the night. She’d get yelled at and threatened and pleaded with and promises of rewards and she’d nod or cry or smile and as soon as the door was shut she’d go back to playing/reading/not sleeping.
We actually weren’t faring much better in our room. Calvin threw off our sleep schedule, of course, but we would also toss and turn and get up to see if Eva was ok. At the worst of it, nobody was sleeping and the only person who really had an excuse to be up was Calvin. Something had to change.
I finally decided that we needed a restful space. Our room was crazy crowded with mess and baby stuff and some work stuff and also cookbooks(?) and some old magazines. What I really wanted was one of those oasis rooms that just makes you want to crawl into bed and close your eyes. So, I did it.
We moved all of the not-sleeping stuff out of the room or into a drawer/closet/bin under the bed. Then we moved Eva’s bed in so the room is basically just our beds. I got rid of our decor (leaving only a guitar Kyle uses sometimes when he sings to the kids) and changed out our colored bedding for plain white stuff we could bleach.
We have a dresser in the room, but we try hard not to let clutter accumulate. The only permanent stuff is an iPad base for the sleep sounds we can’t sleep without, a diffuser with some lavender oil, and a humidifier with star projections.
I did keep our large mirror to make the space feel a little bigger and we put the blue toy box in here so that Calvin’s corner does have a bit of that nursery feel. I do wish that I could have made him one of those Land of Nod boy nurseries that rule Pinterest, but I have to admit that I don’t wish he was in another room. I also don’t wish Eva was in another room. I love (love) having us all sleep in the same place.
Surprised? I admit that it’s kind of a nutty idea and we weren’t sure that it was going to work out. We have had some rough nights, but only due to the kids having coughs and waking us up. To be honest, whenever Eva was sick in the past we used to check on her about every 30 minutes because we’re crazy, so it’s nice to have her right there now. It’s also been impressive how well the kids have slept through each other’s sounds. If anything, I’m hoping this will make them better sleepers.
Would we have a family bedroom if we had more space? Well, maybe actually. I love the idea of a designated sleeping space and since we made it a no-reading, no-tech area it has led to better nights of sleep. (OK, I admit that Kyle and I have been sneaking our iPads in but we’re totally paying for it by not sleeping as well. We’ll learn eventually…) Eva is also sleeping more, partially because she has nothing to get up and play with if she gets up and also because she doesn’t wake up feeling like she’s missing something.
As for Calvin…I don’t know. He’s great, but I think he came that way. But for the sake of supporting my decorating, let’s just say that my bedroom plan has led to his insane amount of inner harmony.