Sharing Spaces

I’ve written before that the kids and I recently moved. We downsized from a three bedroom, two bath house to a tiny two bedroom, one bath home.

I knew there’d be an adjustment period for the kids while they got accustomed to sharing a room. I didn’t realize I’d have to have an adjustment period as well.


When Elizabeth goes down for her nap, I typically send Joseph to his room for “quiet time”. I’ll be honest. I don’t care if he reads, colors, plays with Legos, or creates a jungle gym out of tinker toys. All I want is a tiny little bit of quiet.


This was easy when the kids had their own rooms. One kid per room, Mommy drinking a cup of tea. Now, however, it’s a different story all together. For me to have a little quiet time, I need to put Elizabeth in my room for her nap and Joseph in their shared room to play. Except Elizabeth doesn’t like sleeping in my room. She likes her “pretty, pretty purple sheets”. So, I spend the first half hour talking her into laying on Mommy’s “pretty, pretty white sheets”. Meanwhile, Joseph is in their shared room playing. It’s a room that is literally five feet from my bedroom and shares a wall with the living room. In other words, Elizabeth can hear every single word he says as the Jedis overtake the dinosaurs.


So I spend the next half hour telling her that no, Joseph’s not playing. He’s having quiet time too.


Yes. I lie. Don’t judge.


Eventually, I get her to sleep and walk into the living room for a little down time. Which is usually about the same time Joseph starts to peek out his door into the living room to see what’s happening. I’m still trying to figure out how to find quiet time.


The other adjustment has been bathrooms. With two bathrooms, I never had to worry about what would happen if Joseph was occupying one and potty training Elizabeth needed to use the other. Two bathrooms per two kids. It was a perfect ratio.


Since moving, we’ve had some interesting times when they both needed to use the bathroom “right now”. And yes, I’ll admit it. I once held Elizabeth over the tub so she could go. I think I solved the problem, for the most part, by buying a potty chair for her to use.


Except now Joseph wants to use it too.


Which is a whole other post.


Needless to say, moving into a smaller house has been an adjustment. Sharing spaces, sharing rooms, it’s all been an adventure. Still, I’m not too proud to ask for help. What are your tips for young children sharing bedrooms? How do you keep some of their space private while still allowing them room to play?