I've been feeling very cramped in our two-bedroom condo, lately. It seemed that there just wasn't ever enough space to give to the children that needed it (much less myself!) The boys were fighting a lot because they just seemed to bump into each other too much...and often literally! I was tired of breaking up fights, and tired of quiet time not really being quiet - with three boys in one bedroom, quiet time really had become one more hour of "Mom, he hit me!" "Mom, he's making noise so I can't hear the story!" "Mom, make him stop!"
For awhile we seriously considered buying a larger house. We had a realtor helping us, and we actually found a perfectly beautiful house that I loved. We almost offered on it, but ended up deciding that the financial risks involved (especially the need to rent our current condo) were more than we were comfortable with.
So since we're still here, in our feeling-tiny condo...we're getting creative and making do. Last week we moved half the bedroom furniture around. Now Josiah and Thomas are sharing the "kid" bedroom, with Thomas on the top bunk and Josiah on the bottom. The changing table with both boys' clothes is also in there now, along with most of the toy bins.
Jonathan is sharing our bedroom. We've shifted some of our furniture so that there is room in what used to be the "crib corner" for a toddler mattress for him. The bureau with his clothes has been moved in, as well as his little table/desk and chair. And I rearranged our linen closet so that he has his very own shelf to keep his special lego and other toys.
I think that it is going to work out beautifully. Josiah and Thomas don't bother each other as much as Jonathan and Thomas do, so sharing a room works better for them. They're also the kids that are more likely to need a nap during the day, and who go to bed earlier in the evening.
Giving Jonathan his very own space in our room makes him feel special and meets his strong need for personal space. He can go into our room and close the door without shutting the other boys out of their room/play space. While there are obvious downsides (lack of personal space for Gabe and I, primarily!) I think that overall this is going to be much better for the family.
And it won't be for forever. We're planning to do this for two years: pay down our mortgage as fast as possible (Dave Ramsey style) and then move out of state to somewhere prettier, roomier, and cheaper (probably Oregon). I like having a plan, especially one that Gabe and I are both in agreement on.
Until then, we're making do!