So Elizabeth and I are thinking about how our house should be arranged once we have kids. One of the questions is how the bedrooms should be arranged. The master bedroom is currently being used mostly as an attic, but we'll be clearing it out and using it for someone. We're using one of the other bedrooms for ourselves right now, but the closet space is tight, so I'm using the master bedroom closet, and some of my overflow clothes are in a dresser in the master bedroom. I don't want to keep doing that once someone else is there, even if it's a kid.
Our question is basically whether to squeeze another dresser into our bedroom, or to move to the master bedroom. If we stay, the master bedroom is probably big enough for two kids, if we get them - it's the kind of space me and my brother grew up in. If we got three, we'd have to give up the gaming room for another bedroom, but that would be okay.
If we move to the master bedroom, we'd probably use the gaming room for the second child. That's more like the way Elizabeth and her sister grew up.
My mother says it was nice to have my brother and me in the same room, because it let us play together easily. I remember the fighting more than the playing, but that's probably just because the fights were more memorable. Either way, it helped us grow up close, and we still care a lot about each other, which we'd like for our kids, and which doesn't seem true for all siblings.
Elizabeth notes that having separate rooms didn't mean she and her sister stayed in their own rooms all the time - they'd get together in the other person's room to play and such. They also grew up close and care a lot about each other.
So my question is, what about you? Did you have your own room growing up, or did you share, and did you like your arrangement or would you have preferred something else? Is it different for boys than for girls? Is it different if you have a mix of boys and girls?
Well, to state the obvious, if you have a boy and a girl, you're probably going to want to separate them before puberty strikes. My brother and I shared a room until we were five and six, roughly, and then we moved and each got our own bedroom. I had the master bedroom growing up, because I had two twin beds that my grandmother had given me, and that was how they fit best in the house. This had the advantage of more space, and the disadvantage that more joint stuff tended to be stored in my room. I had the lion's share of the books (ok, this is not really a disadvantage), I shared the closet with my father for a long time, and my father walked through my room every morning to use the shower (usually while I was still at least partly asleep).
My brother's room was more "his," and we tended to use my room for playing in when we played together. I scarcely remember any fights, but we were pretty unusual siblings in that respect, I know.
One thing that I know my parents had to manage when we were sharing a room was different bedtimes. My brother, who is younger, required a lot less sleep than I do from an early age. Mom solved this by putting on a whole stack of LPs of children's stories at bedtime (before he could read - and after, by giving us each a bedroom lamp and permission to read as late as we wanted before going to bed). I usually made it through the first story, and he would make it through the whole stack.
It was me and a younger brother (2 years younger). We shared a room for a while, and then got our own rooms. I think it worked out pretty well; when we were still young enough to have frequent nightmares we could wake up and there would be your brother right there in the bunk bed, and then when we got older getting our own room was like a mini rite of passage, marking a stage of maturation. I don't really remember how old we were when we split into separate rooms, but it was not too long after we both wanted our own spaces.
It was slightly larger than a regular sized bedroom, but oddly shaped, so it probably had effectively the size of a regular bedroom in useful space. Don't underestimate the effect of children being small -- their clothing takes up less space, their beds are smaller, etc. What would be a smallish room for an adult can be pretty spacious for a kid.