Monday, July 16, 2007

I need more space!

Thanks for all your suggestions and advice on the previous couple of posts...I need all the help I can get.

Can I bend your ear for a tick? Here's our dilemma. We live in a smallish semi-detached house. We have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on the top floor. One is ours, one is the nursery, and one is a guest bedroom/office/second tv room. The main floor is open-concept with a living room, dining room, and kitchen. The basement is small but finished, and is currently our TV room, playroom and second bathroom. With the steadily approaching arrival of Baby Earth, we're going to have to make some adjustments to the living arrangements. Ideally, I would like the children to each have their own room, so the question is - where do we put the home office? Here is where my brain goes berserk:

  • We could put the computer in our bedroom. This offers a nice, quiet space for a parental unit to do some work. However, it effectively cuts my computer time by more than half. I usually do most of my blogging/surfing after everyone has gone to bed, and I can't do that in our bedroom without keeping Mr Earth awake
  • We could put the computer somewhere on the main level. We would have to buy a new table/armoire on which to put it, though, as space is limited. Also, the computer area is always a mess, and I don't care to expose random visitors to an eyeful of the maelstrom in which we usually live. It's pretty open, and a high traffic area, so it's difficult for Mr Earth to do Serious Work without interruption.
  • We could put it in the playroom/TV room. This is my least favourite choice. I would be much too tempted to blog/surf instead of hanging out with the kids. I am determined to be a parent who actually plays with her kids at least some of the time. This is especially important should I decide to work full time again - which is my intention. I am weak and the temptation is too great. Kids come first.
  • We could convert the nursery back into a computer room, and have the kids share the larger middle bedroom. Not a terrible idea, but it does seem selfish when we have three bedrooms. I do believe that children deserve their own space, if space allows. I have also heard that small children sharing a room is really good for bonding. Seems squishy, though. And how do you keep the toddler asleep, when the baby keeps waking up?

Suggestions?? I'm fresh out.

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By the way, if you want to hear more of my Adventures in New York, check out my latest post at MBT. I've even included some nudity this time...Woot! Woot!

21 comments:

Her Bad Mother said...

See, I think that it can be a really good thing for siblings to share rooms, regardless of whether it's necessary or not. My sister and I did, and it as never necessary.

If you have a playroom/TV room/etc, the bedrooms are really just for sleeping, no? What do they need the separate space for? Teenagers, sure, perhaps even once they hit their tweens. But when they're small, sharing time and space can really forge the relationship. My fondest childhood memories include pushing my bed next to my sister's...

metro mama said...

Do you have a laptop? Maybe it'd be worth getting one. You could have the main work area in the bedroom. If you had a laptop and wireless you could take it wherever you want late at night.

Or, could you squeeze a work area into the kitchen or dining room?

Kyla said...

I say main floor with a roll top desk. *lol* It will hide the clutter and not disrupt any of the other room arrangements.

Mimi said...

I don't suppose you have a laptop, huh? Your house sounds a lot like mine. I would think the main floor would be best--gotta think about how the boy will someday use the computer, and it's better to have it out in the open. Bedrooms and ocmputing totally don't mix (for me, at least), and you make a good point about the family room being about the family.

So. Clutter in the living room. Hm. Decorative clutter boxes for you and Mr. Earth to each corral your stuff? And he could tote the laptop and his box somewhere more quiet when he needs to?

bubandpie said...

I vote main floor.

While bedroom sharing may have its benefits, I'd be terrified to try it during the night-waking years. (Though I know that people do it, so it must be possible.) Is the Boy an excellent sleeper?

Now that I have a laptop, it pretty much lives on the main floor. I still maintain a desk downstairs where I can stow my clutter, but I like to do my blogging up here where there's daylight. :)

Christine said...

I say put the computer on the main level somewhere with a new piece of furniture (yeah shopping!). it will be incentive to keep it tidy.

Kyla's roll top desk idea is perfect!

sandra said...

Here's what I did....computer/office in corner of main family/play room ... and then I got a laptop so I float where I need to.

Beck said...

I actually don't think that it's a good idea for very young children to have their own rooms. My three share one VERY large room - and your two have a playroom, so there's really no need to make the office into another bedroom anytime soon, ANYHOW. The baby of the family has a crib in our room for the first year and a half and then moves into the kids' room at our place, which keeps them from disturbing the older siblings when they're in that "I'm a baby and I don't sleep" phase.

Mad Hatter said...

One more option: move out here so that you could afford a bigger place.

Seriously, I would keep the babe in my bedroom for a year and then weigh the options but I'm only saying that b/c despite my best efforts I could never keep my babe outta my bedroom so, uh, why fight it?

painted maypole said...

My parents have this cool computer cabinet that opens up, and you can pull out the keyboard and stuff. There is actually a fair amount of space and shelves to store stuff, but they can close it up and it looks like a nice armoire. I think it is made by Sanders? I am not sure. But you could get something like that and have it on your main level somewhere... close it up when you have company or whatever, but still be able to use it at night when everyone is sleeping.

NotSoSage said...

I have nothing to add, but I'm leaving a comment just to say hi.

crazymumma said...

I say let them share a room. Turn the nursery into your office. They adapt and it is really only our culture that has this idea of a space for each child....

kgirl said...

we're having the exact same conversation 'round our place. sounds like our homes are the same, except we don't even have the benefit of bathroom #2.

We have a wireless and laptop, so where to put the computer is less of an isuue than where to put the books - currently, our extra bedroom is a paper dump/library. So many, many books that will need a new home.

Ironic thing for us, is that Bee has a room that she has NEVER slept in. If anyone should think about sharing, it's us. Especially since it will probably remain empty!

Bon said...

i too vote for a laptop...though i realize that you may still need to move the desk somewhere. but laptops and wireless are the delight of my life...you can be everywhere! which, i suppose, has its drawbacks - it's harder to turn the computer off and focus on the other people at hand, perhaps.

i read the comments with interest, b/c we have similar homes except that we have no basement at all, just an old dirt cellar. the "dining room" is a shared space - half playroom, half Dave's giant messy desk and computer, the guest bedroom upstairs is also where our only tv lives, and where my small desk/table is...i use the laptop so don't work a lot in that space but am still attached to having one of my own. so we wonder, another baby? where will it go?

i'm very interested in the whole sharing thing...i think once the new baby was four or five months, we might try that. our house isn't exactly soundproof so i figure a screaming baby would wake up O anyway...

does that happen?

Bon said...

i too vote for a laptop...though i realize that you may still need to move the desk somewhere. but laptops and wireless are the delight of my life...you can be everywhere! which, i suppose, has its drawbacks - it's harder to turn the computer off and focus on the other people at hand, perhaps.

i read the comments with interest, b/c we have similar homes except that we have no basement at all, just an old dirt cellar. the "dining room" is a shared space - half playroom, half Dave's giant messy desk and computer, the guest bedroom upstairs is also where our only tv lives, and where my small desk/table is...i use the laptop so don't work a lot in that space but am still attached to having one of my own. so we wonder, another baby? where will it go?

i'm very interested in the whole sharing thing...i think once the new baby was four or five months, we might try that. our house isn't exactly soundproof so i figure a screaming baby would wake up O anyway...

does that happen?

Bon said...

sorry for the double!

PeanutButtersMum said...

at the risk of being redundant, i'm going to be redundant; take up a collection for a laptop! ;)

good luck, whatever you decide!!

cinnamon gurl said...

We're thinking about the same kinds of things, except without a second baby coming soon. Just trying to work out our own space. Right now we have our computer, a desktop, in our dining room. I've scoped out a corner computer armoire that closes at Ikea that I think would be nice, but now I'm fixated on the laptop wireless idea and putting the big computer up in the spare room.

kittenpie said...

Me, I would put it in the basement and do two things to reduce the temptation. One, put it some kind of armoire-ish thing or rolltop desk as Kyla suggested, which would also serve as childproofing. Two, turn it off after use so the time of rebooting is offputting.

Why the basement? Because I think computers need to be in family areas for two reasons. One, because then peoploe can be doing different activities in the same are but still be together, which I like. And two, because they need to be where people can see what is going on onscreen. For when children start playing on them. SO important.

Karen said...

I'd keep the baby in your room for a bit then see how it shakes out, unless you can get a laptop and wireless set up. The benefit is you keep your guest room set up during a time you are likely to have visitors, and even if not you can take turns going to sleep in the quiet space if baby has some rough nights. We only just moved our family of 5 from what was technically a three bedroom place, but was more like 2 and a half and they are were connected; there was lots of rearranging during our three years there - and we had a computer in our bedroom and one in the dining room...just cause!

Susanne said...

What Beck said, and Mad. I don't know what you did with your first but I found that having the baby in my own bedroom was really helpful for the first, um, year or so.