Just Jennifer: In Your Room

For most people, the heart of their home is the kitchen. It’s the place that most people gather, eat, share stories, and above all, bond.

In my home, it’s my bedroom.

Years ago, when we had a small apartment, our bedroom was the only real place to hang out. But now that we have lots o’ square footage, there are many more places for our kids to hang out. But somehow, the kids always migrate back to our bedroom.

I didn’t realize that this was happening until last week, when my hubby and I got super serious about putting our 3 ½-month-old on a sleep schedule. Since we’ve been trying to get Claire to bed earlier and earlier (and not, say, at 1:00 a.m. when she likes to go to sleep), her bedtime started to coincide with the kids’ bedtime. When we would finally get her down to sleep, we warned the kids not to come into our room—or else.

I don’t even have to tell you what happened. As much as we told them not to come in, there were 400 trips in and out of our room. Noisy trips.

They had to brush their teeth. (The kids have their own bathroom.)

They had to put their dirty laundry away…in my master closet. (They have hampers in their own rooms.)

They forgot their stuff in my room. (Stuff which should have been in their rooms in the first place.)

As they woke up Claire each time, I began to wonder why they even have their own bedrooms.

But in the beauty of 20/20 hindsight, I realize that it isn’t their fault. We raised them this way. We’ve always gathered in our bedroom. It is at once our every day hang out spot and our special place. My bed is where the kids and I have huge conversations, like:

“Mom, do you think that God was upset that Man killed his only Son?”

To the more mundane:

“Mommy, which Kardashian is your favorite?”

(Uh, hello, Khloe!)

When there’s a new episode of the kids’ favorite shows—or ours—we excitedly gather up our snacks and head not to the family room, where there’s lots of space and a big TV, but to our bedroom. Whether it’s winter and it’s snowing outside, or it’s summer and we have the central AC blasting, we snuggle together under the covers and watch our shows and talk. It is our special time, but the thing is that we do it all the time. We talk with the kids, and we are close, both physically and emotionally. We rub their heads, smooch their cheeks, talk, laugh, and eat—all in my room. That’s why the kids feel free to come and talk with us about anything (and I mean, anything).

We are doing the same thing with Claire. We often cosleep with our little lovebug, and she will grow up knowing that she, like her big brother and sister, are loved beyond words. And when she’s bigger and wants to watch TV or chat with us, and I ask her where she wants to be, I’m sure she’ll say, “In your room.”

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