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Wifey Wednesday: Keeping Your Bedroom For YOU!

Last week I posted on the phenomenon of "night nannies", where wealthy parents hired nannies to get up with their babies in the middle of the night so they could sleep.

We got talking about this at the dinner table, and I mentioned that Katie was one baby who would have slept better if we had had her in bed with us. I think she just needed the human contact. The problem is that I can't sleep like that, so it just wasn't possible. I've always been a light sleeper, and if she were there, I wouldn't have slept at all.

Keith did his whole pediatrician thing and informed me that babies who sleep with their parents are fifty times more likely to die than those who don't. I'm not sure if that's entirely true, but the death rate is certainly dramatically increased.

Now, I don't want to start a debate on whether babies should sleep with their parents. I really don't. But it got me thinking about what a parent's bedroom is for.

It seems to me that the bedroom should be a sanctuary for you and your husband. That's how we've always seen it. That doesn't mean the kids can't all jump in in the mornings, or you can't curl up and read in the big bed sometimes. But on the whole, it should be your room.

What does that mean?

It means no laundry to be folded all over the bed and the floor. It means kids go to sleep in their own rooms. It means toys are kept out. It means that you actually make an effort to clean the bedroom, instead of leaving it because after all, guests don't see it anyway.

Does that sound mean? I hope not. But if you want to feel relaxed in your bedroom (which is what we women need to feel romantic), laundry isn't going to cut it. And kids' Polly Pockets underfoot aren't going to cut it, either.

I would also think about ditching the television. Do you really need to watch TV together at night? It just intrudes on couple time. Why not let the bedroom be where you snuggle, pray, talk, and cuddle? Why not let the bedroom be just for your relationship, and keep other stuff out?

I think if we show that we prioritize the time with our husbands by keeping the bedroom free, we'll reap rewards.

Of course, that also means that you need a lock on your door. Once, when Katie was 6, Keith and I were having a good time when we heard the pitter patter of little feet. Freeze. She rattled the doorknob. "It's locked!" Keith yelled. "Oh, that's okay," she replied. Pitter patter pitter patter. We resumed. And all of a sudden the door flew open. Grab the sheets.

It seems that 6 is old enough to know how to pick a lock, but not old enough to know that you don't want to pick it.

So do what you can to keep kids out. Keep the springs on your bed oiled so the bed doesn't squeak. Tighten the screws periodically, if you have them, on the headboard so that it's secure and doesn't rattle. Invest in comfortable sheets and a nice duvet. Get some candles. It doesn't have to be expensive, but doing little things to help you feel comfortable and stressfree in your bedroom will help you to relax in it, and then maybe more will happen!

Here's what I said in Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight:

In a study done by Paul Pearsall, one woman stressed the importance of privacy this way: "If you're not careful, [kids] will take custody of your marriage." She explained tha ttheir marriage had gone through plenty of Vaseline--rubbed on the doorknob so little hands couldn't turn it...

Privacy also means minimizing the chance your children will need you. Giving children set bedtimes is one of the best things you can do for your sex life, to ensure that you have time alone together at night. When kdis are older, consider setting a time they have to be in their rooms, even if they're not sleeping.

So what do you think? Is your bedroom a haven?

I'd love to know! I can't set up a Mr. Linky this week because I'm automatically scheduling this post since we're on vacation. So leave your links in the comments, and leave us your thoughts!

My book, Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight: Help for women who want to feel more in the mood, has lots of advice for women on how to make this aspect of their marriage fun! You can also purchase a download of a talk that Keith and I gave on how to increase romance in your marriage. If your marriage needs some heating up, don't wait. Do something about it!

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At 7:02 AM , Blogger Terry, Ornament of His Grace said…

Frankly, no. Our bedroom is NOT a haven. When we awoke this morning, we were separated by not one, but TWO little ones. I've got a lot of work to do!


At 7:15 AM , Anonymous Heather said…

I had two little ones who def. would have slept better in our room, but my husband put his foot down and said no. So we struggled for a few years with infants and toddlers who didn't sleep well. But now they know that our bedroom is off limits. We actually have a gate and a doorknobe cover on so that they can't get in. I am guilty of the Laundry however. That is the only place where I can fold it without my one year old grabbing at it every 5 seconds, unless I wait until nap time.



At 10:14 PM , Blogger Barb, sfo said…

I would like our room to be more of a haven and I will be working on that!! :) I will admit we have a TV in there, simply because we have 2 (very old) TVs and that's where the cable line comes in. But my husband and I never watch TV together. I use it in the morning when I am getting dressed to catch a little news, and on my ironing day. Otherwise it just sits there. When the other TV dies, this will take its place and we'll have no TV in there.
I have to find a space to keep our old financial records and my husband's Cub-Scoutmaster stuff. NOT romantic stuff at all!


At 11:21 PM , Anonymous Alyssa said…

I'm on both sides of the issue. :) I LOVE having my newborn babies next to me in bed. It makes night time parenting and nursing so much easier. All of my babies have slept next to me for the first couple of months or so. But after that point, when they're sleeping all night, I do like my space and I do sleep better with just Dh.

And presently, our 3 y/o will occasionally join us, but it's usually in the middle of the night that he comes into our room- he starts off in his own bed.

And my big kids? There is just no room! LOL! If they need comforting in the middle of the night (rare), they'll get it, but then they get sent back to their own beds.

As far as it being dangerous though, the newer evidence shows the opposite. Of course the newer studies were done on people who co-sleep *safely*: non-smoking parents, no drugs, safe bedding, etc. Google Dr. James McKenna & read the studies he has done. He's considered an expert in the co-sleeping field. LOL! He's found that infants that sleep next to their mothers have lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Also, infants sleep lighter and mom helps baby regulate his/her breathing, thus reducing SIDS risk.

I think it just comes down to individual preferences though- neither way is right or wrong. I just personally like having baby next to me.

Love, Alyssa


At 8:27 AM , Blogger Tracey said…

1. Night nannies are the most lazy things I have ever heard of.

2. From day one ours will sleep in their own rooms, barring a thunder storm.

3. we do have a tv, but we rarely watch it.

4. I do the laundry folding in there but it's always put away by bed time.


At 4:42 PM , Blogger Julie said…

Amen, sister. Our kids did NOT sleep in our room, except for rare occasions. It really speaks to a deeper belief that the marriage relationship is prioritized above the relationship with the kids.

Yes, they come in and snuggle in the morning sometimes, or if they have a scary dream :0) And there have been times we ALL lay on the "big bed" and watch thunderstorms roll through, but I like the way you labeled it - the bedroom is a sanctuary for Mom and Dad.

No TV, no toys, no laundry, nothing stressful.

In our first house we actually put the three boys in the "Master" bedroom and we wedged ourselves into the small bedroom (literally, 9'8" x 9'4"!) because not only was there no temptation to "multi-purpose" that room, it just flat out wasn't possible! (And it only costs a buck or two for a little hook and eye, if the room doesn't already have a lock!)

Here's my other suggestion... when you make the bedroom your haven and sanctuary, don't over-frill it. C'mon, 50% of the population there is male :0)


At 6:45 PM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

I respectfully disagree with those that say that co-sleeping is dangerous to the child and your marriage. Our eleven month old daughter sleeps with us because I am still nursing her. She sleeps at night, I sleep at night which makes for a happy mommy! I have never worried about rolling over on her, or suffocating her. Our two older boys slept with us when they were little too.

We take our *ahem* recreational activities into our spare room. However, we do need to get a lock for!

But I do agree with keeping it picked up, nicely decorated and as a space for peace and sanctuary. We ditched our TV almost two months back and we LOVE it!

You can still have a haven for a bedroom, you just might have to be a little more creative on the location for the activities!

I so had to laugh when you described your six year old picking the lock and bursting in! LOL...thankfully, we haven't had any moments like that, yet.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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