Your room: free for all, or off limits? **EDIT ADDED**

Alicia - posted on 05/31/2010 ( 210 moms have responded )

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I work 5 hours a day at a high-stress job, then come home to a high-stress household. I have 6 kids. I invest alot of time cleaning, diapering, bathing, feeding, rocking, breastfeeding, encouraging, driving the carpool, going to soccer-football-track-baseball practice, and giving goodnight kisses.

I love my jobs, both of them. I love taking care of my kids.

We live in a 7 bedroom house. All of my kids have their own bedrooms. They have an oversized den, a pool, a huge yard, and a gameroom, not to mention the living room, and the kitchen they have full access to.

My room is often reffered to by me as my "oasis".

A place I can go, lock the door, and close all the noise, disruptions and problems out.

(Let the record show my kids are not the dispruptions) haha

So, I tell my kids they have the entire house, but the only thing that is off limits to them is my bedroom. They are only allowed to go in there if they have permission, or if I am in there with the door open.



How exclusive do you try to make your bedroom?



PLEASE note, that I do NOT spend all my time locked away in my bedroom at home. I dont lock my door while I am sleeping, and I dont lock it all the time during the day. My kids just grew up not going in my room, because I've raised them that way. My kids are not toddlers anymore. Well, one of them is, but I feel like I can rely a bit on my older kids (17 & 14) to help with the younger ones, (9, 5, 2) I take care of my kids.



I do not neglect my children. I spend alot of time with them. We have movie night once a week, and I go to each and every one of their sports games. I do not leave them alone all the time.



I do not consider my kids a "Job." No, i love my kids. They are my world, and I lost two kids 2 years ago, and trust me, it was not like losing a job. It was like losing part of my world.



I don't lock out morning kisses and giggles. I am overjoyed when all 6 of my kids pile in for morning kisses. They all come in in the morning, and kiss me goodbye before they get picked up by the carpool. I then get up, get my 2 year old and my baby up, and get them ready to go to the sitters. I do not lock out nightmare scared children, although my kids rarely ever have nightmares, I have been awakened by a few of them at night scared, and I do hug and hold them, but they don't sleep with us. They eventually return to their beds.



Since I've raised my kids to not go in my room, my two year old son often requests to sleep in his bed, and doesnt like to co-sleep.



I've heard "You pay the mortgage, you get the room" as well as "You're selfish" all the way to "We go in their room without asking, why should they have to ask to go in ours?"

The answer to the first one is, Yes, I do pay the mortgage, I think I do deserve to have my room to myself, which leads me to the next question, I don't go in their room without asking. My 17 year old has his own room. The only time I go in there is to wake him up in the morning. He does his laundry, he cleans his room, he makes his bed. He's not 5 anymore. my 14 year old son shares a room with my 5 year old son. He actually volunteered to do that, and my 14 year old helps my 5 y/o with cleaning and bed-making and such. My 9 y/o has her own room, and cleans her own room, and takes care of her things. My 2 y/o and my newborn currently share, and yes, I do go in their room. I clean their room, and I dont feel as though I need to ask my two year old permission to go in his room. He loves it when I'm in his room anyways. But I'm not going to ask him permission, no. He doesnt even know how to spell his own name yet... And no, I'm not selfish. My kids get alot of time with me, and I do alot for them. Having my husband and I our own room is the equivelent to us going on date night once a week. We dont typically get a date night, so we have our own room. Theres nothing in my room for my kids, so they dont need to be in there.



Alot of lovely ladies were trying to tear and thrash away at my parenting style, saying we were not a close family if we have our room to ourselves. Thats my parenting style, and we are a VERY close family. Also, to the mom who said I didn't like kids, I love kids, and if I didn't, I wouldn't have six of them :)



Feel free to leave more comments, most of them are extremely helpful, this was just to those lovely mommas who were being a little...well... not nice. :)



Thanks!!

This conversation has been closed to further comments

210 Comments

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Galit - posted on 06/08/2010

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first of all... 6 kids, large house, 2 jobs... way to go!
I am in a similar situation right now.. I have 5 kids, a large house to keep and sometimes i need to hide in my room. Unforunately my kids do not respect the closed door policy. to the extent that my daughter will constantly open the door, stick her head in. I have told her many times she is not allowed to do this. I have a toddler an 5 month old and am a light sleeper, so if by chance I am able to grab a nap when my kids walk in they wake me. If I lock the door they try to open it, and it wakes me... I'm also trying to figure out if its appropriate to keep my room off limits. how do your kids respond to you trying to keep your room off limits?

Mary - posted on 06/08/2010

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Until recently, my 3 kids would, for some reason, hang out in our room to watch t.v. or drag their toys in there or mess up the bed I would neatly make and beautifully arrange pillows on. Finally, I had to put an "off limits" rule on my (& DH) bedroom. They have a den, family room, and their rooms to play in and mess up. I just couldn't deal with having to clean up their mess in my own room! I felt I could at least keep one room in the house clean for more than a couple days!

Dawn - posted on 06/08/2010

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When my kids were growing up we had a living room where we spent out family time together. Each of my children had their own room where they played with their toys or there was this place called outside where they played a lot with their friends. Our room never came into play. I don't understand all the hubbub, There was never a need to close the door (except during sex), We raised our children with a sense of respect for other people and themselves and as young children could come into our room if they needed to and there was never a problem with this. They always slept in their own beds. They played in their own rooms or each others rooms. I just never saw this as an issue, so it never became one.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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Thanks for the suggestions, I will have to use this as my two year old, and soon to be born son get older. Mommy needs her "space" to, helps keep us sane!

Amanda - posted on 06/08/2010

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well my son is only three and i only have one (for now) but if he has a nightmare or is up sick all night I let him sleep with me and my husband sometimes, he comes in my room in the morning while my husband is at work and we get a bit of extra shut eye but he never goes in my room without asking if I am not there, we have a tv in our room and he likes to watch movies in there but he knows to ask first, if there are other kids up playing he makes a point to tell his friends to not go in my room and when I ask him to go out he does...the older he gets the more off limits my room will be just like my parents had it. by the time i was in school my parents room was off limits unless they gave us permission to come in with them...but what your doing seems to be fine, sounds like your really need your room off limits...lol and its nice to not find toys everywhere as it is we still find dinkies in our bed but its fine...:)

PAULINE - posted on 06/08/2010

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Hi Alicia, you are doing the right thing. You must have someplace where you can be alone. It is crucial to your well being, peace and serenity. Your children understand and if not now they will later. I can't keep my kids off my bed or out of my room. They only go to their rooms for sleep. They have a family room, back yard, swimming pool and trampoline and they would still come in my room to chill and watch TV. I was never around my mom growing up. We live in a different world now. Oh yah, the Shit Tzu and chiwauwa like it in there too!

Marjorie - posted on 06/08/2010

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Our room has become quite a hangout for the whole family - however, I only have 2 kids, we have a much smaller house and my job is stressful but I would be willing to bet not quite as stressful as yours. If I had 6 kids I would probably need my own separate apartment - cudos to you for all that you do and for knowing that you need your own space in which to decompress.

[deleted account]

My room is my sanctuary too. Wish I had as many rooms as you though! I share my house with 6 kids and hubby and only 4 bedrooms.
As much as my room is off limits...they mess up the rest of the house..I do have to share my bed with the 2 littlest most nights...usually around 3 in the am *groan*

Jess - posted on 06/08/2010

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Anna, of course we have sex but not in the middle of the day when our child is awake. Mummy and daddy have time together when our son is asleep.
My husband works until 2 in the morning most days so our son is most definately asleep when he gets home.
Everyone has their own system in their home but our son will always be welcome to come into mummy and daddy's room, we don't have anything to hide from him.

Paula - posted on 06/08/2010

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Our bedroom is also off limits. It is the only place that I can go to have some peach and quiet. That is just not the kids, but hubby and animals too!!! :)

Karen - posted on 06/08/2010

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I have 4 kids and as i would love to have a 6 bedrooms we only have 3. When the kids were little the 3 boys shared a room and my daughter had her own. They could come in anytime they wanted after all it is their home too. My husband and i loved them kissing us awake and having a cuddle, then at night all snuggled up reading a story before bed time.
As our oldest son started taking his exams at school he needed quite space so we gave up our bedroom and now sleep down in our living room. The kids are only with us for such a short space of time that their happieness is the most important thing.

Sue - posted on 06/08/2010

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I am the same, my bedroom which I recently decorated to reflect it being my sanctuary is for me only. The children are only allowed in if door is open and I am in there.

Coral - posted on 06/08/2010

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Im in the same postion but with only 2 children. My room is off limits unless they are invited. Its the only space that I can go for peace and quiet!

[deleted account]

Surely it all depends how much space you have in the first place and then how much privacy you need. I live alone with my two children and for a while they had each their room and my bed was in the living room. We only have one TV. A year ago we moved and we naow have a room each. Now they are 8 and 13 and often up later watching TV so I don't get much time on my own unless I go to my own room. I have never barred my children from my room as I am their mother and they need to be able to reach me. I have a man in my life again but he lives in another town and only visits at weekends. The children just naturally stay out of the bedroom, it was never a rule - and I have always taught them to knock on the door before entering a room!

Carola - posted on 06/07/2010

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I wish I could have been more generous with my kids when it came to "the family bed". The world is an intense place for young ones, and the parents' bed gives a big recharge of security and comfort, for reading a book, talking, dozing off. But when my kids were little, was exhausted by the end of the day, and needed my space!

Penny - posted on 06/07/2010

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My room is not a play area, it is mine. So, no, you are not alone. It is good to have a little space you can call your own.

Carola - posted on 06/07/2010

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That's not a bad thing. If his and your living situation has been unsettled, and if he's young, having you close by at night can be an important source of comfort and security to him.

Anna - posted on 06/07/2010

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I find it weird how some people are like,"I've got nothing to hide in my room" and "It is every bodies house, come on in!" And lots talk about needing space to unwind or de-stress. Don't these people have sex? My kids are NEVER allowed in my room, except for the baby because i like to lay on my bed while I nurse him. We didn't have a door in our last house we rented but it was the only room up stairs. They weren't allowed up the stairs! I have no desire to explain to my 6 year old that daddy wasn't hurting mommy or whatever! I think this is the MOST important reason to lock the door or have a kid free area.

RAHA - posted on 06/07/2010

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how I wish, can be like you......... house with 7 bedrooms... how nice it is... with a pool, a hugeyard... I have pool but sharing with others.....

Susan - posted on 06/07/2010

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lol. great idea to have your own oasis alicia. My room is only off limits when I am not in there. I only have a 2 yo son who cant
reach the handles yet, so I am lucky. My mum never had any rooms off limit to us as children, but her cupboards were and still are off limits.lol

Jamie - posted on 06/07/2010

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As a recently divorced co-sleeping mommy with a nearly 5 year old and an 1.5 year old, I am just now starting to pine for my own space. I just set up a bunk bed in the second bedroom (2 bdrm house) and am trying to get the kids to sleep in there.



Since it's just me I'm tempted to have an open door policy with my bedroom. But I grew up that the parents' bedroom was off limits unless I'd gotten permission to sew (the sewing machine was in there) or by permission for other reasons, such as conversation. I think I learned respect for personal space in this way and frankly I think that is something my almost 5 year old could use a dose of by now. But of course with a 1.5 year old I really can't establish that rule yet. I have to wait at least (what...1.5 years?) until I can trust the youngest to not do anything harebrained while unattended for a moment or two.



But I can certainly start establishing basic ideals such as "this is your room and this is mine".



Thanks for the chance to reflect on this and to read about the myriad ways that others perceive this issue!

Angela - posted on 06/07/2010

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Despite attempts to make my room 'off limits', it rarely works. My daughter (22) just comes right in without a knock or a kmb or anything, plops on the bed and starts talking. Doesn't matter if I'm in the bathroom or naked, doesn't phase her. Of course, if I come into her room unannounced, especially if she didn't have clothes on, she would scream. I have, however, carved out my bathroom (part of the master) as a no interrupt zone. I shut the door and enjoy my time. If I really want to keep someone out, I lock the door, but that doesn't always work either. Grandchildren love to come in as well.

I think a mom needs some place exclusive though, even if it's under an apron or something where you can have a few moments of peace and time to give to yourself. If you give yourself away all the time and never take time to replenish, soon you will have nothing to give.

So, a mom should set boundaries. Some mom's love having the kids in the bedroom and others don't, but mom gets to decide if her room is off limits or not.

Amanda - posted on 06/07/2010

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My room is off limits unless they have permission to be in there. It's been that way since i was little with my parents rooms. Nothing has changed in our family.

Becky - posted on 06/07/2010

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My bedroom is a free for all right now. My kids are 3 and 1 and they both sleep in our room. The oldest is in a twin bed beside our bed, and the youngest is in our bed. I imagine there will be a day when they will go to their own room(s) and I will enjoy some peace and space in there, but I don't think I will ever make it "off limits." :)

Susan - posted on 06/07/2010

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Im a grandmomma and my room is off limits as was my parents room . We try to keep the kitchen off limits too. Still working on that with the kids. I have 7 grandkids living with me. Its a lot o fun

Sarah - posted on 06/07/2010

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I love the kids hanging out in here, but when the door shuts they know they have to knock. My husband, not their father, and I like to talk and cuddle and just have a little peace. However... once a fight breaks out door or no door, they're coming in!!!

Melody - posted on 06/07/2010

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I truly believe that it is essential to any parent's sanity to have a "kid free" zone in their home. Everyone needs a place to go when they're feeling overwhelmed or stressed or just plain fed up. Whether that place is your bedroom or the basement or another room in the house is up to the individual, but everyone needs a break sometimes.

Wendy - posted on 06/07/2010

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My room is open to my kids as long as my door is open. A closed door means mom needs a few minutes alone. I love the fact that they can come to me and just hang out in there but that they also know when I don't want to be disturbed for a while. I have three kids and finding time to just collect my thoughts is hard to do. So I taught them early on that if the door was closed they would have to wait for me to open it to get my attention unless there was some sort of emergency. I made a rule not to talk to kids through the door either. It works beautifully and I believe having that time alone makes me a better mom.

Meg - posted on 06/07/2010

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Latara - Keep putting him back in there, without saying a word. He comes into your room at night, get up, don't say a word to him, and put him back to bed. Once he is back in bed, explain to him that this is his bed, and he needs to sleep in it like a big Boy.
Continue to do this, and he will soon realise that you mean business and stop doing it.
Well thats what we had to do with my 2 step sons.
Also when they just busted through the door (when it wasn't an emergency etc), i would put them back outside the door, explain to them, that if they wanted to come in they must knock, and close it in front of them. And until they learn some manners they are not to come in!
It really didn't take long at all....

Latara - posted on 06/07/2010

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its only my son and I, and he is so clingy. My room door does not have alock and he busts in the door all the time. How do I get him to stay in his own room? By the way he is ten years old. He is always on my heels.

Jess - posted on 06/07/2010

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My daughter is welcome any time she likes ! I would much rather a close family with no restriction's than my own "sanctuary". My daughter is my sanctuary ! She lights up the room and why would any mother want to be locked away from their baby ?

Amy - posted on 06/07/2010

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I'm working on teaching my 6 yo that closed doors mean you knock and wait for a response before entering a room.

Della - posted on 06/07/2010

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My children are almost grown now, but when they were smaller, if the bedroom door was open they would stop there and ask could they come in. I have no idea why or how we got that started. If the door was closed they would knock. If they wanted to talk we would always go to my bedroom and close the door. But then I had all boys so I don;t know if that had something to do with it or not.

Cinda - posted on 06/07/2010

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i also have the kitchen as off limits unless i've told them it's time to eat. all toys get kept in their room. we have a small 2 bedroom apt and i don't need to be picking up everything. i'm not the maid and having things nice and neat keeps me sane. i as well have a very stressful job so i can empathize with that. but we only have the kids part time and we're a blended family. but it's totally fine to have ur own space. it's really whatever makes u feel the most comfortable and happy. maybe it's a happy medium between complete free for all and totally off limits. i would do a list of pro's and con's and figure it out from there.

Marnie - posted on 06/07/2010

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i put a lock on the door too...the first thing we did when my hubby and i got together as we have 3 kids 1 mine and 2 of his. we dont invite them in. I have my own pics of things i love on my side of the bed, hubby has yet to do the same:) but ya its our room and we love it!

Cinda - posted on 06/07/2010

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all the kids now that our bedroom is off limits unless you have knocked first and gotten the ok to come in or unless it's morning and you have woken up before us or there's a nightmare. other than that there's no reason as to why they need to be in there.they have their space we need ours. simple as that no questions asked.

Michelle - posted on 06/07/2010

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Our kids are welcome in our room any time-the rewards of a close family far out weigh the lack of alone time-yet they are little and we have been discussing the need for mummy and daddy time without them

Lisa - posted on 06/07/2010

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My bedroom is my sanctuary as well. It is an adult room for adult things and adult time (usually to relax and read). It is important to have a space that is exclusively yours. I love my daughter too but there are times when you just need breathing room for yourself...sort of an adult time out if you will. There is nothing wrong with it and in fact I think its a very healthy and smart thing to do. How can you take care of them if you cant take care of you? Kudos to you hon...

Whitney - posted on 06/07/2010

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I have 2 little girls, 5 & 1. During the day, my room is just that, MY ROOM! A place I can go to get away from the noise, and, "I wants!" However, once night time rolls around, everyone thinks it is their room! My 5 year old, wakes up in the night, and gets in bed with us. My 1 year old, who is still breastfed, also wakes up in the night and gets in our bed to nurse. Sometimes I may put her back in her bed after nursing,& sometimes I just don't care and would rather just snuggle! We are REALLY hoping they will both end up liking to sleep in their own beds, however, we are not holding our breath! :) Even though we have a king size bed... my husband and I find ourselves falling off the bed. But I will enjoy it now, because in a few short years, we will not be cool enough to be around, much less snuggle with!

Kori - posted on 06/07/2010

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I couldn't agree more! Thay have the rest of the house....my bedroom is MINE!!!!

[deleted account]

that's a personal choice. i think it's perfectly fine for your bedroom to be off limits!! I only have one child, and it was never an issue to have some quiet "me" time.

Melanie - posted on 06/07/2010

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My room is only off limits when the door is closed and then my daughter will knock on the door if she wants to come in. Usually my door is open and my kids come in and out when i'm there. For me i get privacy when the kids are in bed (as that's mine & hubby's time). Other than that i prefer the openess. Don't get me wrong i stay at home due to a disability and we have a disabled son so we never really have quiet moments. But i guarantee if like you ladies i worked all day then my door would be locked and never opened lol x

Jolene - posted on 06/07/2010

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I agree. I think there is a time and place for privacy when children are old enough to need it themselves and understand your request for it. I should mention I am the mother of a two year old, so it's a different story right now.

[deleted account]

My room is off limits to my kids. I remember when they were little and I was breast feeding and co-sleeping but those days are gone and I have a right to privacy. I should be able to talk on the phone or spend time with my husband without any interruption. Some of my friends think it is crazy that my kids aren't allowed, but I don't go in the kids rooms and I respect their privacy and so they should return the favor.

Jolene - posted on 06/07/2010

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We have a family bed. I believe in 24 hour parenting. It must be confusing to children if they can have their parents' attention during the day, but then during nighttime (when it is dark and there are scary dreams), mom and dad are off-limits? Early childhood is such a short time. Right now I'm more concerned about my children having proper attachment, secure emotional development, and a good sleep than alone time. I get my alone time in other ways.

User - posted on 06/07/2010

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My room, completely off limits...no kids toys, kids towels, kids bubble bath, kids movies. That's where we make them not play with them. LOL!

Aleta - posted on 06/07/2010

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I am a stay-at-home mom of 6 kids, so I can sympathize with you. I may not work out of the home, but I homeschool my kids,so we are together pretty much 24/7. I feel that I should have one little spot in my home that is my "oasis" (I will start using that from now on, thanks). My kids share rooms, plus we have a friend and her 4-yr old living with us, as well. I only allow the kids in my room when they ask permission; otherwise, yes, it is my place of solace and to get away from them. They have the run of the rest of the house and there is no need for them to be in my room!

Maureen - posted on 06/07/2010

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Our room tends to be the catch all for the rest of the household crap so I can't even say I have access to it other than the bed half the time. I have 3 kids and one on the way. The only reason I don't let them in is because its already a mess...haha They have free roam of the rest of the house though and the rest is always well maintained.

Sue - posted on 06/07/2010

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Sounds like your kids have their very own room. Why shouldn't mom and dad have their own room? My children slept in our room until they were 3 months old then into their room they went. I wasn't up every time they made a noise and they learned to put themselves back to sleep when they woke up.

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