Getting James and Tabby sleeping in the same room has been a dream of mine. There are selfish reasons, like how we have 3 bedrooms upstairs in our new house — one for us, one for the kids and one for the playroom. If we want the guest suite we have in the basement (another dream!), then we can’t have a playroom down there. If we don’t have a playroom downstairs and we don’t have one upstairs, our living room becomes a playroom (more like a nightmare!). And then there are other reasons — like the stuff I’ve learned from mama friends ahead of me — benefits in lessons of conflict resolution, bonding, learning to accommodate someone else in their space and set boundaries for themselves, accordingly.
Having the two kids, sleeping in the same room, was always something I worked towards. In how we talked to Tabby when James was in my belly, laying expectations for her to share a room with her brother, in how I set up and managed their schedules and in what furniture we bought (bunk beds) when moving to the new space.
Oh and tents — tents are a MUST! We started using the SlumberPod (tent on the left) when we traveled with baby Tabby and she loved it so much we upgraded to a big girl version when she got out of the pack and play. James got used to the tent during our house buying drama and he loves it so much, we never transitioned him back to the crib.
It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a pain in the arse at times, and yet, Spirit kept leading my mama gut, one “next right thing” baby step at a time, to get the kids in the same room. I thought we’d have them in the same room when James was WAY younger. As I sit here and go back down memory lane this past year, I think of all the small steps we took to make it happen. I’ve tried to type them out but they are so small, the changes unable to even be captured in words they were so incremental, hardly even noticeable, and yet, I see the milestones. The first time we moved James out of our room to be with her, the first time we let Tabby sleep with us because James was having a regression night, the first time I sat in the rocking chair with both kids to prep for bedtime, the first time Tabby tiptoed out of the bedroom and shut the door quietly, the first time James cried and didn’t wake Tabby up, the first time Tabby cried and didn’t wake James up.
Bedtime was definitely easier than nap time. Nap time took months to work through the kinks. The days Tabby slept in our room or the playroom to not disturb her brother. The times I barked at her to go back downstairs because James was struggling (not my finest parenting moments). And then, just days before James’ first birthday, it happened. THEY TOOK A NAP IN THE SAME ROOM AT THE SAME TIME.
I’d crossed the finish line of my first “parenting with two kids” mama marathon. Twelve months of doubts and tears and hope and optimism and feelings of failure. Days I questioned was it worth it and should we just move them into separate rooms, always holding the shred of the dream close, tight, willing to let go if it wasn’t working but committed to trying everything before giving up on the dream. I’d done the hard work. We’d done the hard work. We fought for something together and made it happen. We are warriors. I am a warrior.
In college, there was “the va”. A hand motion/tongue thing I did so many times, a bestie who thought I was awesome before I believed it, myself, named it after me. Here’s a collage of pics, borrowed from my “Bye 20’s” post showing off a few of the many times I’d stick my hand up and tongue out to signify “This is awesome!”
An awesome hair cut, a birthday celebration, beer pong win, Auburn victory, road trip, night out, anything where the moment deserved a “THIS IS AWESOME”. So a few weeks ago at nap time, even though I hadn’t done “the va” in a looooooooong time, when I closed the door on my kids sleeping in the same room, at the same time, it was the only thing that felt appropriate. I FREAKING DID IT.
I’m an amateur parent. This is a new gig for me, I’m only 3.5 years into being a mom and only 393 days into this whole “parenting two kids” thing. Any expert will tell you if you’re striving for a goal, you HAVE to celebrate the wins. Big wins, small wins, even finding microscopic wins in the sea of failure. Being a mom feels like failing, a lot. There’s no dashboard on my computer that gives me a score for how I’m doing as a mom. There’s no wearable tracker that helps me know I’m “red/yellow/green” in motherhood. There’s no boss giving me a bonus check for my performance.
Sure, I look at my kids and think THEY ARE AWESOME, we must be doing a great job, but that’s a slippery slop because let’s be real, measuring my worth as a mom in the behavior of my kids is a **warning***warning** danger zone opportunity for disaster. Thank you years and years of therapy to help me identify when I’m doing this!!!
Who knows how long James and Tabs will be sleeping in the same room? It might be never again (if tomorrow is another hot mess nap time like today, I might jump ship on the single bedroom dream pretty dang quick) or they might be together for years to come.
For now, I’m celebrating this win. I did it, THEY DID IT.
The way they love each other already, is something to marvel at. James is obsessed with his sister, follows her around everywhere, wants to do everything she does, and is totally confused when she’s not around. Tabby is obsessed with him in her own way, a little more low key about it, slightly envious of having to share her mama, but heaven help the person who hurts her “Bubba”. They are my two peas in a…bedroom…and I’m so proud to be their mom!
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