My husband and I were married for seven years before we had kids so I was an EXPERT at making our bedroom a haven. Since then, I have had two daughters and not only have we nursed & co-slept with both of them, but they stayed in our room until after they weaned. One was about 3 before we all moved downstairs so she could have her own room. The other is 2 and counting and has had her own bed since about 9 months.
Here are some ways to make your bedroom a haven no matter what your life situation is.
1. Make the bed(s).
The bed is the largest focal point in your room. Make it & even if the rest of the room is trashed, it will seem cleaner. If you or hubby works an odd shift. Make the bed & have it “turned down” like a fancy hotel so you don’t feel like it’s getting messed up.
2. Keep it neat & tidy.
Even if the rest of your house is messy, keep the bedroom neat. Take out everything that is not related to sleep (computers, tv’s, work, crafting, exercise equipment, etc.) if at all possible. If it’s not, find a way to hide it when not in use, like a room divider or putting it in a closet. The less things are in it, the easier it will be to keep tidy.
3. Decorate it.
You want your husband to be just as comfortable in this room as you do, so try to keep his tastes in mind when decorating. Mine has always said he didn’t care what colors we used, but he still comments on how restful the blue on our walls is. My husband loves sailboats & the Pacific Islands and so I’ve incorporated related items in our decorating. Ten years later, the room represents both of us pretty well!
4. Keep it electronic free.
Get rid of the gear. Unless you are using it for mutual entertainment, like snuggling up to watch a movie, it doesn’t belong. Keep it off and well hidden. It’s hard to feel rested while being bombarded with commercials.
5. Keep it stocked.
Whatever you need to make it restful, make sure you have it. We have an armchair & side table in ours for curling up with a book. I’ve often contemplated a mini-fridge for beer & water. For romance (or even just a hard day!) keep some lotion or message oil handy.
6. Make it comfortable.
In our room, we have plenty of blankets in all weights (sometimes all on the bed at once in the dead of winter), lots of pillows in different sizes & thicknesses. We have had radios & cd players in the past and there is actually no clock. Our reasoning was that our kids wake us up in plenty of time for work & if we REALLY need to know, we will look at our phones.
*6. Kick kiddos out as appropriate.
Some people will advocate very strongly against co-sleeping saying it’s a detriment to your marriage. I am not one of them. If I have to actually fully wake up to feed my baby every two hours, I’m not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep = crabby wife = not a restful oasis!
That being said, when you feel its time to kick little kids out, do it! And then set some rules. Once they are out, knocking is essential. Sleeping there is RARE (for them) and create the idea that it is a special place that mommy & daddy share. We do enjoy family snuggle time in the mornings since both girls wake up at the same time.
Figure out what works for your family & don’t be afraid to look for ideas and throw them away if necessary.
Even when sharing the room with little ones, it’s possible to make your room a haven. It’s more of a mindset and balancing what’s right for your family right now with your pie-in-the-sky wishes. Make it a restful, peaceful place to share with your hubby. It’s a great example to show your children the value of marriage!