Dad Wonders If He's In The Wrong For Not Wanting To Make His Kids Share Their Rooms With His New Wife's Kids
Getting remarried can be a big adjustment even if both parties don't have children who will be gaining a new family.
Reddit user NextHovercraft6 wanted to check in with the internet community and see whether he was in the wrong for his handling of a sensitive situation with his new children's' rooms.
He told the whole story on the popular subReddit "Am I The A**hole?"
His story was titled: "Aita for refusing to make my kids share rooms in a new blended household."
"I currently live with my 2 kids (13 M and 10 F). I got married to my current wife last November. She has 2 kids of her own (10 M and 9 F). All our kids have known eachother for awhile and are pretty comfortable considering we have been in each others lives for 4 years."
"Her and her kids are set to move in with mine and I at the end of the month. We live in a 4 bedroom house. Now I must add that the basement is what I like to call "semi-finished". There is a room down there that can be made into a nice bedroom with the proper work done. What sucks is that there is no bathroom down there though."
"Here's the issue. I promised my kids that their rooms would not change. And I intend to keep that promise. This means that they will not have to switch rooms, or share rooms. I believe that, Atleast for the near future, we use the fourth bedroom and put both her children in there. And down the line whatever happens with the basement might happen."
"Her idea is that her son will move in with my son and her daughter in with mine. She works from home more often than she actually goes into the office, and would love to make the empty bedroom into an office. So she's not 'working at the dinner table'."
"She thinks I need to explain to my children that things are going to need to change a bit because of the blending families. My kids were nervous about this merger since the wedding, and being their dad I told them they don't have to worry."
"A little more info. My kids mother is not in their lives. Long story. My wife's kids spend every other weekend with their father. Aita for refusing to budge on this issue? I don't want my wife to think I don't care about her kids, but I know it's going to be hard on mine. They refer to not wanting "annoying little shadows" around them in their rooms. They do all get along, but my wife's kids, being younger sort of idolize my kids. And I'm not sure mine are old enough to get that."
After several responses, he added:
"EDIT: yeah after reading a lot of these responses, (wow 2k I'm famous!) I have to clarify, we are NOT putting step kids in an unfinished basement. Nobody is living in an unfinished basement. It will be finished before someone goes down there."
yodiggitydonut thought the original poster was in the wrong on this one.
"YTA. Of course you want to make this on easy on your kids as possible. But think about your wife's children - their lives are being uprooted even more than your kids' lives are. They're leaving their home, their bedrooms, and going to move in to an entirely new place. You each have a child the same age. What makes it fair to allow one 10 year old to have their own room and another 10 year old has to share with a younger sibling? If your marriage is an equal partnership, why do her kids get the short end of the stick?"
"This is really something you and your wife should have discussed prior to deciding to move into your house. Your kids of course want to keep the status quo, but it seems very unfair to your wife's kids. If moving to another more fitting home isn't an option, you should seriously consider turning the basement into another room so that everyone can have their own space."
"You obviously went into the relationship understanding that you would end up being a large part of her children's lives, and you're going to breed resentment from them if you make it so obvious that your two children take precedence over them."
Splatterfilm had an idea for how to solve everyone's problems.
"Why not make the basement into a bedroom/office combo, install a bathroom, and the parents stay down there? Then there will be the two kid's rooms, the wanna be office space, and the master bedroom."
"Not sure how to handle who gets the Master (I'm sure either of OP's kids would be ok moving if it involved an upgrade). Normally I'd say eldest gets it, next eldest to be upgraded when they move out, but given how common it is to not move until after college if then, plus two kids who are the same age, maybe master bedroom comes with a few strings like they have to allow bathroom access to the sibs or share storage space or something."
"Or do some revocations there too, like add a hall door to the bathroom for universal access. Anyway, making the opposite-gender step kids share a room is inappropriate at their age."
moanaw123 suggested getting the basement done early!
"Its easier to do renovations now before the household doubles...and you still have the wifes house to stay at if need be.."
candre23 agreed with that diagnosis.
"This is the really obvious solution. The lack of a bathroom in the basement is barely an inconvenience, let alone a dealbreaker. Set up the finished room as a bedroom, and build another room for the wife's office. It's a two-weekend project at best, so long as nobody has unreasonable expectations."
"They should absolutely be able to get the bedroom set up by the time the kids move in, and worst case, the wife might have to work at the kitchen table for a couple weeks while the office is finished. Honestly, I don't see what all the stress is about."
RedJacket2019 has been in a similar situation.
"NTA. Actually sorry I disagree, I had the same predicament as his step kids, moving into a new home, leaving my bedroom and having to beg to all share a room instead of sharing rooms with step siblings."
"Even though me and my younger siblings got along great with our (ex) step siblings, it was much easier to transition with me, my sister, my brother and even my dad sleeping in the same room/sharing a bed because we we're all in the change together. I mean their relationship was horrible and the kids ended up being little goblins but me and my siblings stuck together and I believe a lot of that came from late night gossip and movies nights huddled on our bed."
"Don't get me wrong me and my siblings could still kill each other at any moment but we had a common enemy that we bonded over, "the strangers" even though they weren't strangers."
deepstatelady thought it might be nice to prepare the children for changes.
"To add to this, your kids lives are going to change. You have an opportunity to teach them that, sure, it's annoying at times to have a little sibling, but as a family you get to team up and make it work. It's a fantastic responsibility. This is the work of making a family."
kalkiki thought everyone had a share of the blame.
"ESH (except the kids). This should have been figured out before the marriage and this is something you're supposed to decide together. You should not have promised your children something like this simply because it wasn't realistic and honestly it hurts them more."
"You just came straight and told them that they're more important than their step-siblings which shouldn't be the case. You should have prepared them for the changes instead of deciding your children needed to be protected from change at the expense of your step-children."
CicerosMouth actually believed the wife had set this situation up for failure.
"I actually think the wife is TA as well for assuming that she would get an office rather than the kids get another bedroom. The kids having their own safe space during this turbulent time is more important than where she sets up when she works at home."
angrywithnumbers summed things up nicely.
"It really isn't fair he told his kid there would be no changes when the other kids are not just giving up their rooms but their entire house. It also sucks when you're moving into an already established household because nothing seems like it's yours and you need to ask permission to use/move /change anything."
"They really should have planned on having the basement done before the move with ideally a bedroom, bathroom, and hangout space so all the kids have their own space and there is a new joint space that no one has a previous claim to."
It seems the situation at hand is a fairly complicated one, but with proper communication (and with a little help from the internet), OP will surely find the best way to move forward.