What to do with stepchild's room when she goes off to college? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 09-01-2015, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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What to do with stepchild's room when she goes off to college?

My step-daughter will be 18 in January, and will be heading off to college next year. She lives with her mom and visits our house a couple times a month. (The house was my husband’s before we started dating). At the most, she sleeps in her room 4 times per month. Our house is basically where she comes when she has nothing better to do, like a typical teenager. I have talked to my husband about my desire to change her room into a guest room when she goes off to college, and adding a craft/wrapping center so that my craft stuff and the gift wrap stuff is easily accessible. As it is now, all of that stuff it stuck in random spots, not easily accessible, and often I end up purchasing items that I already have because I don’t know where it is. So, I mentioned last night that I would like to get one of those wall beds that fold up so that there isn’t a bed in the room, taking up space, at all times. It can be unfolded on the occasion we have a guest, or stepdaughter stays once she’s in college. He told me that he was waiting for at least two years after she is in college before he changes that room around. I think it’s ludicrous to keep a room for an adult who is NEVER going to be in it. I mean, she’s only at our house a few times a month as it is now. I really, really don’t see her staying here when she visits from college, when there are little to no rules at her mother’s house, she will be seeing her friends and her boyfriend on visits, and she will have her room at her mother’s house (which is only about 7 minutes from ours). Am I being unreasonable for wanting to change the room into something that can be used for more than her potential couple times a year visits? I think it’s a waste of space to not put that room to use. His mother visits twice a year, one month in the winter and usually about three months in the spring. It would be a nice place for her, or other guests, to stay. She does stay in there now unless his daughter happens to spend the night when his mother is visiting. When his daughter is visiting his mother sleeps on the pull out sofa and his daughter sleeps in his bed. You know, don’t dare make the teenager sleep on the pullout so the elderly lady can sleep in comfort, once in a while. But, that’s her father’s and her grandmother’s doing because they don’t want to “put her out”. We only have three bedrooms as it is, because one of the rooms is used as my husband’s office. He and I have one, my daughter has one and my step-daughter has the other. I can’t help but think if he wanted to use that room for something he would be jumping all over it. I could be wrong though, because he’s always been a Disney Dad.
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#2 of 4 Old 09-01-2015, 01:16 PM
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I feel your pain. We ended up just asking the kids what THEY thought. Since they were becoming adults, they should have some say.

Generally, they were fine with us shifting stuff around as long as their bed and stuff were still available to access.

Stepmom for roughly 10 years to four fabulous kiddos: two boys and two girls. All of which are now entering adulthood.
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#3 of 4 Old 09-02-2015, 10:12 AM
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I can see both points of view. You say dsd is unlikely come visit very often on vacations from college, and I'm guessing that your husband is worried that his daughter will want to come stay with him even less if she doesn't have a room there! That certainly sounds like a valid concern.

I'd try to compromise-add in your desk/gift area, but keep dsd's room mostly intact otherwise-i.e. make sure she still has a bed/dresser, and that she is still able to use the room privately when she is there (i.e. don't put your only computer or daily important things in there KWIM?) It sounds like the room is already used as a guest room when she's not there, so it shouldn't be an issue if you have guests in there. Perhaps in a few months or after her next vacation, ask dsd to clear out a dresser drawer or part of the closet for guests. As she gets older and moves into her first apartment, etc. it will be easier emotionally for everyone to let go of that space as "hers."

I do agree it's silly to have a mostly unused room, but sometimes it's just one of those things-when I lived with ex, my two kids shared a room while dsd had her own, even though she was there less than half the time. I'd let your husband ease into this one and try to be cognizant of the fact that it is likely hard emotionally for him to grasp the idea that his daughter will never really live with him for any extended period of time again.

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#4 of 4 Old 09-03-2015, 07:53 AM
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I agree about asking the girl for her opinion- itd be best for her dad to ask. It makes it clear that she's still part of the family, her viewpoint is valued, while still acknowledging that she's becoming an adult and this is a new period in her life.
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