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Less space, more room (or something like that)

A few weeks ago we finally moved Julie's little blue cot into Rosa's room, and now they actually share a room for the very first time (they did have a 'shared room' in our previous apartment, but they never really slept there together). To say it has proven a success so far would be a bit premature: in fact these last few weeks have been a mix of a few very good nights and a lot of terrible ones. However the terrible part didn't necessarily have that much to do with the girls sharing a room: most of the time they each had their own many seperate reasons for waking up and leaving us totally sleep-deprived (and eventually the one would also wake the other up of course, so we had quite a few nights with the two of them keeping each other awake). They do love sharing a room by the way, so the aspect of the two of them enjoying each other's company and developing their own little routines is really sweet to witness.

The room the girls share isn't a very big one, but the funny thing is that now that Julie and her bed have moved in, it seems easier to organize the space in a more efficient and playful way, without the feeling of losing that much room. A little while ago I found some vintage nursery school tables with matching chairs, and I put one of the tables in the girls' room. Now they have a little reading/drawing nook, which hardly occupies more space than the previous arrangement with only the vintage bench and doll bed.

A little while ago I stumbled upon a pinterest link that led to a post on a website about the previous shared nursery that we created in our old home. It was funny to look at those old pictures (of a planned shared nursery that never ended up being shared), but even more funny & interesting was reading the comments on the particular blog post.

When you put things on the internet you inevitably open yourself up to the possibility of getting comments and criticism, which can be positive but of course also pretty negative. In general I think the mama/craft/design blog community is rather friendly: we usually don't say it in one's 'face' when we think one's home, products, pictures or creations are a total disaster, or when their writing style is annoying us terribly. However this type of courtesy is often less visible when your pictures start travelling all over the net and end up on websites such as Apartment therapy, that ask for people's opinion on interior decoration issues. Then all of a sudden you can start reading some more honest views ;). Like this comment, about these pictures of our previous nursery:

"No. I like creative spaces. This is to much junk for a glorified walk in closet, that's pretty much what this room is, WIC. I have seen better put together rooms in a small space, this is horrid."

Ah well, of course it's never a wonderful thing when your nursery is being called horrid and 'too much junk for a glorified walk in closet'. But on the other hand it makes sense: we all have different tastes and I can perfectly well imagine that what I like may be awful in someone else's view.

But it's getting better... The next person commenting on the blog post, a certain MummyKitM, leaves no less than three comments after another.

The first:

"Those cribs actually look illegal. How far apart are the "bars"?? They look as if a baby could easily slide through and hang. And I really detest seeing pillows in a crib. The shelves are hard to get to, as are some of the clothes. What is with that chair? There's no space for it in 3 of the pictures, and yet, magically, it appears in the fourth? It looks truly uncomfortable, also. That is so insanely staged. I'm sorry, but this whole room is a "fail"."

Then the second:

"And I only just noticed: the beds *AGAINST* a heater?? With *NO* cover *OR* space?!?!?!? W.T.H?!?!?!"

And finally:

"I see that this is in the Netherlands, so I don't know their laws for cribs, but I see even more things in this room that, as a parent, raise alarm bells. Buttons? On a baby sleeper?"

The funny thing is that when pictures of our nursery appear on international (mainly American) websites, these 'OMG-so-dangerous' comments always start pouring down. It's interesting that on the one hand I often get nice emails from American readers who ask me where they can find such a nice vintage crib, while on the other hand there are always people who seem to think that here in Europe we are deliberately trying to harm our kids or something.

This online-safety-worrying is a fascinating thing: there seems to be a whole crowd of concerned moms online who are constantly checking every possible nursery picture for any kind of safety hazards. I've seen it so many times (and not only regarding my own pictures!), and if you ask me, it's a bit crazy. Don't get me wrong: like all moms (even Dutch or European ones, which may come as a surprise to some commenters ;)) I'm very much concerned for my kids' health. Also I definitely wouldn't want to ridiculize people's actual concerns for things such as SIDS, which is an awful thing. But this whole obsession with seeing enormous hazards in every possible thing? It seems quite stressful and unnecessary to me. If you want to hear my opinion, these are my two cents.

First of all about these vintage beds: I know so many people with cribs like these (and in fact whole generations grew up in them, because they're 1950s beds), and really, I've never ever witnessed anything that comes even the remotest bit close to babies getting their heads stuck between the bars of the bed. In fact I don't think it can happen (but maybe my kids just have giant heads!). Never say never, but personally I think the safety of your children has much more to do with being attentive and present as a parent than with all those laws, rules and precautions that people come up with in order to avoid any possible danger. I've always had my kids very close to me (like in a crib next to my bed for about the first year or so, or napping in a wrap during the day, or in a crib in the room next to mine) and I always check up on them when I hear them cry.

Personally I think common sense, attentiveness, intuition and staying close are key words when it comes to the safety of your baby and toddler. Of course it's wise to take some precautions, but in the end it's not laws or precautions or all kinds of ingenious technological tools that have to take care of your kid and it's safety, but you yourself.

To be honest I often think that as a mother I should be a little more nonchalant: compared to other moms I often consider myself as a bit too controlling, staying too close sometimes and not  allowing my kids enough room to take risks, make their own mistakes and sometimes get hurt. But of course that kind of thing isn't really visible on a picture with some decorative pillows in a crib ;).


Persephone on 2014-07-05 23:32

I just found your blog and I totally agree about safety being found in the attentiveness of parents.  Anything can become a danger to a child when you're not paying attention to the child.  I think this room is beautiful!

Shan on 2014-07-06 13:52

From this American.....I didnt see anything wrong in your previous nursery :) We do have a lot of regulations (Its almost as if the Gov't doest trust us to raise our own children :) ) and alot of silly Moms who go overboard.

And I do whant to add that when I see your oldest it brings back SO many memories of my oldest. In some pictures they almost looked identical. Enjoy your babies. They are beautiful.

debbie on 2014-07-07 15:25

The comments you quote made me grimace! I agree safety is our personal responsibility not down to technology. Little children can find ways of getting stuck or hurt in just about any environment. I like the pics of the shared bedroom, so bright and cheery. X

afke on 2014-07-07 20:46

Gewoon lekker doen waar je goed bij voelt toch. Mooie kamers hoor!

Natasja on 2014-07-09 16:23

Laat ze maar zeuren, beide kamers zijn geweldig!

Simplehappymom on 2014-07-09 21:22

you have putted toguether such lovely spaces... couldnt resist to look at the hole house, it is a lovely home! Also agree that common sense, presence and instinct are the best way to go, but there's a lot of differences between countries in this matter...I find it amazing, really! In the end, all of us mothers just try to do our best!

Nina on 2014-07-09 23:21

Thank you all! ;)

Ruth on 2014-07-10 22:21

Zouden het wel echt moeders zijn? Bijna onmogelijk, met zoveel tijd over om te miezemuizen :-)

Simplehappymom on 2014-07-11 10:04

Hi! I'm so sorry for the really bad typing on previous comment ... just want to be clear that I meant the WHOLE HOUSE, not hole house!

Nina on 2014-07-11 21:11

@ Ruth: Of ze hebben hun kind zo veilig opgeborgen dat ze juist alle tijd van de wereld hebben ;).

Nina on 2014-07-11 21:12

@ Singlehappymom: no worries, I understood what you meant! ;)

Cecile on 2014-07-30 10:02

You dont have to defend yourself, you have great taste, and as for american parents and their obsession with safety, read this article :

I think we would all do well to always inform our kids about the dangers in and outside our homes, but allow our kids to be brave, take risks and trust their own judgement!

Koperroze on 2014-08-04 00:37

Laat ze maar zeggen, ik vind de kamer perfect.

Juist je blog ontdekt, alweer een lezer bij. Zeer knap blog!!!


Sue Taylor on 2014-10-03 01:07

Oh, I LOVE thise room! So cozy and cheery! The beds are adorable! Don't change a thing! 


Autumn on 2015-03-10 17:51

Hello! Your wallpaper is so lovely. Any chance you would mind telling where it's from? Even if it's no longer in print, the company might sell something similar. Love it!

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About Ninainvorm

My name is Nina, I'm a ceramics and paperwares designer and mom of Rosa and Julie. This blog is about making, living, liking, loving and so much more!

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