Triple Bunk Beds & Eating a Slice of Humble Parenting Pie

My parenting style has surely surprised me during the past 3 years.  Yes, Hudson is 7 years old, but I feel like I hadn’t really found out what type of parent I was going to be until I got thrown into the ‘holy shit I have three boys’ battlefield.  Parenting one adorable little prince is completely different from parenting the amount of children who could almost populate a small country.  So, it has only been recently that the true version of me as a mother has come to the surface.  And it has definitely surprised me.

I went to college and earned a Masters in Educational Psychology.  So, my parenting philosophy started off as being incredibly pretentious and smug.  I was going to use positive reinforcement, behavioral strategies, and actually communicate with and respect my children.  I came out of school firmly planted on the left wing, and ready to show up all of the other parents in the world in regards to how good parenting should actually be done.  I was already a true expert in the world of parenting (even though I didn’t have any children yet)… and all of those watching should just take notes.  With my nose high up in the sky, I took on the task of helicopter parenting like nobody’s business.  Hudson never climbed a jungle gym without the safety net of my arms beneath him… he never navigated the stairs in our house without his hand in my palm… and he was read several books before I laid him to sleep each night, in which he slept through the night perfectly by the time he was 7 weeks old because he was scheduled, and I was consistent…

Spanking… don’t even get my started on spanking because I would never, ever spank my child…

Fast forward to today… and to me eating every single one of those words (and being embarrassed as hell to even type them)… along with the karmic gods of parenting punishing me for being the most disgusting form of judgmental parent, ever.

I have three little personalities running around the house at all times.  The house is a mess every moment of the day.  I lose my temper just as many times as I pick up dirty underwear off the floor (which is a lot since they all want to change their clothes multiple times and/or have accidents which I hope will only involve #1… if I’m lucky).

Brody threw a tantrum beyond tantrums yesterday because he didn’t want to take a nap… and I spanked his little leg (insert AUDIBLE GASSSSSP here) with just enough gumption to let the sting resonate, and to ascertain the notion that Mommy don’t play.  I thought to myself, “There you go, Jodi… that’ll teach him… (in the most sarcastic tone I have ever used)”… Because actually, it just made him cry louder… and it made me feel like the shittiest parent on the planet for letting my frustration get the best of me.  But, let’s face it, my frustration gets the best of me regularly.  I don’t spank often, but sometimes I think that a little spank would probably hurt less than the fury of words that escape my mouth.  

They eat from a drive thru more times than I want to admit in a week.  I have put Hudson in charge of bed time stories now that he can read, but let’s be real… I can probably count the number of books I have read to Brody on one hand.  He is obviously a sufferer of last kid syndrome.  I do everything in my power to just make it until 7:00pm each night without one losing one of them.  And that, my friends, is my measure for success.  If they all make it into their beds  at night with at least one form of fruit or vegetable having made it into their stomachs (applesauce is totally a fruit), somewhat clean (but this is measured on a very loose scale of cleanliness), and breathing independently… then I have done my job.  And dammit, I have done it well!

Please don’t think that this is a post that requires motherly validation.  I am a damn good mother, and my kids are loved beyond measure.  And they know that they are loved, because thankfully, I am just as giving with hugs, kisses and kindness as I am with my scornful fits.  I’m simply trying to point out that I am everything that I thought I wouldn’t have been as a mother.  I fall closer in line with the traditional parenting methods that I was raised with than I thought I would be, and I am actually ecstatic about it.

I want my children to grow up together… not as individuals.  Yes, I want them to be themselves, but I also want them to grow up knowing that they are part of a whole.  And that in order for our world to function they have to learn to communicate and get along.  I want them to share a room until they move out for college.  No, I don’t think that a child needs his privacy.  I actually think that they need the opposite.  Privacy is not a need; it is an entitlement.  They need their siblings to whisper with them throughout the night about how much they hate their parents.  They need to fight over whose side of the room their toys are on, and who is going to clean them up.  They need to argue over clothes, bathroom time, and whose turn it is to pick up the dog poop.  They need a dose of healthy fear in their parents… and a  ‘you live under my house, you obey my rules’… mentality.  Because the world is full of rules.  Their place of employment will have rules; their college dorms will have rules; their marriages will have rules.  If they can’t follow rules then I have set them up for failure in society.

We live in a small house with small bedrooms, and we have thought several times about moving, but the more and more we think about it, the less and less we want to move.  Living in a small house means that I am always going to be up in my kids’ business.  They aren’t going to be able to get away from me, and I love it.  I can hear every fight that happens down a hallway, and I will always know what they are watching on television.  I will hear gossip that would have never been shared if the hallways in our house were too long.  I had this conversation with a friend once, and a few days later she gave me a gift.  It was a pillow that said, “Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate.  Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can’t help but communicate.  If we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss.  Love grows best in houses just like this.”  And, I absolutely couldn’t agree with this more.

Which is why I decided to cough up some extra money when I was hunting for a sleeping situation that would allow all three boys to share a room.  I had custom, triple bunk beds built in their room after spending hours debating the design in my head, and not finding something that I loved from a furniture store.  So far, it has been the best parenting decision I have ever made.  The laughter that trickles through the hallways at night is medicine for my overly-tired soul, and I hope that they will learn every lesson there is to be learned from sharing a room with your siblings… the most important one being… to hate their brothers’ freaking guts most of the time, but to be their best friend all of the time.   

triplebunkbeds_0001triplebunkbeds_0003triplebunkbeds_0002 triplebunkbeds_0004 triplebunkbeds_0005 triplebunkbeds_0006 triplebunkbeds_0007Bunk bed design by yours truly, and construction by Patrick Lott.  Contact me directly if you’d like Patrick’s contact information.

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  1. Emily Crall says:

    I freaking LOVE this! The post AND the bunkbeds! AMAZEBALLS. So glad I’m part of your family. ;)

  2. Erin Schrad says:

    Jodi, those bunk beds are awesome! I love everything you said… Too many kids today are being raised as if they are the center of the universe and should never suffer any pain or hardship or failure. That’s not life… That’s fantasyland. I just have one brother so there was no room sharing as kids except for a couple short stints between houses, but we still fought and argued with each other growing up… And we also teamed up when parents or others were “the enemy”. As adults, we’ve never been closer. He’s the one person who will know me nearly my whole life, and I his.

  3. Samira Thameur says:

    The design and the philosophy that goes with it are simply fantastic. The beds look like they’re floating! It’s awesome. Can you please explain the project details: beds dimensions – building materials … etc. Thank you.

  4. Noemi says:

    Hi Jodi,
    I happened to find the picture of your triple bunk bed on Pinterest and absolutely love it. That would be perfect for our three boys sharing a room. Could I get in touch with Patrick ?
    Many thanks in advance.
    Kind regards,
    Noemi

  5. […] bad behavior… as do all of us.  If you want to read more about my thoughts on this… please check out this blog.  Carrying […]

  6. Jeanne says:

    Jodi, these beds and organization are awesome! I love the simple and clean atmosphere and the scandanavian look! We have 4 boys and 1 girl, and I am hoping to replicate these for our big boys room. Would you offer up more details? Trying to get help with how to safely secure the beds to wall. Thank you!

  7. Jodi says:

    Hi Everyone! I’m so sorry, but I didn’t see these comments until today when Jeane posted!

    The bunk beds are standard twin size beds. They are secured into studs in the wall with massive bolts and then secured again into the ladder for additional support. They are made of wood to create the box for the mattresses to fit in, and then the ladder was custom built to size. The beds support a full grown man (230lbs!) and are very sturdy!

    The piping for the railings are simple and purchased from Home Depot or Lowes.

    I hope this helps!!

  8. […] *Triple bunk beds and some very honest words on parenting. […]

  9. noreen says:

    As a mother of four boys myself (ages 20, 7, 3, and 1), all I can say is that I love you! We just moved into a bigger house — not because we needed more room but because we were in a small second floor condo and the neighbors just weren’t having it with our kids anymore. While we have plenty of room to roam now, we are still going to keep our 3 littles together in one bedroom, exactly for all the reasons that you mentioned. (Also, because mama needs a room for her sewing machines!)

    Rock on, mama!

    • Jodi says:

      Thank you, Noreen!!! We have actually just moved into a larger house, as well… but for the reason to have accommodations for our extended family to stay with us. My boys are all still sharing a room even though we have five bedrooms available now. We’re also building a new set of bunk beds too!

  10. Jenna says:

    Hi Jodi! Visiting from housetweaking today. Love the bunk beds, but love your words on parenting more. Virtual high five from me! (A fellow mom of 3 living in a small house.)

  11. […] *Triple bunk beds and some very honest words on parenting. […]

  12. PAppel says:

    Amen. So nice to have my views validated by another mom.

  13. Jenna says:

    Hi Jodi as a fellow mom of 3 kids –all in one room (traditional bunkbed and large loft bed). I appreciate the realness of your words. Mine are now 12, 10 1/2 and 9 the weariness of the evenings has eased so much since they were your little guys’ ages, the fights are still constant and at times vicious but I echo every one of your sentiments about about the closeness of our lives. There is no room to hide in our home but there are quiet spaces to be in solitude when needed and for me that is what is important.

  14. SarahBeth says:

    Jodi:

    Just the kind of honest words that make a soul feel less lonely a little more at ease. My two and five-year-old share a room and it’s bliss. It’s not been without some hiccups, but overall, a decision we’d make a hundred times over. Eavesdropping on early morning lessons on the ways of the world, how to ensure a treat for breakfast, and finding them snuggled together in the crib. I know that one day, many moons from now, they’ll thank us for this time. Right?!? :)

    • Jodi Anne says:

      I like to think that I’m forcing them into lifelong friendships… but I also might be forcing them into a lifetime of resentment against one another. We’ll see how things pan out in the future, but for now they all love sharing a room together! The conversations are priceless. :)

      xo.

  15. Krista says:

    The best thing I’ve read in a long time, and I also have three little boys so I’m surprised I still remember how to read.

  16. Sasha says:

    This is the best thing I’ve read on parenting in a long time. I started out a lot like you….read all the books on attachment parenting, etc. with my first, helicoptering all over the place. It made me an anxiety-ridden parent and created a VERY needy, dependent child. We course corrected really fast and now that I have my second, my parenting style more closely mimics the way I was raised in the south. I’m probably the only parent I know who spanks (we’re conservative with this but it really seems to be necessary with our son on occasion) or sleep trains and it can feel very isolating. I look around and it really does feel like the kids are in charge these days. So many of my friends seem to be hesitant to place boundaries on their children and while I fully support their choices and expect them to do what they feel is best, I do often feel like the odd (wo)man out. This was an encouraging read!

  17. Bri says:

    As a mother of three boys three and under- hands down the best post I’ve read. Thank you for that. It’s funny how quickly having kids humbles us and makes us re-think our pre- parent ideas of parenting! We have bunk beds but are now in love with the triple bunk!
    Can you tell me how high your ceilings are? We have 9 foot ceilings and are wondering if this would work for our home.
    Thank you!

  18. Kylie says:

    Hiya,
    We are expecting our second child soon and desperately trying to sell our place to move somewhere bigger than our little 2 bedroom house. Reading this brings tears of joy to my eyes, I have never thought about it in this way. Thanks, maybe we can just stay in our little house…though I still think we need to extend our living space to accommodate all the kid stuff! Can I ask if the boys shared as babies too? Thanks,
    Kylie,
    Perth, Australia

    • Jodi says:

      Hi love!! Congrats on the new baby!! Yes, my first two boys shared a room with a toddler bed and crib, and then when the third came along we moved the oldest out to the other room and the two babies shared. We built the bunk beds as soon as the littlest was ready to move out of his crib. So, they probably started sharing as a set of three when they were 6,3&2 years old. :)

      Best wishes to you!! xo!!

  19. Monica says:

    Thank you for not only some amazing design inspiration, but a totally relatable post on parenthood. It’s kicking my butt right now, but like you said, we are amazing mothers if we love more than we punish, although they need the latter too! I actually posted about this myself too, how I started parenting “knowing” how to be a parent (I was a teacher, myself!), and how three little kids have quickly shown I don’t know crap. For your entertainment (includes a story of my four-year old peeing all the way down and around an aisle at Trader Joe’s): http://www.aboutprogress.com/2016/01/everything-i-know-about-parenting.html

    Can’t wait to discover more of your blog! Thank you, House Tweaking, for introducing us.

  20. Oh my wow… I am so glad I found you. I was searching for a triple bunk bed answer, and found laughter and “a new friend” as I read your words. :)

    “I want my children to grow up together… not as individuals.” As a mom of eleven, you can imagine, our children have never had their own room… and we’ve always been okay with that. People feel the need to tell us that we’re ruining them, but your words were music to my ears.

    Thank you for sharing this post… and your heart. I’ll be back to visit. :)

  21. Amanda says:

    I love the bunk beds and your honesty! I have 3 boys as welland would love to make the exact bunk beds you have! They are way too cool! Do you mind sharing your plans and measurements? Thank you!

    • Jodi says:

      Hi Amanda!! Thank you so much for the kind words!! Sadly, we don’t live in this house anymore so I don’t have the measurements! There are details on the construction in earlier comments though! We have since built a whole new set of beds at our new house!! :)

  22. Michele says:

    Thank you, I share your feelings on sharing a room. I have 3 girls, and once the baby is old enough I am going to move her into her sisters room. Currently my two daughters 5 and 2 sleep in a full bed together, but I know they would love having their own beds in the same room. Great design!

  23. Alicia says:

    I love the beds! I live in New York so have a similar space challenge/opportunity. How do I go about finding someone to build awesome bunk beds?

  24. Momma of 3 boys over here and baby #4 on the way and this speaks SOOOO much truth. Thanks for this, just what i needed to hear at this time,.

  25. Shaki says:

    It would be great if you can share where you got the bed frames & what was the overall cost

  26. Kamryn says:

    Awww, Hayden looks like a sweet little angel!!!Oh, and the cake looks good, too. :)I live in a state where we get to see the seasons change. It is beautiful and &qio;ttradituonal", but in about 3 weeks the trees will be bare and we'll be scraping frost off our cars for the next 4-5 months. Boo. I'd take Texas over that any day! :)

  27. Bunny says:

    you forgot grandpa, who got caught up in a bit of a ruckus and trashed some of the neghoborihod. Now he's having to do community work and pay reparations that come out of the family budget too.

  28. Keli says:

    Thank you so much!!! You know in all my wonderful sewing books I could not find a lesson on how to do this. While making this skirt I was already thinking st8&&s#a212;sergerh#8212;-wide elastic—new wardrobe! Stylish maxi skirts for summer, here I come!

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  31. Tom L says:

    Great beds! What diameter and type of pipe did you use for the railing? What kind of paint did you use? Thanks!

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  33. Priscilla says:

    Hello there just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your post I too am a mom of 3 boys I have a 5, 4, &1yr old and like you I live in a small home in Southern California my boys share a room as well and I am trying to transition my youngest to share a room with his older brothers I loved the bunkbed idea and would love to do something like that with my boys when they do all share a room I think that living in a small home and being so close build a special bond between siblings having boys is certainly crazy and chaotic most of the time but I so love enjoy it there’s something special about raising up man. Again thank you so much for posting I really enjoyed this read

  34. maggie says:

    I love this post. 100 percent. Mom of 2 little boys here. And those beds are great.

  35. இவர்களை இப்படியே விட்டால் இன்னும் பல உயிர்களை நாம் இழக்க வேண்டிருக்கும். இந்த மாதிரி முதலாளிகளை ஊக்குவிக்கும் அரசுக்கு தக்க பாடம் கற்பிக்கவேண்டும்.வினவு, நீங்கள் வினவிவிட்டீர்கள், வினை செய்யுங்கள்.உடன் இருப்போம்

  36. Alexandra says:

    Keep on writing and chgguing away!

  37. danna says:

    I totally love the bed. My husband is going to make one like this for my grandchildren. We have 6 of them and want them to come and stay with up but we need more beds.

  38. Felicity Gillespie says:

    I have two 2 year old boys and one 3 year old boy. I am planning a triple bedroom next year. This is perfect! How much did it cost you and how do we do it ourselves?

  39. Deena says:

    I would welcome any details about the way the beds are anchored – I worry about the safety of “floating beds” – clearly your beds are handling the kids jumping.

  40. Jacqueline Taylor says:

    Okay! We need these plans! We are downsizing to 2 bedroom for our family of five. My husband and I and our three boys!!! They will have a small room and we need to keep their room open and free for space to play and just hang out.

  41. Tisha Hamberlin says:

    Hi! I adore this post. I too have three boys, and a tiny home- that I love. Can we please connect about how he built them? I’d really appreciate it!! Thanks for sharing.

  42. Beatrice Curtis says:

    I hope these are still available. My three boys are already talking about this arrangement. It will give the some space to play as their room is now to full.

  43. Michael Kinder says:

    Thank you for posting, it’s appreciated. This is a design that would be easy for me to replicate for my boys.

  44. Michelle T says:

    LOVE THEAE BEDS? Is there a way to get the plans for them? 💙💙💙 We have 6 kids and are in desperate need of something like this!

  45. Michelle T says:

    Correction to my previous comment:

    LOVE THESE BEDS!!!! ☺️❤️🙈

  46. Kate says:

    I know this is an old post… but I HAD to let you know how much I love this. Every word is so completely relatable to me right now.
    I found your post searching for “three boys sharing a room”, as we’re about to let our 6yr old son and his 2.5 yr old twin brothers all bunk up together.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for such a beautiful post and for making me feel normal!! Ha!!

  47. Maria pappas says:

    Hi lovely,
    How are you? I’m in lov with this idea!!
    Can you please send me Patrick’s details..

    Thanks
    Maria papaps xx

  48. Tiffany King says:

    Hi! I have been looking for a bunk bed solution for my three boys and I LOVE this design. Would you mind giving me the measurements and building instructions? Or instruct me in what I need to do to get them? Thanks so much!

  49. Tara says:

    Hi I would like Patrick’s information
    Thank you
    Tara

  50. Natalie says:

    I would like to get in contact with Mr. Lott about the materials he used to construct this bed. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Natalie

  51. Sarah says:

    I came across this post on Pinterest… trying to find a solution for my three boys who share a room. I am extra curious now to see since it’s been a few years how the beds worked out/or are working out.?? I have five kids two girls, and three boys. My two boys have shared room for a couple of years and I’m getting ready to move my two-year-old into the room with them. My biggest question is do you think the beds would work for kids who are further apart in age? Do you think they will still accommodate growing pre-teen/ teenage boys?

  52. Ann says:

    So glad I ran into your post. Loved the triple bunk beds so just had to have a closer look on your site. What a pleasant surprise, you actually summed up my parenting life. I have 3 boys, they are grown now 23, 21 and 18 and they shared a bedroom their whole life. We didn’t mean for it to happen and frankly I felt guilty they didn’t have a room each but we live in a small house and we didn’t, couldn’t move. Today they are good friends, they also disagree but they have lots in common and pull together when they have to. Great article, thanks for your insight and I totally believe in small homes, they’re perfect.

  53. Sarah Steele says:

    I would love to get contact info of your builder to get the bunk bed plans. Thank you so much! Its beautiful!

  54. Winnie says:

    Hi Jodi, I came across the bunk bed design while searching for a bed solution to fit a small for my 3 boys to share a room and I really love the design of the floating bunks. Are you able to pass me details who designed and made it? I would really love to have something like this for the kids :D

  55. Rhonda says:

    Hello, I would like Patrick Lott’s contact info as we are trying to re-do our boys’ room and this triplebunk looks real nice!