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On Co-Sleeping - Elizabeth Unexplained
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greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
On Co-Sleeping
When I was originally writing a post in my head about how intense the past few weeks have been, I was putting in bits about having all three kids in bed with me, and then realizing that most people would take it the wrong way. That's one of the reasons that post never got written.

Having all three kids in bed with me overnight is generally a sign of intense times. Margaret usually sleeps in her own bed, and Duncan in his more often than not. Still, there are nights when we're all in the big bed, usually because Margaret requests it, which she is more likely to do when she feels stressed. It can make for crowded sleeping conditions, especially when all three kids want body contact with me. It is also wonderful. There is nothing in the world that gives me warm feelings as much as having the three people I love most in the world snuggled up around me. Things will be a bit tight when Warren slips into bed in the wee hours, but he likes having them there too. My lower back may ache a bit when I get up from laying curled around little bodies, but it's nice to wake with the whole family together.

Different people necessarily enjoy different things. In some families, the parents want the bed as their space, and that's OK. Not everyone considers a wiggly toddler the ideal sleeping companion, even people with totally lovable toddlers to cuddle up with. At least my circle of friends understands the whole different things for different people thing, but the idea of kids "invading" the parents bed being a bad thing is just so much a thing that I do think that if I mentioned the 5 people in the big bed thing in the context of a stressful couple of weeks people would assume that I was complaining about the kids in "my" bed instead of using it as an indicator of free-floating stress in the household. If the kids are feeling stressed/sick/lonely and sleeping in the big bed with me helps, that is the sort of thing I like to encourage. Also, when I am stressed I proactively ask Margaret and Duncan if they want to sleep in the big bed because it makes me feel better. I guess that last part is what makes me different from people who see co-sleeping as a burden.
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Comments
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: March 16th, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are certainly nights when I realize Susan has crawled into bed with me and I am sleeping better because of it.
tallou From: tallou Date: March 21st, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally understand where you're coming from. We're working on getting me *out* of the bed with the kids when they sleep, mostly because that seems like the best way to nightwean, but I identify with the problem of having parenting choices that people latch on to as the cause of whatever stress is happening. Even when they are not related. (no, sending my kids to preschool will not suddenly make them sleep through the night, nor will putting them in daycare and going back to work)

But I'm going to miss being snuggled up with two toddlers, and kind of hope that once they nightwean we can have occasional nighttime snuggles.
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