Co-Sleeping – Why I hate it
I am a co sleeper. I never thought I would be. But here I am. I spent the first couple of years of my son’s life making sure that he slept in his room alone. I was diligent about it. I also tried – unsuccessfully – to sleep train my daughter. I wanted to make sure that we would NOT have a family bed. Why didn’t I want a family bed? Purely selfish reasons. Mainly because I love to sleep.
I really LOVE to sleep. In my life I have spent many a weekend, drifting in and out of sleep. Waking up to eat and to watch an occasional movie. Some might call it lazy – I call it recharging. I miss that.
Anyway, my son started to sleep through the night (12 hours) when he was about 14 months old. I had beautiful sleep then. BUT I became pregnant and well, I woke up about three times a night to pee. My daughter was born and I was breastfeeding her every hour and a half for what seemed like an eternity. That first night home, I remember looking over at my husband during my third time nursing that night and saying, “CRAP! I forgot about this part. What were we thinking?!!”
Then my son had a terrible case of croup, and his bedroom was on the floor below us, so what did I do? Yes! You guessed it – I was so tired and worried about him that I brought him into our bed. You could almost see the light bulb go off over his head, “I didn’t know that I could sleep here! I’m now going to do it every night until I’m 16!”
Jolly cakes for me. Did I mention that I love to sleep? I did. But I left out the part about how I don’t like to cuddle up to people at night. A little snuggle before sleep is good, to warm up my feet, but after that it’s all business. I need to sleep without touching anyone. I don’t want anyone touching me. Leave me alone on my side of my King sized bed for at least eight to ten hours. HA! As if.
I’ve tried to tell that to my three year old but she just sobs. Why? What’s the matter? Why doesn’t she get it? Anyway, bad parenting award goes to me for even admitting that I told her that, but you’ll get over it and so will she. Maybe.
I absolutely love the IDEA of co sleeping. I love to offer my children love and security. I want them to know that if they are scared they can count on me. That’s why I let them come into my bed at night. I don’t have the heart or the energy to force them back to their beds at three in the morning, but I just can’t help being unhappy about it. Kids, husband, sister, mother: I don’t care who you are, don’t touch me while I sleep. I don’t like it.
There you have it. That’s why I hate co sleeping. Not because I’m afraid that my kids will not be autonomous, or that a certain parenting expert said that I shouldn’t do it. Everyone should do what they need to do to get by. My kids are perfectly happy co sleeping and my relationship with my husband doesn’t suffer because of it. I just don’t enjoy it for more than five minutes. Between the one kid who speaks in tongues and completes a triathlon while he sleeps and the other who sleeps stuck to my side and won’t take her hand off of my face, it’s a party in my bed and I’m really not sleeping much.
So what’s a wannabe lone sleeper to do? Wait it out I guess.
I love my kids and I’m thinking that if this is what they need right now, they can have it. It makes me a little crazy, but I know it will be over soon enough. One day I’ll wonder why my daughter doesn’t want to snuggle anymore or why my son won’t come out of his room.
One thing is for sure: I will be reunited with sound sleep one day. Until then pass the Smashbox Photo Finish Eyelid Primer and a shit ton of caffeine.