Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Family Bed aka Why am I Sleeping on the Couch!

When our adult kids were born all in the early 1980's you didn't hear much about the "Family Bed".  I don't think I even knew what it was back then.  I remember that it was considered  bad, wrong, and frowned upon to let your children sleep with you.  So, all of our adult children slept in their own room, in a crib then graduated to a twin bed when they were big enough.  I think we may have kept a bassinet in our room the first few weeks as it made breastfeeding in the middle of the night a lot easier.

I remember one our sons, then 2, laying on the stairway landing crying......because he wanted to come get in bed with us.  We didn't let him.  I DO regret that much now.  That may be because he's an adult now with kids of his own and you always wish you could relive those lost times.  I wish I had dropped to the floor and played every single time he asked me to play legos with him.

So, those kids grew up.  All fairly well-adjusted with good relationships with their dad and me.  I see no lasting ill effects from them not getting to sleep in our bed.

Enter the early 2000s.  After sending our first kid to college, and me always pining for more babies in the house, we reversed our 16yr old vasectomy.  Twice, because the first surgery didn't work.  Along came a baby girl.  She had a beautiful nursery ready for her.   It was right next door to our bedroom AND it had a baby monitor.  She never slept an hour in that brand new crib.  It was just "too far away" and she was just "so tiny".  I had to have her near me at night.....had to.  Hubby was the same.  There really is nothing like falling asleep with a teeny tiny newborn hand grasped around your finger.  When she was almost a year old or so she slept cuddled up to me against my chest.

When she started getting bigger we bought a toddler size bed and shoved it up against our king-size bed.  I would then sleep with my arm draped over the side of our bed, patting her or just touching her hair etc.  By around 3 yrs old she did have her own room with her toys, dolls, a really cute twin bed.  It was an adorable bedroom.  I'll never forget the one evening when she said she wanted to sleep in HER room in her big girl bed. We read her a story, tucked her in, and she was asleep. I laid in bed and cried that night.  At that point we still had our then 1 yr old son in our bed.

Kids are now almost 9 and almost 7.  Both go to sleep in their own bedrooms/beds every night.  All seems normal.  During the night for some reason,  at least one, if not both, climb into our bed.  There's not enough room in the bed for 4 people now so I usually hit the couch with the recliner on both ends.
It never fails that on the nights the kid's DON'T get in our bed, I get run out by hubby because I'm snoring.  I understand that.  He has to sleep so he can get up for work the next day.  I do not.
But, I've started to find that there really is no comfortable spot in this house to sleep.  One kids' bed is too soft, the other is too firm.  The couch is getting old.  

Did I mention how I seem to be tired all the time lately?

Would I do the "family bed" again if given the choice?  hmmmm?

Not sure. Can I get back to you after my nap???

Blessings, C


WhisperingWriter said...

I could never do a family bed.

I have enough trouble sharing my bed with my husband.

Ms. Humble said...

I don't think I had a choice in the matter.

It was either let our little tot sleep with us or no sleep for anyone.

Naturally, I'm always a little worse for the wear but I wouldn't trade the time for anything.

TJ said...

My daughter's 3 now and sleeps in her bed in her room, but for the first year or so, she slept in bed with me & the hubby. That was the sweetest, snuggliest time ever! And I agree, it was the only way any of us got any sleep, since said baby was an "every 2 hours or so" nurser. Now, though, if I ever try to sleep with her (when she's sick or something), I can't sleep at all! Thanks for bringing back those sweet memories!