This is me...discussing life. Your thoughts are always welcome 'cause I damn sure don't have it figured out!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Co-sleeping...it ain't for everyone!
Hayden as a wee little man!
(Definitely an alternative to co-sleeping!)
In the blogosperic world we live in today, it's easy to find a chat room, message board or blog telling you all about how to raise happy healthy humans. My advice (not that anyone has asked) is to do your own thing. You were raised by someone...you are guaranteed to have picked something up from it. The hard part is deciphering the good from the bad and going from there.
I bring up Co-sleeping because it's something foreign to me. I don't do this. I never have. I can count on one hand the number of times my son has ever been in the bed with me to sleep - and he was sick all three times. Now, that's not talking about the very young infancy age when he was in the same room right next to the bed and might as well have been in it with me. Those teenie babies need to be near you...heck, they've been inside you for nine months. You can't expect them to let go immediately. But, then your second one will come along - like my little princess - and letting go is exactly what they'll do. From the day she came home from the hospital, she slept in her own bed...for eight hours or more each night. I'm not making that up. She was independent from the moment my water broke.
I struggle with issues like this, as we all do. I feel guilty sometimes when my kids (one or both at he same time) come all the way down the 17 stairs in the middle of the night for whatever reason (bad dream, wet bed or daddy's loud snoring) and I march them right back up to get in their own bed. I feel very guilty. I want so badly to throw them in the bed with me and cuddle next to them and hear their little hearts beating. But, the independent/determined side of me wins almost every time. I want them to be independent. I want them to be strong. I want them to be self-sufficient. I expect too much from them, I fear. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like I can't go back to sleep once they're tucked safely back to sleep. I'm out once I'm back in the bed. It's afterwards...the next morning. I think to myself, "Would it have been so bad to let them crash for just one evening?" "What's it going to hurt to let them fight over who sleeps next to me...so close I can smell their lotion?" Nothing, that's what. It wouldn't hurt one thing.
I can speak from both sides of this, I think. I was a co-sleeper with my mom for a long time. I was probably 10 or older before I started taking ownership of my own bed. Different circumstances, however. It was just she and I. No one else to consider, really. If I examine how it all affected me, I must say it was minimal. I am a very independent person...not because my mom didn't let me sleep in her bed, but because of the many other qualities, morals and values that she instilled in me.
What it all boils down to, I think, is that there are different choices for different folks. For those that choose to co-sleep with one or more of their kids, they will most likely have to deal with separation issues later in life. For me - one that chooses not to - I'll have to deal with the troubling issue of "maybe if I had let them crash with me, they'd be closer to me."
I'm curious about your opinions on this...don't take it as controversial. I'm just interested to know. There's certainly no worry of a right or wrong opinion here. Tell me your thoughts!