Monday, May 25, 2009

Sleep Easy 12/2008


I hear all the time about how if you let your children sleep in your bed, you will never get them out. Before having children I had very strong opinions about nearly everything I wanted to do or have for and with my future offspring. Once they were born though, I became a marshmallow overnight. Suddenly the word discipline sounded like it belonged to a foreign language. I laughed at myself thinking that the idea of telling these tiny, precious beings “no” to anything was unthinkable. I told my husband that he would have to take over as the hard ass, that I could no longer fill that role. I was toast.

He laughed knowingly and said I would get over it. I was indignant! How could he say that? How could he tell me how I would feel? Never mind that he has a twelve year old and he’s been through it all already. What did he, or anyone for that matter, know about me and these babies?? Am I na├»ve, idealistic, or both? Likely both. Maybe I will get over it, but I am so elated that they are healthy, I feel as though whatever they can dream up is theirs for the taking. I talk a lot about sleep and lack of it a lot. But you don’t realize how valuable it is until you aren’t getting any.

We couch camped for a long time to be near the kitchen for middle of the night bottles. Eventually we reached our breaking point and finally made it back into our own bed (aaahhh, soooo comfortable!), and were getting the babies used to sleeping in their cribs. Then they all got colds and needed to sleep upright. It quickly escalated to me finding any excuse to sleep next to them. I would hear them crying and go to ‘check on them’ and ‘oops, they need a diaper change’, and ‘oh, they needed a bottle and I wanted to feed it to them’. Anything to pick them up. I know, I know, the ‘experts’ say not to pick them up. Teach them to soothe themselves, among other solutions. My husband would go peek in on them to ‘help’ me not break down and pick them up.

But of course I would find those excuses and next thing you know, they were fast asleep – in the guest bedroom – with me. Is it really that bad to hold them and sleep with them? I find myself craving that cuddle time so often. My poor husband just wants a good night’s sleep. As do I. These tiny humans have me right where they want me. They have overpowered me with their sweet smell (well, most of the time) and wiley ways. With three we have little to no alone time, and believe you me, I am not giving up on that. But if holding them helps the wee ones sleep and we all get some shuteye, how bad can that be?

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