Co-sleeping with the enemy?
I’ve always been anti co-sleeping. Not actually from a safety point of view, more from a ‘this is my dance space, this is your dance space, no one puts Baby in the same bed as us’ point of view.
It’s just not something I ever wanted to get into. For lots of reasons – but mainly for the sake of avoiding dramatic future habit breaking or being able to spend the night away without a second thought. Tons of parents co-sleep, perhaps you do or have done, and I have close friends who share their beds with their small people regularly. It works for them – they enjoy it. But I’ve steered clear of bringing her in, wanting my own space with the husband, and not a writhing, shouting, spreadeagling toddler too.
Yep you guessed it… until now.
It’s 4.56am and she’s screaming again. After the shouts at 12am and 2am. There’s a whole day of work ahead after commuting into town for meetings, school and nursery runs, swimming lessons and dinners to cook. And then logging back on to work after bedtime. I’m trying to think how long she’s been waking as a little ball of fury at 5am and I simply can’t remember a time when she didn’t, so it must be 18 months now. My husband and I are at our wits end with an hour of screams before 6am lights on, milk and Beebies, as well as these new night disturbances, which have been regular for a couple of weeks now. You know, just to add to the fun.
So four mornings ago, at the first signs of her yelling (and it IS yelling), we brought her in with us, sleepsack and all. She squirmed a bit, but fell back to sleep and woke up at 6am. Holy Moly. The next morning was similar, the next more like 6.30am. This morning she didn’t go back to sleep at all, so that backfired. But overall, much better and I have definitely felt more human for it. My nerves are intact, unlike most mornings where they feel shot before I’ve even boiled a kettle.
But I really don’t want to keep doing this. I feel guilty all the time that we’re going to have to undo it at some point, that it’s caving in to her and that she’s in control of us. And that’s not how I want to parent… She’s feisty enough as it is and I feel I’m fuelling it. But it’s affecting us all – her naps are rubbish, we’re all knackered and in a foul mood until we find our regular caffeinated groove at 8am, when we just get on with it and forget the whole sorry affair.
Perhaps you can’t see what the fuss is about. If it helps, it helps, right? But I’m conflicted with this bitter-sweet solution and feel I’m only delaying the inevitable. But I’m trying to give myself a break, so all I keep humming is ‘I’m only human after all…”
Featured image: Shutterstock / Evgeny Atamanenko