Parenting

How the heck do parents co-sleep?

Wondering if co-sleeping is for you? After sharing her bed with her daughter for one night, this parent is in desperate need of more coffee.

Photo: Bolot/iStockphoto

Photo: Bolot/iStockphoto

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I feel like I’ve been on a three-day bender. My head is fuzzy, I’m ridiculously tired, I can’t see straight and I’m edgy. But I wasn’t drinking nor was I even out with friends last night. (I’ve actually never been on a bender, but this is what I imagine it feels like.) No, this overwhelming fatigue was caused by…my daughter sleeping in my bed last night.

At some point, she came to my room (which she never does), claiming she couldn’t sleep (which never happens), and I groggily suggested she sleep in my bed. I only vaguely remember this. For the record, my kid has probably only slept in my bed three times in her seven years on the planet. And what ensued last night confirmed that co-sleeping isn’t my cup of tea.

I woke up repeatedly to sharp elbows in the back, legs draped over me, snoring, teeth grinding, coughing and a random “peacock!” shouted loudly. Yeah, so basically I didn’t sleep.

I’ve never been a cheerleader of the whole co-sleep thing. It’s not because of  studies that say it’s dangerous and it isn’t that I don’t like cuddling with my kid. Rather, I see it as: kid sleeps in parents’ bed, the requested parent stays put while the other parent heads for the spare bedroom, the couch or the toddler bed. Sort of like a nightly performance of the children’s song “Roll over”.

But I never really thought about the parent who shares the bed with the kid (or, God forbid, kids). Do they go through the torment I experienced every single night? How does that person function the next day? I mean, kids don’t exactly understand the concept of sleeping vertically or respecting personal space.

Don’t get me wrong, if co-sleeping works for your family then go for it. I have a whole new respect for you. But, for me, last night only strengthened my personal resistance to sharing a bed with my daughter. This is not the stuff of wonderful memory making. This is the stuff of turning me into a crazy person who can’t function at work the next day.

So if she wakes up again tonight (or any other night), I’m going to get my butt out of bed and tuck her back in…to her bed, the one in her room.

Now, where’s my coffee?

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