A Night in the Life of a Co-Sleeping Mama
I'm a co-sleeping mama. That's right. My almost three-year-old son sleeps with me and my husband every night in our bed. This wasn't the original plan, of course. Our little guy has a big boy bed in his room– it’s still there. Unused!
It all began when our son started coming into our bedroom in the middle of the night. After a few hours of sleeping in his car bed (constructed by dad), he'd open his bedroom door, then pitter-patter his little feet down to our room.
"Go back to your bed honey," we'd say. But even after telling him five times in our half-asleep mumbles, he'd always refuse. For a while, we did alright getting up to walk him back to his room, lay him down, and tuck him back in. But then we got way too tired. Way too lazy. I was pregnant when this all started, and the last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed to waddle my big 'ol cankles down the hall. So we reached a point where instead of asking our little man to go back to his own bed, we'd just pull him up into ours.
Now we're stuck. Now there's no way we can possibly tell him he needs to start sleeping in his own bed. Now we're screwed. Now we have two kids. Not only does our five-month-old sleep in her crib just a few feet away, now the miniature version of my husband has taken up residency right down the middle of our bed. And across the top. And vertically. Here's how a typical night plays out:
We all lie down in bed together, with the baby snoozing in her crib (Thank you Jesus, please let her stay asleep for at least four hours!). Daddy usually falls asleep within minutes, while mommy tries to tackle our little monster.
He starts practicing his yoga moves and gymnastics stunts.
"Lie down and close your eyes," I tell him. He complies. For about ten seconds.
Then he lays his head down on the edge of my husband's pillow, sprawling across the bed until his tiny feet meet the edge of my pillow. And he starts kicking those little feet around. As he does, his tiny hands begin scratching the wall because we have no headboard.
"Lie down straight and close your eyes," I tell him again. And again, he obeys, but only momentarily.
His bedtime shenanigans continue for a good half hour, and I spend half of that time sounding like a broken record as I try to get some shut eye myself. Why can't you just lie down, be still, and go to sleep?!!
When he finally does fall asleep, his baby sister decides she is hungry. So I stumble to the crib and bring her to the bed. I gently push my toddler's head, which is now in the middle of my pillow, onto the space between my husband's pillow and mine. I push my pillow up against the wall, and wrap the Boppy around my waist.
As I blissfully (but sleepily) breastfeed the baby, my little monster strikes again. He tosses and turns, until his head has found the Boppy. And he plops down right next to the baby's feet. Now that I'm done feeding her, I must push his head away again. Then he sits up. Oh dear Lord.
“My head hurts."
"Lie down and sleep. You're fine."
"Shhhh! Don't you wake up your sister!"
Little man lies down, still fussing. Meanwhile, I haven't slept a wink since our family slumber party started. Once my son is sleeping again, I take the baby back to her crib. I really have to pee, but that's going to have to wait.
I get back in bed, pull the covers over myself and shut my eyes. Ahhh, finally, I can get some sleep!
And then comes the elbow. Right in the back. Little man is squirming again. I push the elbow away, only to have his foot find my eyeball.
Sigh… deep breath… I push the foot off my face and pull the covers over me again. Now little man is laying on my pillow, breathing in my direction. Holy. Cow. Toddler breath.
I turn the other way and finally get comfortable. This lasts for about two hours, and then the baby wants my boobs again. And with her brother lying on my pillow, our little routine repeats itself.
I am a co-sleeping mama. And I still need to pee.
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