Parenting · Personal

There were three in the bed, and the little one said…

Do you co sleep with your little ones?

…well, not literally in the same bed, but the same bedROOM.

You see, Sausage still sleeps in the same room as Husband and I. Well, okay, sometimes she’ll sleep in our bed, too!

I say ‘still’…as far as I’m concerned, she can sleep in our room until she can say “Mummy, I’m sick of listening to you and Daddy snoring”. But I’ve noticed lately a few ‘looks’ if it comes into conversation with other parents. We’re aware that most two-year-olds sleep in their own room, in fact plenty of parents put their kids straight into a nursery, but Husband and I were never able to do that.

After a horrendous labour and traumatic birth, Sausage was in intensive care for the first eight days of her life, and once we got her home, neither of us were keen to be away from her. To this day, I have only spent one night away from Sausage, and that was because I was kept in hospital for suspected appendicitis. That was one of the worst nights of my life and I cried myself to sleep, aching for my little girl. They tried to keep me in the next night, too, but after spending the day being ignored by the doctors and nurses, I discharged myself and got a cab home. (And it wasn’t appendicitis, by the way!)

Her start in life isn’t the only reason that she’s still in with us. Part of it is that Husband will still wake up every hour or couple of hours and sit listening to make sure she’s breathing. I’m not sure if that’s an after effect of Sausage’s shaky start,  I suspect he would have been like it anyway! Part of the reason I love Husband is that he cares and worries about stuff that plenty of other parents just don’t even consider.

Speaking from a personal angle, the thought of Sausage sleeping in a room, all by herself, despite there being only one wall separating us, gives me an actual physical ache in my stomach. My little girl spent too long sleeping by herself (albeit in a room full of incubators housing other babies), and I don’t intend to make her do it again.

I do wonder, when I notice the glances from other parents, whether they think I’m judging them for letting their kids sleep in their own rooms, and I must emphasise that I’m really not. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt since becoming a parent, it’s that every family must do what is best for them. No judgement.

I also wonder, what do other parents think of our decision? I mean, I know there are arguments for claiming your bedroom as a grown-up space, but when I became a parent, I feel like I relinquished any right to claim certain space as a child-free zone. And in all honesty, why would I want to? When Sausage falls asleep in the evening, I actually miss her! Getting to snuggle with her in bed is optimal for me!

I know I’m a clingy Mum, and I’m not putting it all down to Sausage’s birth. I’m sure there will be a day when we decide that Sausage would be better off in her own room. And if I’m being totally honest, I dread that day, I really do. But I also want my girl to be brave and strong and independent, which means putting my own fears and anxieties aside.

But, I think that’s what parenting is all about isn’t it? The power of experience and hindsight, plus the courage to let our kids do things which scare the absolute crap out of us.

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