I, by no means, consider myself an Attachment Parent. I didn’t wear my baby in a sling or carrier. I didn’t breastfeed. In fact, I formula fed all three of my children proudly and without guilt, but there is one thing I share in common with Attachment Parents and that’s the decision to raise my children to be joyful and empathetic.
So, in comes the factor one would consider as Attachment Parenting. Co-Sleeping. My almost 4-yr-old sleeps with my husband and I in our bed. Every night we try to get him to sleep in his room (and at this point anywhere but our bed), but we are unsuccessful. The sad part? I think it’s ME that can’t sleep without him. I think it’s ME that created the Co-Sleeping Monster inside him.
When our first child was born, yes… I purposely put him in our bed because of the sheer reason of exhaustion. Yes. I was tired and, being that I’m a light sleeper, was tired of getting up every 5 seconds to tend to every single noise he made from his crib 2 rooms down.
Then came our second child. A Girl. A sweet-independent-from-the-day-she-was-born-girl. She never co-slept with us, probably because her older brother was always in bed with us. From the day she was born, she wanted nothing to do with a sling, carrier, or closeness of me. When it was bedtime, it was bedtime and everyone best leave her alone so she can get her 10 hours of Princess Rest.
She was easy.
She was the reason my oldest decided to stop sleeping with us.
Years later, our third child came around. He cried a lot. He screamed a lot. He fussed a lot. Even when I brought him into the “Family Bed” he screamed. Nothing made this child happy. We got him to sleep in his own toddler bed and bedtime was pleasant. All he needed was a night light. It was a very sweet time for my husband and I to have our bed back and all three children in their own rooms.
Then tragedy struck.
I call it tragedy because, although it’s not your normal tragedy, it was, indeed a tragedy for us.
Marriage was in trouble. Job was in trouble. Finances were in trouble. So, we decided to leave the life we had in Memphis and move back home to Texas. Actually, the decision was not something we decided. We were forced to do this because, to be honest? We were broke.
So, we put all of our things in a storage unit. Packed up only the essentials and moved back home to Texas. All five of us slept in one room. ONE ROOM. Two of the kids slept on palettes on the floor while my husband, my 2-yrold, and I slept on a futon on the other side of the room.
It was our tragedy.
Today, we’ve built our life back up, brick by brick. Our things in storage were lost, never to be seen again (and I still cry about that), but our life is back. We’re healthy and happy and better for it, but one thing remains from our transition.
Our little co-sleeper.
He became so used to sleeping with us and now it seems he’ll be here forever. He told me last night, as we fell asleep next to each other, “Momma. I’m never going to leave you. Even when I’m a man, I’ll sleep right next to you.”
In the darkness of our room.
I’ve built an unbelievable closeness with this child due to a fear we all had when our lives were in shamble, but he’s developed an attachment to me that needs to dissipate… and it breaks my heart into a million pieces.
Do you co-sleep? What age did your child stop sleeping with you? How did you wean him to his own room? Most importantly, did you develop Co-Sleeping with your children by accident or out of extenuating circumstances?
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