Years ago my mom told me about a phrase a lifelong friend of hers had used with her own children. The family bed. That phrase has stuck with me through the long and late nights of crying babies and the (very) early mornings accompanied with a whole new sense of exhaustion. Not because it is particularly catchy, but because for us it held so much truth.
There is so much controversy in every aspect of motherhood. Each one of us trying all too hard not to walk on egg shells, stand our ground on our own parenting practices, and simultaneously ask for help and advice. In the end the only thing we all want is to raise healthy, happy, life-loving kids.
We knew practically before Jax was even born that he was never going to be a sleeper, and it was confirmed when he didn’t sleep through the night until nearly 10 months. I am talking the “5-6 hours straight” version of sleeping through the night. When I say that he wouldn’t sleep anywhere away from me I mean it in the most serious way. I tried cry it out and he cried for hours on hours, day after day, never making an improvement until my heart couldn’t take it anymore. I tried laying him down drowsy to which he popped up and refused a nap the rest of the day. I tried to be strict, I tried to be lenient. I have tried everything. To the point of questioning myself every day and wondering why I didn’t just do what felt right all along instead of putting my son and myself through weeks of discomfort without achieving anything.
So yea, we co-slept. And I got to tell ya, I don’t care about the bad connotation attached to it. We were safe, we were cautious in every single way, and we slept. Well, he did. Until he was a year old I was in and out checking on him religiously. Which I did no matter where he was. I get that some people take huge issue with this sleep arrangement, but I also am a firm believer that every parent knows whats best for their kids. And while I don’t feel any need to defend our decision, I will say, this WAS what was best for our family.
So there in began what I would call much later – OUR family bed.
We woke up this morning with all four of us snuggling together in the same bed cozy as can be. Feeling like family in its most perfect sense. Wrapped together and warm, Jax snoring and Lu nursing. Then Jax popped up and gave us his signature big “roarrrrrr” and we knew that it was time for breakfast. I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are definitely times when I wish I could stretch out, or flip over, or even sleep. I won’t deny that. I can also appreciate that other families and couples use that time as their own time to wind down and relax. I could use a little bit of that kind of time sometimes too…
Every family has something different that works for them. No matter the research you do or the advice you take, that will always stand true. Trial and error, oh so, so much error is what brought us to where we are now. I read articles and think to myself, man, maybe I didn’t try hard enough to make that work, or maybe a stricter routine would be the key to bed time. I sulk, doubt myself, then talk it out with Justin and realize, we have TRIED that. trying it now would not change anything it would only give us more weeks of discomfort without achieving anything. And most importantly, we are happy.
This is what works for us.
This is our family bed.