I Don’t Miss Sleep Anymore

Safe haven

My three men…all wiped out together

The other night our double bedroom doors burst wide open at 1:03 a.m., startling both hubby and I awake. From the light in the hallway, I could make out that the perpetrator of our early morning wake up call was our youngest son, Luke.

“What’s up, Luke?” I asked, although I already knew the answer to this question.

Luke is our “good” sleeper. While his brother tosses and turns in the top bunk, Luke slumbers peacefully. He sleeps in cars, on planes, and in restaurants. When he’s down for the count, you usually don’t have to worry about him again.

“I had a nightmare,” he replied as he quietly closed the door behind him with sudden politeness.

“Really? What about?” I said.

As he began to climb onto our bed, he started recalling a dream wherein he was being chased in Roblox, which is some new video game he and his brother have been playing. He sat on the end of our already cramped, queen-size bed telling us about snakes (like Indiana Jones, he hates snakes) and death. He was visibly unsettled. Often he will just tell us about his nightmares, and then head back to his room. Sometimes, though, he needs real comfort. I could tell this was one of those times. Finished with his story, he finally crawled toward the top of the bed, pulled back the covers between me and hubby, and began to insinuate himself between us.

“So…sorry about this, guys,” he told us as he nestled in and began to settle down to get some more sleep.

When Luke was small, we experienced periods during which the only way he would fall asleep was in our bed. He slept in a bassinet in our room until he was four months old. He slept with us again off and on from 9 months to roughly 14 months. Sometimes he would fall asleep in our bed and we would transfer him. Sometimes we were so tired he ended up staying with us all night. When we would tell other people about Luke’s sleeping habits, most would cluck their tongues and tell us what a mistake we were making. We brushed it off.

In the house I grew up in, we were not allowed to sleep in my parents’ room. Ever. It simply was not done. My parents gave us our own rooms, and they expected us to be in them. End of story. When we had our children, I assumed that our kids would have the same experience that I did. But, our kids are not like my sisters and me. Our kids have vivid imaginations and stressful dreams. Joe sleepwalks. Luke, if aroused from sleep by an unexpected noise, is often unable to calm down enough to go back to sleep. We do what we can to get sleep when we can, and sometimes that only occurs when we let the boys sleep in our room. It is what it is. We have made our peace with it.

I flipped around as Luke was in our bed the other night, unable to go back to sleep. I could not get comfortable because what was once 20 pounds is now 55 pounds and takes up a lot more room. I was about to resign myself to taking Luke’s place in his bed while letting him rest peacefully with his dad when, out of nowhere, the announcement came.

“I think I’ll go back to my own bed now,” he said, grabbing his stuffed animal and climbing carefully over his father and out of the bed.

I walked with him down the hall and tucked him back into his bunk bed underneath his sleeping brother to make sure he was truly ready to settle down. He pulled his stuffed Husky dog, Shasta, towards him, curled into a little ball on his side, and closed his eyes. He was calm, and I knew I would not be seeing him again until the morning.
I’ve thought a lot about the way we “spoil” our kids by letting them do things like sleep in our room on occasion. Truth is that I don’t feel the slightest bit of remorse about it. I don’t think it’s undermined their confidence or made them any less capable of handling their fears. Instead, I think it’s allowed them to believe that when things get scary, they can turn to us. When they feel confident and relaxed, they always move forward without us. Sure. We’ve definitely lost some sleep with restless boys in our bed or on an air mattress in our room, but I think the trade off of knowing that they know they can count on us is worth it. Besides, these days are numbered. Someday they will be out of the house, and I will miss hearing that door burst open in the middle of the night and knowing that they need me. I’ll catch up on my sleep then.

Comments

  1. I can remember having scary nightmares when I was a child and how comforting it was to snuggle up against my mother and father in their bed. They always welcomed me with open arms and lots of hugs and kisses. I let my sons come to our bed many, many times when they needed that extra comfort, love, and assurance. I’m with you 100% on this.

  2. Oh and adorable picture by the way!

  3. Anna Lea West says:

    I really love your writing and your stories. For some reason, they just “work” is my mind and I love’em. This: “So…sorry about this, guys,” made me smile-smile :)

  4. “So, sorry about this guys.” I love the contradiction between little boy and big guy in that sentence. Sweet story. And Congrats on the FP. :)

    • It was a nice contradiction, Kelly. It made me laugh. It’s hard to get mad when your kid realizes he’s putting you out, apologizes for it, but does it anyway. Thanks for the comment. :)

  5. Do I Have My Keys? says:

    Adorable.

    I remember fighting my mother to sleep in my own bed. So, I certainly understand a routine such as your family’s.

    God bless!

  6. My seven year old still sleeps with me. LOL. His sister never did.

  7. Congrats on being featured on freshly pressed! Like so many other parents out there, I can totally relate and totally agree. Above all else I want my kid to be self assured and well adjusted. We just do the best we can.

  8. My daughters are all grown up now. One is in college and the other has graduated. I miss these days of no sleep, so so much!

  9. What a lovely pic . …. Rocking :)

  10. Obviously you are not “spoiling” them. The very fact that he makes the decision to go back to his room means (at least to me) that he’s secure and well-adjusted. Like you said, they know they can turn to you guys, and that’s good. Kids need to feel secure and you are building trust that will likely be good for your relationships with the boys when they get older. Kudos to you!

    (And I still TOTALLY miss my sleep! Hubby was teasing me last night about how I am when I don’t get my “requisite 12 hours.” Hahah Which you never get with a toddler.)

    • Some days I have to tell myself that sleep is overrated. Those days, coincidentally, are the ones when I’m spending a little too much time and money at Starbucks. ;)

      • Dude…my coffee is my lifeline. And I do believe my lazy boy cat is currently enjoying the benefits of my bed, under my covers. The world is cosmically unfair. Haha

  11. Lovely writing, nice story. And congrats on being FP’ed.
    I really think it is a part of life, this growing up and out of our parents’ bedroom. I do not recall being much of an intruder myself, though that may have been just an exception, having grown un in a culture where that should not be seen as unusual or so undesirable up to a certain point and age. Of course it has to do with fears, strength, independence, etc. But I guess we sometimes overrate independence at that early age…
    Again, it is most probably cultural differences, but the need to explain/justify it does not happen that often + the almost melancholy foreshadowing or your boys leaving home (days are counted) as soon as they turn 18 to never go back, just gave me a chill down the back of my head. Like, too much programming, too few hugs and kisses after a certain (early) age. Simply let yourself love them to bits and make sure they KNOW and HEAR it. I dislike mothers not hugging their grown-up children, and feel actually annoyed whenever I see fathers only shake hands with their grown sons; simply ridiculous, like some sort of greeting at a funeral, not father-and-son.
    Luke will be OK, Joe will be OK, Shasta will do just fine. Make sure you and your husband get up more in the middle of the night to go and have a loving look at your kids sleeping preacefully.
    And those who cluck their tongues can go look at their own lives and see how they can define family love and affection once their own are off to college, kisses are no longer in use and only handshakes or long-distance calls from across the country remain ;)
    Cheers,
    -M

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I think the most difficult part of parenting is the second guessing that can occur when you receive criticism for your way of doing things. I’m learning to filter those negative comments out as background noise, but it’s taken me far too long to trust my instincts with my children without questioning. I wholeheartedly agree that ample hugs, kisses, and positive comments are the most important things we can share with our children. If we do it right, this is what they will remember of their childhood. Thanks for taking the time to reach out today. :)

  12. I’ve been a parent for seven years and a childcare provider for eleven. There is no one right way to do any aspect of parenting, from potty training to feeding to managing sleep. You have to do what works best for your family, regardless of whatever scorn and judgement other parents might want to shovel. My kids are both very solid sleepers (*knock on wood*), but I wasn’t. When I was little, I dreamed in full colour, Dolby Digital Surround Sound, with all manner of realistic sensory experiences to make the “reality” of my dreams hard to escape. My mum was my post to the world, and if I could find her in the night, I knew I was safe. A big imagination is a gift, even if it makes for some sleepless nights. :-)

  13. You sound like an adorable mom! And that’s the cutest photo ever! :)

    • Thank you for your sweet comment. That photo is one of my favorites. I took it one summer day when I suddenly realized the house was too quiet. Then, there I spied my three men cuddled up together and crashed out. It was perfect.

  14. Love the photo! We are just starting out on the parenting journey; our four month old is in a bassinet next to us every night and we have certainly had people “cluck their tongues” at us as well. It is so comforting to hear that your son knows that he can come for comfort, but also has the confidence to venture back out into the scary night. =) And, congrats on FP!

    • Congrats on your newly minted parenting journey! Have faith in your instincts and learn to block out the folks who only want to share their negative opinions. Everyone has their own path to walk and just because you’re doing it differently than someone else does not in any way imply that you’re doing it “wrong,” no matter what the naysayers say. Thanks for the kind comment. Best wishes!

  15. It’s okay to use the word “me” sometimes. There are grammatically-correct occasions for it. Here’s a reference: http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/i-or-me

  16. You absolutely nailed it! When they need us, we are there, and when they need us to step back, we beam with pride and let them go forth to thier own beds. The give and take of parenting.

  17. I agree with you about letting your kids into your bed. I have always had an open door policy with them, and have never had a problem with it. The older two no longer come in unless they’re sick, and then it’s usually just to let me know. Our youngest prefers her own bed. Which isn’t to say she won’t ask me to stay there with her!

    • Our oldest will be 12 in June. He still wants his father to stay in the room until he falls asleep. I try to remind hubby that this won’t last forever. He pretends to be annoyed by it, but since he just sits there goofing around on his iPad without interruption from me I suspect his protests are just noise. ;)

  18. That’s a lovely story. I never remember sleeping in my parents bed but then apparently If I cried or tried to go downstairs after lights out I was locked in my room with string tied round the doorknob. Perhaps that why I learned there was none to rely on in times of stress.Your boys are lucky,

  19. My 13 year old still sleeps with me when he’s home from boarding school. It comforts him and he sleeps better. I’ve come to accept that he will probably be asking me to move over for a longer than I expected.

    • It’s great that he still feels that comfortable and safe with you at 13. I’m going to miss it when my oldest gets to the point when he no longer wants me to tuck him in at 3 a.m. when he’s gotten out of bed.

  20. I am sending this to my girlfriend who has a walker, and lets him come to her bed, but feels guilty about it. Our rule has always been “We need to sleep” and however that comes about is not the issue. Sleeping is the issue. So, you go. Because good mommies are rested mommies! Jen

    • You’re right about that, Jen. If I’m not rested, I can’t be in the right frame of mind for my time with my kids. I accept that for some people this sleeping issue is a battle that’s worth picking, but it’s not in our case. I’m all for sleep…however I can get it. :)

  21. I used to wander into my parents’ room for the same reason when I was a child. I don’t think it’s done me much harm. I hope you found the sleep you need, but I’m sure Luke was grateful you let him stay with you!

    Excellent post. Well-written. :)

  22. Love this blog. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the FP. Here is what happens at our house on the odd night… (and the even ones too). Remember the whack-a-mole game? http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/4383432-113/whack-collingwood-holly-bed

    • Thanks so much, Holly. Your Whack-A-Mole story was awesome! I remember those days. Sometimes they still happen like that here but it’s a little easier with two who are 9 and 11 and not at all under 6. :)

  23. jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com says:

    Excellent post .Interesting article.Regards.jalal

  24. yes, somewhat sadly, YOU WILL CATCH UP ON YOUR SLEEP THEN. (taykit frum mee, we sleep in lots now). except … sometimes we babysit the (so far only) grandson, and i’ll betcha concur: (so far) we don’t mind the sleeplessnss. ‘cuz, o’ coarse, it’s finite.

  25. If you can find a balance between love and attention, and independence, your smashing it. Luke obviously feels that he is able to come to you when he needs you, but confident to return to being by himself, at the end of it. You’re amazing :) Thanks for sharing.

  26. So true that these days are numbered! As a mother of four, I have to constantly remind myself that as well. My children sleep in their own beds most of the time, but somehow, I still constantly find myself up all night due to a restless child. Thanks for this wonderful post!

    • I find on the mornings I wake up and realize I had an uninterrupted night of sleep I am a bit shocked. I find myself scanning my brain to make sure I didn’t just sleepwalk through a midnight break in. ;)

  27. So true about it going fast. My son is married now and I cherish all of those nights that I was awakened because of a little one.

  28. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    I love your post. I can relate with the annoying “clucking” from friends and family. But each family dynamic is different and I totally agree with your sentiment.
    Great post and great blog! I’m glad I stumbled upon it! :)

  29. What a very nice, warm post. It reminded me of my struggle to sleep when I finally moved out of mom’s room since I slept with her for nine years when father was overseas, working. When he came back, I was “re-assigned” to my own room and to my horror, I could not sleep anymore! It actually was a struggle to sleep because this happened when I am already 14, not a kid anymore. Lol. Finally, my mom found a solution by letting the hallway lights on. If you have time, this is the whole story: http://randomvignettesdotcom.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/why-the-hallway-light-is-on/

    I love the picture, I felt your happiness. It was one of those rare warm-inducing family portraits. :)

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story with me. Funny how we think of 14 as “too old” to need parents. I am guilty of reminding our oldest that it’s time he start tucking himself back into bed, but the truth is that some of my scariest dreams and biggest fears came when I was facing my teenage years. So many changes, so few answers. Your blog post was wonderful. Nothing wrong with leaving the lights on.

  30. What a lovely story, Luke sounds very cute.

  31. roadsidebears says:

    If it is any help… I slept in my moms bed with her when I was scared all the way up until I was 13. While the cases grew less frequent, it was always peace to my mind to know my mom was only a door away. I am 23 and if I wasn’t married I’d probably still crawl in bed with her when I had nightmares or just wanted to be close to my mommy. She’s my best friend.

    • I hope my sons grow up to appreciate and care for me the way you do for your mom. Thanks for your comment.

      • roadsidebears says:

        It took me a little while to truly appreciate my mom. There was definitely the teenage I hate you phase. But I love her so much now, maybe appreciate her even more because of going through that phase.

  32. I am so in the same place as you! My two are 18 months and 5 yrs. When we had our first I was so resolved that our children would always sleep in their own rooms. That worked fine for one child. When #2 came along, their rooms had a paper-thin wall between them and they woke each other up every hour (at least). Now #1 crawls in with us partway through the night and #2 is in her own bed. I love, love, love it because I know it is so temporary. I secretly hope that when #1 stops coming in #2 will warm up the middle of our bed, just for a little while. :)

    • I was sad when Luke was little and had been sleeping with us but then decided again he wanted to room with his older brother. It felt empty for a while. I’d be lying if I said my heart isn’t warmed every time one of them comes to us, no matter how tired I am at the moment. It is so temporary. Good for you for knowing enough to enjoy it and recognize it for what it is!

  33. What loving mother! Love your parenting story, lesson learned!

  34. Yes nightmares, sleep walking, sleep talking/hollering… Sleep in general hard to come by… http://www.kodiakmylittlegrizzly.com

  35. You are giving your boys a great gift.

  36. I feel that same way about cosleeping with my daughter. At some point she will want her own bed and I am enjoying comforting her. It is also a comfort to me it has turned out. Rock on sista!
    I love how aware your son is about what is going on and his self soothing is turned on by knowing when he is okay again to go back to his bed. It takes confidence to know what your needs are and state them and then move on to the next.

    • Luke has been very independent since birth, but he’s also incredibly affectionate. When he has bad dreams, I think he struggles between being strong and wanting to feel loved. Luckily for us, he usually chooses hugs. I wouldn’t trade his midnight raids on our room for anything.

  37. I so needed to read this. I’m 38 weeks pregnant with our first child, and we just got a bigger bed (a super king) for the sole reason that we expect it to be filled with children at various times over the years. I always feel funny admitting to people that that’s the reason we got the big bed – I get enough of the tongue clucking when I admit that we’ll have the baby in a bassinet in our room, let alone that we’ll let the baby come into our bed if he or she wants. So thank you so much for sharing, it has been a huge encouragement. And congratulations on being Freshly Pressed :)

  38. My daughter is 5 and we co-slept from the beginning. She now sleeps in her own bed about 1/2 the time, but usually when she comes and climbs in with us at some point in the night. She is our only child and we welcome her! She has an outstanding imagination and started having nightmares on a somewhat regular basis about a year ago. It got pretty rough before I remembered what I used to do when I was a kid and had nightmares. I told her my special secret “When you lay down, right before you go to sleep, you whisper to yourself, with strength, ‘I will not have scary dreams tonight.’” She said, “Does that really work mom? I need to know”
    I told her the truth, that it’s a simple thing and it DID work for me, and I hope she could try. Since then, she whispers this about 5 times to herself before going to sleep. It has worked for her, as it did for me.
    My husband and I will always allow our kiddo into our bed when she needs us. Her sense of security for a lifetime is worth it. I enjoyed reading your story. I, too, do not miss sleep anymore and will be catching up, the same as you, in a time when those little hands are big ones, and their hearts don’t only belong to us.
    Good thoughts, Karen

  39. I used to love the reassurance of knowing I could sprint past the monsters down the hallway to mum and dads bed when I was little. My 14 month old son has shared my bed since he was born, which makes for a bit less sleep on my part, but I’m really going to miss him snuggling up to me when he moves into his own bed!
    You have a really great blog here :)

  40. there was something that i connected with in your blog… don’t know what but i did…though am not married or have kids for that matter…but still…
    it etched some pain, some ease and some comfort that i relate to and have often said this to me ” I’ll catch up on my sleep then.”
    a sweet piece…congratulations!!!

  41. Great blog :-) There is certainly no ‘one’ rule for kids, especially when it comes to sleep! But what better feeling is to know that you’re available when they need you. Thanks for sharing :-)

  42. Reblogged this on smartsyco.

  43. I always slept in my mothers bed when I had nightmares that were mostly about spiders, because you see, in my room the spiders could get me but in my mother’s room the spiders weren’t allowed in. Makes perfect sense! Haha.
    I think the fact that your boy chose to go back to his own bed is the perfect way to let those tongue cluckers know that it hasn’t been harmful – he sounds like an intelligent, mature boy from the way he explains his dream, talks to you guys, and once he felt better, realising he could face his own bed again.
    Lovely post.

  44. I’m sure it will do your sons good when you allow them to feel secure. Congrats on being a great parent and being Freshly Pressed! :=)

  45. Awww how sweet is that!Loved going through your post!

  46. Reblogged this on Elliot Claire London.

  47. My litlte one used to sleep in the crib at the foot of the bed, It was close enough so she knew we were there if she needed us. In time, she grew a little more and would climb over her crib and onto the bed. Eventually, she started sleeping in her own room and at that point I started to think that eventually she will be so grown up she won’t need me to comfort or re-assure her. Sure hope that moment doesn’t come too soon! :D

  48. nice post..
    congrats of being freshly pressed

    …..zzzzz…. zzzz

  49. I love this. And, you are exactly right one day they will be too big to come sleep with you when they get scared, but they will never forget that they can come to you.

  50. Wonderful post! The picture is awesome! It seems like only yesterday I was doing the same thing with my kids. You sound like a great mom! Congrats on being Freshly pressed! :-)

  51. Enjoy them while they are young. These are golden moments. I hope you are capturing these moments on film. Our daughter slept like a log. In the car, she could be chattering or singing and in mid-sentence, even mid-word, and fall asleep in an instant filling the car with silence.

    But those best remembered moments ended halfway through ninth grade after she joined and fell in love with pole vault. She also joined several academic clubs taking her away from home at seven in the morning not to return until about eight at night and she was even gone most weekends to attend pole vault practice and/or competitions both academic and sports.

    My wife said, “I didn’t think we would lose her this soon.” Today she is in her third year at Stanford and we get a short e-mail now and then letting us know she’s still alive.

  52. Yeah, about that catching up on your sleep business…when exactly does that start?

    Somewhere between driving out in the middle of the night ’cause daughter’s boyfriend didn’t have a jack to change a flat (which he found just before I got there…”Tee hee. Sorry Dad!”) and the first grandson being born – - – I think I missed the window of opportunity.

    Now kid #4 is dropping off grandkid #4 (and soon to have grandkid #5) at 5:50 a.m. so she can get the school bus at my house, and grandkids #2 & 3 can stay up ’til midnight watching monster movies, and be looking for breakfast at 6:30 Sunday morning… ;}

    Be at peace,

    Paz

  53. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  54. I approve of letting your kids sleep in your room
    It’s nice when your parents can still fight your nightmares

  55. I love this. I use to do this all the time as a kid, too. My sister never had sleep issues like me (I’m very light/sound sensitive). I felt a lot better sleeping next to them when I had nightmares. I can’t wait to be a parent too, hopefully in another few years :)

    Thanks for the post.

  56. People have been giving me guff that I sleep with my son (13 months) in his bed (mattress on the floor) and that it’s going to cause a bad habit. While there are some nights I’d prefer to sleep the whole night in my OWN bed, knowing that my son is comforted and can sleep is more important. And then, there’s nights like last night, where he didn’t need me in bed until very early in the morning (4:30 am) and I felt like it was SO worth it because he had a great sleep by himself and was comforted knowing that I was there when he needed me. Keep up the good work!

  57. I remember joining Mom and Dad on occasion when as a kid something scared me from sleep… always welcomed too! A hug and snuggle us great against a scary dream! (Though I always woke the next morning in my own bed! No recollection of the trip back!!) Great post!

  58. It is so hard to remember that one day our kids won’t need us anymore. I take my time as a sahm for granted so often… but your post reminded me that sometimes I have to let my kids win the battle.

  59. I’m so not having kids until they invent some kind of safe, reliable children’s sleep aid.

    • I so used to feel the same way as you. But, then, after having kids I discovered that sometimes sleep keeps me from experiencing some really amazing things. There are days, though….

  60. Very sweet picture. I believe children sleeping with their parents is right if it is right for you and your little ones. I raised three boys, the older two would only sleep in their own beds, no matter how much I wished I they would settle down and sleep with me on their restless nights. The youngest would crawl in when he had bad dreams until he was about nine or ten. They are young adults now, and it goes by so extremely fast. You are very wise to appreciate even the sleepless nights. :)

  61. I can definitely empathise with you here. Sleep deprived due to co-sleeping with my 6 year old and nearly 2 year old 90% of the time, but wouldn’t have it any other way! Love your writing style.

  62. This was wonderful and brings back so many memories of small figures standing at the edge of my bed for assorted strange reasons. From one mom to another – THANK YOU for this post.

  63. Nightmare is very common in children that can make them feeling scared and in need of comfort. BTW.Your kids are adorable and Luke reminded me of my son when he was at his age. This is a Great Blog and I enjoyed reading it!

  64. This is a sweet post, I wish I had that same treatment when I was young. And yes, I do agree that actions that show them that they can count on you are important. As a matter of fact, it has a direct relationship with your relationship with your kids in the future. Just my 2 cents.

  65. I am with you 100%. Often times I let my son sleep in my room if he’s afraid (he’s 11) and every now and again he wants to snuggle me in bed before heading down to his makeshift bed on the floor. I too have gotten a lot of flack for this, but if your kids can’t count on you to make them feel safe and secure, who can they count on??

    Great post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  66. Congrats on FP! This was a nice read. Thank you for sharing. I have three boys under the age of 9 and I do not think I have slept through the night in a decade. I too feel the same, Even though I am exhausted, these moments are priceless and limited…so hop right into bed boys! I question my actions often but reading this makes me realize, I am not alone in my decisions and thoughts! Thanks again for sharing!

  67. My son is 7 and I lay in bed with him every night until he falls asleep. I have for years. I used to worry about it, I used to think that I was possibly creating a monster but one day I had a client who was telling me how her son was 17 and she laid in bed with him every night for a little bit and they talked. She said it was the only time he would tell her what was really going on in his life. It was at that time that I decided I wasnt going to worry about it. I was going to spend those minutes with him and enjoy the closeness that we had and be glad for it!

    Like you, growing up we were not allowed in my parents room and I certainly turned out fine but it is a different world today and I never want my son or daughter to feel like they cant come to mamma when they need me!

    • I think we spend too much time worrying about what is “best” while ignoring our instincts about what is best. We know what’s right. We just have to tune out all the chatter. Thanks for your comment. :)

  68. Sleep is WAY overrated!

    x

  69. Soo sweet! I’ll remember this story when my little guy gets old enough to travel across the hall : )
    Besides, sleep is for non-breeders.

  70. After having 3 kids, I didn’t care who came in the bed as long as it meant sleep for me. :)

  71. I’m so glad you are Freshly Pressed because I found your blog. My 8-year old only comes in our room about twice a year now after years of coming in maybe twice per week. I too wanted him to know we would always be there for him and never turn him away. His attachment to us is so secure, I believe, because of those types of choices on a daily basis.

    • I think you have to look for the silver lining. I didn’t always love getting kicked by my sleeping year old son, but I knew that if I had to keep getting out of bed to put him back in bed I would get zero sleep. They say you pick your battles. In our case, we decided we’d rather battle over good manners and respectful behavior than over sleeping arrangements and carrots. Thanks for your kind comment. :)

  72. “Besides, these days are numbered. Someday they will be out of the house, and I will miss hearing that door burst open in the middle of the night and knowing that they need me. I’ll catch up on my sleep then.” … It all rolls by faster than you can possibly imagine it, cherish each moment while you can.

    The other night I was heading off for bed, and the wife said, “Where are you going?” and I said, “I am going to bed.” She then said “It’s on 7:30 P.M. It’s too early to go to bed.” (which is kind of strange, no one was asking about the time}

    This is what happens in life, when your nightmares are more interesting than what’s on TV.

    Good post.

  73. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! I have a nearly 2 year old and “sleeping through the night” has been a distant memory. My son isn’t yet out of a crib, but has never been a great sleeper.
    Unlike my brother and sister, I had vivid nightmares as a child, starting as a toddler when I had “night terrors.” I would curl up nearly every night on my parents’ floor with a comforter and my pillow. Of course, I grew out of it. I think a lot of sleep is a mystery — why some people are good sleepers, why some people aren’t, why some kids have terrible dreams, some don’t. And we should definitely give comfort to our kids. However, as a sleep-deprived parent, I also know that it’s important to balance that with making sure that everyone is getting enough rest to be physically and mentally healthy!

  74. I think it is good for kids to at least have the option of climbing into their parents beds. I have twins who are almost two. Right now they sleep very well in their own rooms but for the first 6 months they shared a room with me. And then until almost a year Riley would only fall asleep in our bed cuddled up against her daddy (technically step dad but he has been there since day one).
    When the girls were really small and couldn’t sleep (or had just had shots) we would do kangaroo care with them.
    I think it is so important for parents to give their kids whatever comfort they need even if it means loosing a bit of sleep.

    • I think we all try to do what we think is best for our kids. I just can’t seem to turn them away when I can tell they’re truly worried or sad. On the nights that they’re just messing with me, I’ll draw the line. But, like you, I truly believe that giving your children comfort in their time of need is crucial. Thanks for your comment. :)

  75. I used to sleep in my parents room on and off till the age of 6 and then I just didn’t feel the need. And yes it was very comforting to know that I could go in their room if I needed to. Now I don’t even get to see them more than twice a year because I live in a different country.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  76. Nicely crafted article about the emotional rollercoaster that is the human condition. Very Engaging.

  77. i slept with my parents on and off until i was 13 or 14 maybe,so it makes my parents my protectors for always.

  78. I miss sleep…but then again, I get about 4-5 a night at MOST and work 3rd shift…I can’t wait till my son goes to school full time (he’s special needs 5 yr old) LOL, I will get much more sleep then.

  79. I don’t have kids yet, but co-sleeping is something my husband and I often talk about. In Japan it’s the norm for the whole family to sleep in the same room until the kids are quite big – 14 or 15 even is not considered weird. As an Aussie, who had her own room pretty early on and has no memories of ever sneaking into mum and dad’s room, this is something I’ve had to get my head around over the years, but now have a lot less trouble accepting as a probability with our future kids. Sounds like Luke is a pretty mature little guy, so I wouldn’t be too worried ^^

  80. It’s funny isn’t it, society tells us now that children should have their own rooms from an early age. I still struggle with letting my little boy cry, be restless, go quiet, shout out in his almost sleep…before he finally sleeps. The immediate urge is to go and comfort, I think you’re so right when you say that they move ahead on their own when they feel comfortable. What is wrong with providing the comfort when they need it? Faye

  81. Like you, we were never, ever allowed to sleep with our parents growing up. My sister and I would usually end up in each others bed. I remember both of us feeling really scared, and because of that, I let my kids sleep with us. My parents, of course, criticize this, but I’ve held firm! We did have to get a bigger bed, though!

  82. I so love this paragraph; ” Instead, I think it’s allowed them to believe that when things get scary, they can turn to us. When they feel confident and relaxed, they always move forward without us. Sure. We’ve definitely lost some sleep with restless boys in our bed or on an air mattress in our room, but I think the trade off of knowing that they know they can count on us is worth it..”

  83. I live in a country where kids sleeping in the bed (or futon as it is) is the norm. I said good night to a good night’s sleep along time ago!! Your last sentence sums up the sentiment here in Japan. I’ve learnt to love this custom and snuggle up to my kids almost every night.

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  84. I love moms.

  85. Nice read, thanks for posting. I agree, they’re only small once! My daughter is 16 months and hasn’t taken to sleeping with us yet, but there are many other things that others could cluck their tongues at me about. I try to remember that I’m doing what I feel is right and that it will all turn out in the end.

    • I think that’s the hardest thing to do as a parent…ignore negative comments from others, trust your instincts, and know that as long as you love your kids and show up for them things will be fine. Thanks for your comment!

  86. Reblogged this on Hodgepodge 4 the Soul and commented:
    My sentiments EXACTLY… :D

  87. Some times I need Lots of sleep or no sleep at all

  88. Thanks for this lovely story. The frequency of our 4 1/2 year old arriving in our bed in the wee hours is suddenly reducing. I don’t see him as spoilt, just supported and very loved…and anyhow, he is growing out of his night wandering habit in his own time, just like your son is. No regrets here either :)

  89. A lot of this sounds very familiar, and you write about it so beautifully.
    When our 5 year old wakes up from a nightmare, after he tells us about it, we (pretend) to scoop it up, and then flush it down the loo so he doesn’t have to worry about it coming back when he falls back to sleep. It always makes him feel better.

    Looking forward to reading more on your blog x

  90. what a great post. my son is master at inserting himself into my bed, and i don’t really mind but I have to at least go through the motions of being put out. :)

  91. I was so glad to read your blog. I have a 12 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. I have no problem allowing them to sleep in our bed whenever they need comfort. They eventually move to their own bed when they are ready. Our 12 year old rarely comes into our room anymore. Our 7 year comes in less than he used to.

    I believe in making sure our kids know they can feel secure and trust that we will always be available for them.

  92. Thank you for this!

  93. I enjoyed your post, I always laugh to myself how repulsed people can act when I mention that we let our kids slip into our bed in the middle of the night, as if we’re ruining them. Then there are other times, I’ll make mention of it and the person takes a deep sigh of relief as if to say, oh good, you do that to. I agree, I believe it makes them more confident, more sure of our willingness to be there when we need them, and I’ll miss it to..someday

  94. Cute.. i love reading this..

  95. We let our children to sleep with us whenever they like – that’s not a mistake or anything bad! That’s attachement creation. Just wait till they be bigger and they even will not want to think about sleeping in your bed. So enjoy while you can ;)

  96. We cosleep as well and even bought a kings size bed to make it more comfortable for us all. I love it too! :)

  97. thats so true! great blog!

    feel free to take a look at mine!

  98. Reblogged this on Baby & Kids Clothing For Momz & Dadz and commented:
    And NO MOre Dreams As well

  99. I’m slowly catching up on blog reading and commenting. Look at you all Freshly Pressed! Congrats.
    I so agree that the way our parents raised us has changed so much now that we have our own kids. It’s a different world, but more so that we have different kids. Being flexible and adaptable is much more the norm now. I think those people clucking and tsking that you let your boys sleep with you may have also come to similar conclusions in similar circumstances.
    So bittersweet that your son and Shasta went back to their own bed. He knows he is growing up and needing less and it’s just a little way to show you how to let go.

    • Thanks for your comment. I keep thinking that I highly doubt he will take Shasta with him when he goes to college, so at least I will still have a little someone to cuddle with when he’s gone. :)

  100. Reblogged this on Ish Ism and commented:
    Great post about being a parent

  101. You’re right, and I can attest first hand that ‘these days are numbered’. Before you know it, you’ll be sleeping all you want, where and when you want. Keep being supportive. That’s your job.

  102. As the mother to two grown boys, I can attest to missing sleep, yet, I would’t have changed it for the world. Kids grow up quickly and you end up missing the days where you just had a small someone to cuddle with.

    Sweet story.

  103. .It’s so cute… You are a great mom :)

  104. awww…how sweet…comfort is not defined by sleep position but by who we sleep with.. :)

  105. Great post. First time I read this issue discussed from this angle. I think I like this view better. Wouldn’t encourage over-indulgence though. Thumbs up!

  106. This is a beautiful post. I was the ‘trouble sleeper’ in our family and had bouts of night terrors and insomnia from when I was about 3 – I rarely climbed in to bed with my parents, but when I did I remember feeling the safest I’ve ever felt. And when I was ready to take on the sleep fears by myself, I remember tapping in to that safe feeling knowing it existed in my life and I could access it at any time, even at a very early age. I think you and your husband are doing it just perfectly.

  107. I don’t get it.

  108. This is a great post, we were just saying the other day how different our parenting styles are compared to when we were kids. Having twins it seemed like a revolving door in our room, but after awhile it kind of all works itself out. Now occasionally the twins will come in just to check to make sure we are where we said we’d be, then they run off to bed. Your right, the days are numbered for when they are little – and when they are teenagers we will be “so uncool” so it’s great to enjoy them and create a connection with your child. Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt post, truly enjoyed!

  109. My daughter is six. She decided about four that I “breathe too loud” and stopped sleeping with me. I miss those snuggly sleep sessions. They are filled with warmth, tenderness, and love. Thank you for sharing.Kristi from Hallelujahhighway.com

    • It’s so funny what kids will say, Kristi. When my sons were very young (3 and 1), I used to sing to them before bed. One night, the oldest told me, “Mommy…you don’t have to sing to us.” Translation: “You’re hurting our ears.” Now I only sing in the car when I’m alone. Have a great weekend!

  110. Great story. Thanks for sharing!

  111. I am seventy years old. I was a flower child. I grew up with the same bedroom rules that you did. My daughter slept in her own room by choice. My grandson often sleeps with me when he is here and he’s ten years old. Both my daughter and my grandson are secure, confident people, but when they need reassurance, we are there. You are doing exactly what you should be doing. Congratulations on your good sense and your Freshly Pressed status too. :-)

  112. Thank you for following your instincts. There’s too much weird advice out there from people who don’t have children (or don’t have happy ones), and all it does is traumatize kids. They grow up fast. You’ll sleep later.

  113. Nice story! indeed.i must say in India, its different. We sleep together in one room.though we have separate room for each of us.We never allow Kids to sleep in separate room ever.
    Your story reminded me of my childhood and of those nights i cuddled my mother.Thnx for bringing back those memories.

  114. Very sweet, and so true, My daughter is only over a year but I miss her waking me at night and the feeling when I would awake the next morning in the glider, sleeping all night with her in my arms. Now she goes 12 hours without me but I wouldn’t mind another sleepless night or two if I could have that again.

  115. I agree with you 100% – your kids know they can come to you, no matter what – that’s the best gift you can give your kids! Even if it is 1AM…(:

  116. My 5 year old has has night terrors since he was about 8 months old. He’s now advanced to night terrors and sleep walking. My two year old also suffers from night terrors – so I definitely know how to survive on little sleep! I agree with you – how are my kids supposed to turn to me with their fears and worries during the day, if they can’t do so when they’re most vulnerable, at night?

  117. You and your hubby are not your parent…. Nice and funny writing

  118. I miss sleep, but then again I have a 4 month old. I have been told he will sleep again someday. *sigh* I hope my son knows he can always come to me such as yours go to you. Very much enjoyed your post

  119. My children are aged 3 and 9 months, so sleep for me is a luxury, and seldom (okay, never!) without interruption. :) My sleep-parenting style is similar to yours, and I’ve gotten my share of tongue clucking about it. I figure that as long as my children are happy and I am somehow getting enough sleep to remain sane, who cares where they sleep when? It varies for us from night to night, although we attempt a routine. We just float with it and try not to stress out about being too stringent on the sleep issues. Our 3 year old took after her mommy, in having sleep issues, so if I had never slept with her during her first two years, i would have completely lost the few marbles I had left. :)

  120. Sweet picture!

  121. My baby was always welcome in my bed growing up. She’s a teenager now and there’s nothing different or more screwed up with her than others. I think it’s special when a child comes into bed with you and cuddles even for just a little while. Occasionally my teenager will slip into bed with me and I’m so grateful for those few special moments with her.

  122. We have 2 toddlers that make our king sized bed feel something like a cot. We’ve tried putting them to sleep in their own beds (yes they have them) or transferring them or having them lay down with their big sisters but somehow they always end up back in our bed. It’s been slightly frustrating at times but I find that it takes more energy and I get far less sleep going back and forth all night than if we all just go to sleep in one bed. Like you, I’ve had lots of “clucking” adults who think they’ve done it better but as a mother of 5 girls, a full-time nurse, a continuing college student, and a wife I find that my best sleep is had when everyone is comfortable. It sounds to me like Luke has 2 great parents and that later in life he will be far more confident in himself and trusting in you both to guide him (or comfort him when he has a nightmare)!

  123. though its my first visit, I found this article quite interesting. In my view, let the kids sleep with the parents as long they feel comfortable, may be at some point of time they may like to sleep in a separate room without interrupting parents.

  124. So sweet! And so special!

  125. Awesome!! Good for you! They’re only little once…and you can never get the time back. Our daughter (3rd born) slept through the night consistently before our son (2nd born). I would wake up to find Jason looking me in the face as he stood by the bed in the middle of the night. He would climb in bed to cuddle for a while or I would walk him back to bed, depending on the situation of the night. I certainly didn’t mind. He was such a cuddler. Our daughter was plagued by nightmares, and so I would read book after book to her until she was comfortable enough to go to bed. After our son died, there were so many other things I thought of that I wish I would have done differently. I’m not saying that I did it all wrong, but there were things that seemed important at the time that I now realize really weren’t.

  126. To a child, the soft pillows, the warmth of the sheets, the company of stuffed toys cannot replace the secure embrace, the lingering scent and the soothing voice of their parents.

  127. Thanks for sharing, your post is awesome, your family is adorable..and I also like the picture :)

  128. You’re doing just fine by spoiling your children in this way. I too get less sleep than ever before, and it is worth every bleary eyed, darkened circle under the eyes, listless yawning moment.

  129. I can remember jerking awake on the sofa after dozing off while my daughter was playing on her blankie and how guilty I felt. Bad Daddy, Bad!!! My kids slept with me and her until they no longer wanted to. Seems natural to me.

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