Monday, May 20, 2013

Co-sleep My A#%...

First off, I call bullsh!t.  No one with multiple children sleeps brilliantly, not at first.

Second, I call bullsh!t again, because in this interview the husband seems to be getting the shaft.

Third, I don't know how anyone does it.

Co-sleeping.  I have no idea how a couple manages that philosophy-in-practice consistently, without issue, for both parents. No idea.

Did Zoey sleep with us?  Yes, occasionally, but mostly no.  Does Maggie sleep with us, well, Mom mostly, and not consistently, and not in our bed.  We have made it a priority that although our children are more than welcome in our bed, whenever, they are not allowed to colonize it.  Our bed remains unequivocally, our bed.  Mommy needs sleep, and a break from two tugging tots, and Daddy needs sleep because he rises early, and sometimes drives hours to deal with addicts, prostitutes (I'm not kidding), homeless kids, abuse, fatigue is dangerous.  He needs sleep if only to escape and to really rest a head and heart that gets overworked daily.  It's less a physical thing than a mental/emotional.  Sleep, as we know, is just about the best thing that you can do for yourself.  Co-sleeping with your children sounds remarkably like a an affront to all things peaceful.

I get it, for's hungry and there's no need getting up and taking care of a need that you manage simply by unleashing a boob. Got it.  That part makes sense.  I even get it from a peaceful, resting funster point of view...they feel safe and content and happy. Got it.  Where I get lost is in the seeming dependancy it builds, and in the notion that your husband gets full on shafted.  Odds are he doesn't want to co-sleep, but couldn't open his mouth for a billion dollars without the fear of looking like a giant assh*le.  Trust me ladies, a great portion of what we do for you is less about you and more about trying NOT to be a turd.  Sure, we love you, and yes, we want to do things for you, but the urge to not look like an ass is often much greater than our urge to be awesome.  It's part of the whole "we're very different" thing.  We never know what you're thinking so we lean on the side of hesitancy.  Don't judge us.  You made us that way.  We communicate grunts, over-simplifications, and presumptuous reactions.  You communicate in wildly complex ways that include guess work, past seemingly irrelevant experiences that we should have remembered despite them having nothing to do with nor resembling this new experience in any way,  and looks/stares of disapproval.  For us 1+1 = 2...for you there are square roots, theorums, and letters where there should be numbers...not always, but more often than simple math should allow.  Odds are, you're husband/partner wants nothing to do with co-sleeping.  Simply by the act of enduring it, he's saying he loves you a great deal.

We have close friends, whom we love very much, who co-sleep, or who have co-slept, and it worked for them.  We, however, seem to be a much different story.  Neither of us are deep sleepers, although a recent mattress switch has helped me sleep better, and both of us extend ourselves greatly during the day.  We work hard, and we play hard.  We spend a lot of time with our kids, and invest in them constantly during the day.  At night it's time for some re-charging, and time for them to gently gain independence. Zoey was sleeping in a big girl bed before she was two years old, and has never, not even once, been afraid of the dark.  At three and a half she could wake herself to go pee in the bathroom.  Of course we heard her, and would often escort her, or help her, but she initiated the process.  Night time independence pays huge dividends.  We understand other people's desire to co-sleep, it's just not our thing.

I might have more of an issue with the story that inspired all this, that I linked to in the first paragraph -- this one -- than I do with the actual act.  It's contents are ghastly.

An offensive summary...

The husband sleeps in a twin mattress on the floor with one of the kids while Mom sleeps in a King with the other two?  Seriously?  First, I don't like her, and second, what kind of voiceless fool is he?

She's never experienced that all-consuming sleep deprivation..really?  It's not always a restful don't say?  

The bedtime routine...they lie down as a family?  How filthy is your home, and apparently no one ever has taxes to do, school work to complete, work that you had to bring home, any adult commitments at all in the evening.  Who commits their entire family to bedtime?  Jesus.

The cons of co-cleeping...Your husband misses time with just you.  Do you think?  He's sharing his wife with three kids ALL day long and then at night he gets to sleep in a different bed.  It's not even a sexual thing.  It's an intimacy thing, and it's about having at least a small portion of time in a day when he's not last place in his own home.  Trust me, he feels like he comes in last on a regular basis, and you just robbed him of maybe sneaking up the charts a notch or two for even just an hour or three.  Thanks for that.  Oh, he won't say anything, but you've pretty much turned him into a gelding, and then later on in life you'll loathe his pathetic second class citizenry.  You'll mourn whatever boldness and strength he used to have.  He's not looking to get laid lady, he's just looking to count.

She slept in the family bed while growing up until she was seven years old!!  It's not 1878, they're not poor, it isn't tenement housing, or feudal  Wow.

All the photos in the blog post remind me of baby gorillas in the Rwandan rain forest rather than toddler siblings in 2013.

After second review I think I do have more of an issue with this woman, and this story than with the idea of co-sleeping in general.  She frightens me, and I'm mad for him, her husband.  All that, and why should I even care?  I dunno. It's early in the morning and I've got nothing else to dive into.  I should go exercise or something.

I want to spend as much time with my girls as possible...all of them...daughters, wife...all of them, but I need to feel good, and strong, and healthy.  I need to have a good attitude, and I need to be respected and valued and invested in as much as I invest in them.  I don't want to be an afterthought, last place, or have my wants and desires not count.  I need to sleep, and I need to be able to hug my wife, and I need to know that although my children are made part and parcel of what i invest in them, that they have a father that they can look to and see an individual, and pull from that all of the same things, as well as their own, that their mother did.  I can't become them, nor can I dismiss whatever characteristics there are that make me, well, me.  I don't like it when husbands and wives colonize one another, and I sure don't like the idea of erasing yourself to raise your important part of raising them is who you are.  Co-sleep if you wish, but I'll choose the night time to be the time when I fall back into the rhythm of being myself as best as I can.  It's important that my kids discover who they are too...through something as seemingly inconsequential as sleeping and dreaming and waking up without Mom and Dad right beside them.  I'm sure there are benefits to both beliefs help steer me down this confusing parenting path.  You're on your own...especially the woman from this story.


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