There was an interesting conversation on Twitter yesterday about co-sleeping. I just happened to hop on in the middle of the event, so I threw out a quick comment about how my kids often end up in bed with me, but as I watched the conversation unfold, I quietly backed away.
It seems that people have awfully strong feelings on the subject, and most participants (at least the ones I follow on Twitter) seemed to be in the “anti-co-sleeping” camp. I mean, I realize that everyone has an opinion about how it should be in THEIR house, but I was surprised at how many reasons were being batted around for why it shouldn’t be allowed in ANY house.
I dunno, I just don’t see this as a hill to die on, but maybe that’s just me.
Then again, I don’t really consider myself a co-sleeper, so I’m sort in between the two camps. Maybe that’s why I don’t have strong feelings about it either way. We started out with our kids in their cribs, but these days, our “tent” often ends up with another inhabitant by morning, and sometimes I even (*gasp*) let one or two of the kids start out the night in our bed. We usually move them out when we come to bed, and they often migrate back at some point during the night, but not always.
My kids are older now, so I can tell them no when I’m not in the mood to share my bed, and they will go back to their own. But oftentimes I welcome the middle of the night snuggles. If that makes me selfish, so be it.
Last night, as this post was taking shape in my head, I was alone in my bed, nodding off to sleep when my littlest daughter cried out. I went to her room and found her disoriented and upset. She must have had a bad dream, and she was having a hard time waking up to realize she was okay.
She reached out to me so I picked her up and carried her to my bed where she snuggled up against me and slowly fell back asleep, her face buried against my chest, and my chin resting atop her silky hair. I treasure those moments. She’s five. They won’t last forever, and I’m quite sure that doesn’t make us co-dependent.
Sure, I could have stayed with her in her bed until she settled. But it was cold in the house, and I was tired. So I just brought her in with me ’cause I’m lazy like that.
I have no problem with parents who think that’s a habit they don’t want to start. I get that. I do. When I woke up in the night with a sturdy toddler leg flung over my hip and a sharp elbow in my back, I really got that perspective.
But to say it’s wrong? I don’t get that.
I can see feeling strongly about issues like homeschooling and spanking (I don’t feel strongly about how other people handle those issues, but I can understand why some do), but I guess I file co-sleeping in the “live and let live” category of parenting debates. What about you?
P.S. If this post sounds defensive, I didn’t intend it to. I just found the whole Twitter conversation interesting and, I guess, enlightening. I didn’t realize people had such strong opinions on this subject.