Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Family Bed: No Room for Me!

Arm's Reach Mini Co-Sleeper Bassinet - Natural First of all I am going to say that I am very much pro co-sleeping.  It saved my sanity when my son was an infant.  The boy would not sleep at all unless he was in my arms.  He's a snuggler.  Plus it made feeding so much easier when I didn't have to wake up fully by getting out of bed, picking up the baby, feeding him, getting back up, and putting him back in bed.  I used a Mini Arms Reach co-sleeper for those times when I needed a little space and could get him to sleep without being latched to me.  I tended to be his pacifier.  It was also a lifesaver after a c-section.

With my daughter things were a little different.  I still used the co-sleeper but after she would nurse, even as a tiny infant, she would flop herself over away from me.  She didn't want to be touching me at all.  Not a snuggler!  She would even start to get fussy until I put her in the sleeper away from me.  Then she would drift right off to sleep.  Peace.

I am not a snuggler.  I swear I didn't get a minute of real sleep for the first year of my son's life.  I just can't sleep if someone is touching me.  I'm just like my daughter.  It's not comfortable.

Flash forward to present time.  My son is now 4.  My daughter is now 2.  She sleeps in her crib (soon to be converted to toddler bed) and he has a toddler bed.  Notice I said he has a bed.  Not that he sleeps in it.

If you recall we had some plumbing problems which resulted in our kids being without a bedroom for awhile.  We had to move everything out of the room during all the construction.  Then it took some time for us to install a new floor after we pulled out the nasty mildewy carpet.  Now the floor is in but we still haven't moved the beds back.  Partly because my husband was a bit hesitant to let them go back to their own rooms.  Mostly because we really need to buy my son a new "real" bed so we can transition my daughter to the toddler bed.

Graco Pack 'N Play Playard with Bassinet, Kensly When my husband was commuting for work, we traveled with him, usually one week a month.  At the hotel we would get two beds.  My daughter slept in a pack and play.  My son and my husband shared one bed and I had the other all to myself.  It was wonderful.  Except that my son and my husband got a little spoiled.  They love sharing a bed.  Now they want to do the same at home.  The problem is that I am in the same bed.

Here is my dilemma.  I am home all day with the kids.  They are basically on top of me every second of every day.  When bed time comes along it is my time to get away from all that.  It's my "Me Time."  I know it's kind of sad to consider sleep time "Me Time" but I do.  My bed is my haven.  It is my place to rest and relax.  Where I don't have to be chasing someone, or cleaning someone, or be jumped on by someone, or have someone yelling in my ear.  I NEED MY SPACE!!!!  Also did I mention I am not a snuggler?  I NEED MY SLEEP!!!!  I need these things so I can stay sane for another day or chasing, cleaning, jumping, and yelling.

For my husband things are a bit different.  He works all day.  He doesn't get to spend all that "quality" time with the kids.  He comes home from work and we eat dinner.  Often he has work to finish up or other obligations he has to take care of.  He doesn't get much time with the kids before bed time.  He sees how quickly they are growing and he knows that he won't have many years to snuggle with the boy.  He will grow up and sharing a bed with Mama and Dada won't be cool anymore.

It doesn't help that my son doesn't sleep still.  He is all over the bed.  He kicks, rolls, flops, nudges, pushes.  I find myself hanging off the edge of the bed.  My husband sleeps like a rock through it all.  Did I mention that the boy is a furnace.  He is his own heat source.  It's like sleeping next to the sun!

Solution?  Maybe I need to move out?  I could move to the guest bed and leave my comfy pillow top for the boys to share.  How sad is it that I envy my daughter sleeping so peacefully in her crib?  I have actually slept on the couch a time or two.  My husband was quite upset by that.  I don't have a good solution.

I feel like a horrible mom that I don't want to snuggle with my son at night.  I feel selfish.  I'm a mom.  I gave up "Me Time" when I decided to have kids!  I feel like a horrible wife if I set some kind of ultimatum.  Letting him fall asleep in our bed and moving him later (my husband's solution) is not working.  He just wakes up in the middle of the night and climbs back in bed with us.  "We" are training him to sleep with us.  When I put him to bed he goes right to his bed.  (Later when my husband goes to bed he wakes up and moves.)  If my husband puts him to bed he goes to ours.  If my husband tries to put him in his own bed he will cry and say "but I just want to snuggle with you Dada."  That gets him every time.  If my husband is around he wants to be put to bed by Dada.

When we do get the new bed for my son and the kids go back to their own room I am afraid he will refuse.  I feel like we are spoiling him and allowing him to get his way.  I can't really put my foot down on this without my husband's support.  It's starting to really stress me out.  I actually dread going to bed at night because I know I will probably find my son in the bed.  Then I am supposed to wake my husband up to move him.  My husband who doesn't get enough sleep as it is and has to wake up early for work.  Instead I move him myself and end up with a back ache from trying to carry him without waking him.  Because if I wake him it will be a crying scene begging to stay in our bed.  Then his sister will wake up and there will be no sleep anyway.

Am I being unfair?  Should I just tough it out for a few more years?  By that time we will probably possibly have another baby.  What do you want to bet he/she is a snuggler.  Is there something wrong with me?!