Before I became a parent, I naively compiled a mental list of all the things I would never do as a parent:
- No screens until they’re older.
- Limited sugar.
- They will NOT behave badly in public.
- Co-sleeping is not an option.
Quite honestly, that list could go on for days. That list haunts me as I’m a serial list maker who thrives on the satisfaction of placing a checkmark next to every item. That list is one that will forever remain unchecked and my sharpie and I will continue to mourn the missed opportunity of a perfectly completed checklist. C’est la vie.
With each “I would never” there came a pivotal moment where the “I would never” gave way to the “this is the only way to save my sanity.” So here I am, three kids later, shoving zebra cakes in the big kids’ direction as they watch a nauseating amount of Minecraft videos so I can cuddle up with the baby because her favorite way to sleep is to be touching me at all times (and I secretly love it).
Co-sleeping was a HARD no for me.
The plethora of articles and research on how I was absolutely going to smother my baby in her sleep was terrifying. The constant bashing of moms on social media who chose to co-sleep was completely overwhelming. The “it’ll ruin your sex life” comments were stressful. The “fact” that my baby would never be able to sleep on her own if I didn’t train her early was constantly on my mind.
Basically what I heard was: You’re consciously rolling the dice with your baby’s life every night just so you can get some sleep. You’re selfish, she’ll be sleeping with you until college, everyone is going to judge you, and you will never have sex again and your marriage will suffer. Cool. Got it.
We’ve been co-sleeping for over a year and I do not regret my decision one bit. There is nothing better than having the tiny human you created mold their little body against yours and being able to watch them completely relax. You spend your entire time as a parent providing a safe space for your child and you hope they know it. In those moments you can physically FEEL that is exactly what you are to them and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
There will come a day when she’s slamming her bedroom door in my face and screaming at me as I take it off the hinges (I think this is a rite of passage as a parent), and I’ll fondly reminisce on the days when she couldn’t talk back. I’ll look back and be thankful I held her a little longer and snuggled her a little harder. I’ll look back without regret and feel grateful for the nights our bed was full and for having the opportunity to fall asleep feeling her heartbeat on my skin.
I said I would never co-sleep, but there’s a reason they say “Never say never!”