So for those of you without children yet, or have small babies, you may not know the term "Family Bed" but you will hear of it at some point. It essentially is when your whole family sleeps in one bed. This is apparently very common in other cultures...just not ours. Or maybe I should say, not a common practice in America, but it certainly is common in the Armstrong household.
Even though we have a nice, comfy transportation themed big boy bed for Hunter and an adorable, plush crib for Drake, the only place anyone wants to sleep is in our bed...even the dogs who have their own monogrammed dog beds for heavens sake jump in bed with us about 5 or 6 am every morning.
Hunter stepped up to his big boy bed a few months after he turned 2 this past November. Ever since then he gets in bed with us in the middle of the night. Every night. However some nights it actually doesn't even wake me up anymore! I just look over and there he is sound asleep. So clearly it does not keep me from sleeping and i actually LOVE snuggling with him. It is wonderful to have that sweet, cuddly quiet time with my baby that I know will come to an end all too soon. There is nothing in the world like your baby cuddling right into you.
But then there is also Drake. He has been, for the most part, a pretty decent sleeper. Except he goes through phases of months of us not hearing a peep from him for 12 hours at night, to then all of a sudden waking up in the middle of the night screaming only to be calmed down once he is in our bed. SO during these periods, as you can imagine, when it is all 4 of us, then 5 or 6 beings in the bed by the morning, I am NOT getting quality sleep. But they are so sweet and love to be cuddled and snuggled so part of me just loves it! I know this will not last forever, so I just want to savor every snugly second. However, after repeatedly getting kicked in the stomach, or elbowed in the face, it starts to infuriate me.
Especially when I feel like I am have abandoned all alone time of my entire life. The past week I had ZERO alone time.
It was one of those weeks we were just out of sink. I couldn't get the children to sleep at the same time the whole week, or one (Hunter) refused to nap at all. Which left me with an awake child every second of the day...and then they were still there at night! This was from a few mornings this past week:
Looks reaaaaal comfy doesn't it! (picture that Kyle took while we were still asleep)
And another morning
This is the most room they have ever given me before (thanks boys)
But after these 2 pictures and mornings, I asked Kyle to quit taking sleeping pictures. It was getting to the point of not even funny anymore!
By the end of the week I thought I was going to snap. I mean if I want to take a shower, they are in there with me. If I go to the bathroom, they are in there with me. If I want to change clothes, or try and check my email, or get the mail, or fold laundry, or make coffee, or pay bills they are in there with me. If I need to cook, one is on my hip and the other is tugging on me, or asking me to come help find a toy, etc. etc. It just has not stopped for days now. I love my children with every fiber of my being and think I have the most precious boys in the whole world, but a woman needs a few minutes of alone time every now and then. A woman needs some sanity! A woman needs to talk about something other than poop, trains, Lightning McQueen, baby pools, Popsicles, potty, and naps (or lack there of)
Here are my 2 downfalls:
1. I have NEVER been the kind of mother who was ever able to let their child "cry-it-out" and not because I think it is wrong, but because it just goes against every inclination in my bones as a mother. I don't know why, but I just cannot do it. I don't feel right doing it. But that is totally just me.
2. I think this is karma slapping me in the face. I think I slept in my parents room until I was in 6th grade. (yes, go ahead and gasp in horror) In about 3rd grade they just started leaving a sleeping bag for me on the floor at night instead of me getting in bed with them which I was okay with...at least I could still go in their room!
This is me sleeping with my mom as a little girl
I was afraid of the dark and actually still am. I think that is partly where Hunter gets it because he always talks about monsters on his shelf, snakes in his bed, dragons in the hall and all other sorts of crazy things that I have no idea where he comes up with. For better or for worse, he has a WIIIILD imagination!
So, with all this said, beware of the family bed!