When people hear that my husband and I co-slept with Bean for the first 2.5 years of her life before moving her to the room with her siblings, it’s nearly always met with a gasp. Then snide comments about how we must not have a great marriage/sex life always happens after. The truth is Bean is just over 3 years old and still (& more now since getting sick) will end up in our bed at some point in the night and while there are many parents who would feel there is something wrong with that — we personally both love it.
I recently started writing (without really meaning to) about our co-sleeping over on Babble and with the discussion (that I wasn’t really having) brought forward some pretty wide-spread myths that people were hurling at me — the one in particular being how it must be damaging to my marriage, that we were lacking in intimacy because of it and that it must be ‘hard on my husband to be left out’. All of which are quite untrue for our situation — and those myths are not accurate for many situations of co-sleeping.
My marriage is important to me — it’s something that my husband and I put high on our list — sometimes it is higher up on the list than other times, but it will always be a priority to us. So will how we raise our children — something that we work on together, make decisions together and come up with what works well for our family.
I have always (& will always) be a big advocate for co-sleeping. I will get more into it in later posts, but I do wish it was more understood, more accepted and more families considered it. I do realize that it wont work for every situation, but what I don’t appreciate is the myths that surround it — and the assumptions that are placed on those of us who do make it a priority.
My husband and I have a very healthy relationship — despite of and because of — our co-sleeping with our daughter. There doesn’t have to be any intimacy lost (just more creative sometimes) and if you make it a priority as well as your marriage, there is no reason to choose between the two. If at any time one of us felt it wasn’t working, we would re-evaluate. I believe it has strengthened the bond particularly between Bean and my husband more so during the early years when she was exclusively breastfed. I believe it has helped me understand and get to know Bean better and I know it has helped mold Bean into the confident, spirited child that she is.
From the comments that sparked from the Babble post (that was more about products than our situation) people seemed far more concerned for my husband — his “needs” and feeling a “part of our family” and that a big reason others do not co sleep is because they “value their marriage”. I will admit I was put-off and surprised by the comments.
This was our decision — it will be our decision again when/if we are able to have Babe #4. It works well for both of us — we do not feel like we are missing out on anything, but we do both feel that we have gotten so much (and continued to get so much) out of this special bond from sharing our bed.
So, as for the myth that co-sleeping causes a riff in a marriage — that’s totally not true. I believe that if there is conflict in the family that is thought to be due to co-sleeping — the more likely cause is not communicating. That is a far bigger concern in a marriage than where your child sleeps.Share This Post: Tweet