At first I hated co-sleeping. Still do some nights. But it’s nights like tonight that I love it.
Everett is digging his feet into my ribs and hiccuping constantly. Daniel is holding my hand, fidgeting and rubbing my fingers against his own. He rubs his feet together before falling asleep just like I do.
Tonight is one of those love-it nights.
I’m awake anyway. Insomnia seems to strike me at the most opportune moments, keeping me awake before a busy day, or after an already too long day. Thoughts flood my mind when all I want to do shut off my brain and sleep.
Cosleeping is great in that we spend a lot of night hours that would otherwise be wasted bonding with our sons. Daniel usually pads into our room somewhere between midnight and 4am, with the request “daddy, I need snuggles”. And lately he’s been needing a middle-of-the night snack too, which just tells me he’s growing up too fast.
The gap between baby and little boy is quickly closing.
Buuuttt… co-sleeping is also not great because some nights we spend 2-4 am pulling our hair out, Daniel in inconsolable tears, and us trying to figure out if he had a bad dream, or if he’s hungry, or if it’s just nothing and we should let him cry it out. Or if we need to hire a sleep consultant. That type of night is thankfully starting to be less frequent. Especially with baby #2 about to make his appearance.
Daniel continues to fidget, eyes closed, playing with the blanket, digging his feet into my back. Part of me is hopeful that by the time he’s 2 1/2 these midnight wiggle/cuddle vests will be over, but part of me wishes they’d never stop. If they stop what does that mean? Does he not need our nighttime presence anymore? Is he completely comfortable being by himself? Is he safe? Silence with toddler is ever-so-suspicious.
Because some nights I still jolt awake to make sure he is still breathing.
Parenting has become this paradox of too much and not enough. If I do too much of this will it make him too dependent? If I don’t do enough of this is he really getting what he needs? And the topics of co-sleeping and cry-it-out and sleeping in general definitely fall in here somewhere.
Co-sleeping can be awful because it has given me many sleepless nights. Not co-sleeping can also be awful because it has given me many more sleepless nights.
A wise friend gave me this advice recently: "Do you. You don't need to do what works for anyone else, just you. What is it you want?"
I want rest and sleep and to feel alive at 6:45am, but I also want to savor every midnight second. I want to pee in peace, but also watch my son play on the floor with his bath toys. I want a break and not to be touched for 10 minutes, but I also want to never stop feeling that warm breath and chubby hand wrapped around my finger.
So, my friend, whatever you decide to do in this life, with your children, please please DO YOU. What is going to make you happy, fit into your life, be best for your family, and nurture your kids souls and bodies - do that. For us, right now, it's co-sleeping and me being an insomniac and taking lots of naps. (and maybe an extra cup of coffee or two)
And that is 100% okay. Maybe not forever, but for this short season where the nights are long and the days are too fast, it's very okay.