Thursday, August 25, 2011

Should I Be Embarrassed About This?

I share my bed. There, I said it. I sleep in the same bed as my husband. I like to have him next to me at night. I like to feel his presence there. I feel safe and warm. When I wake up from a bad dream, he comforts me. Is this bad for me? Will this have a negative impact on my growth as a person? Would I be better off if he sent me to another room? Should Nick and I be embarrassed that we prefer to share a bed?

According to this article, some psychologists say people sleeping with other people is a bad habit that should be broken. They say people need "to be able to learn from sleeping on their own, to self-sooth, to calm themselves, to clear their head [sic]." If Nick wanted to follow the expert advice, to do what's best for me, of course, he could try setting up a bed for me in a different room, and then using some simple tips to keep me away from his bed:
  • Offer me a goldfish or a teddy bear to keep me company, because he wouldn't want me to feel lonely without him.
  • Spend time with me in my room before he leaves, to show that he still loves me.
  • Promise to buy me a present for every night I make it through without bothering him.
  • Be firm about this, and make no exceptions, even if I cry about it.
  • Give me lots of praise when I stay in my own bed.

I guess I would learn to go to sleep alone if Nick did all this, but would it be good for our relationship? I feel like it wouldn't. I don't know why anyone would recommend this. I'm going to read that article again...

Oh, wait... I misread something. It wasn't about "people sleeping with people" it was about "children sleeping with parents." So my husband doesn't need to try to get me out of our bed, thank goodness.

It did say that children should learn how to sleep alone though... So should we be worried about our children, who also share our bed? Should we be embarrassed about that? Should my husband and I form a united front against our kids, force them to go it alone at night? Should we all give up a situation that works for us because some "experts" agree that our happy sleeping arrangement is bad for our kids? Should we force them to learn now how to sleep alone?

Nope. I'm not worried. I'm not embarrassed. Someday, our kids will decide they would like their own spaces, their own beds. Until then, bed-sharing is just right for us. It might not be right for every family, but it's what is best for our relationships with each other in this family. We all choose it. We enjoy going to sleep together, and waking up together. Nick and I are happy to be right there to soothe and comfort our children when they need us, just as we are happy to do the same for each other. Our children are welcome in our bed.


This is NOT to say that every family should work this way. This is to say that bed-sharing is what we do, and we are happy with it. Our kids like it. We like it. People should not be embarrassed about it. Experts should not be warning us to "stop it or else." If it works, keep doing it.

Do your kids ever sleep in your bed? Are you embarrassed about it? Speak up! The more of us who "admit" to this, the less embarrassment there will be.