Co-sleeping seems to be one of those sensitive topics that many moms try to avoid talking about because it becomes a heated conversation but let’s be honest here, when your child wakes up 5 times a night or more, co-sleeping might be the only way for you to get some precious sleep.
I am not here to bash you if you don’t co-sleep, but I want to share my story with you – a story of how a frustrated mom became a happy one.
Sometimes we just need to talk about the challenges that each mom faces without bashing each other or giving into our unwanted negative opinions. Because whatever you chose to do as a mom is your way. You know your child better than anyone else.
If you asked me if I would co-sleep with my kids when I fell pregnant with my first child, I would have immediately laughed in your face and said no because who does that, right? It’s not teaching your child to be independent and you could most probably suffocate your child without even realizing it at night.
It’s scary to think about… I’ve heard of stories that made me think twice about co-sleeping.
Yes, co-sleeping needs to be done in a safe environment because it can be dangerous, and both you and your partner need to agree to it.
Even if your child sleeps in a cot, there are also dangers like SIDS and suffocation.
When I became a first-time mom, I realized that I needed to do what worked best for my family – irrespective of what the magazines and experts told me.
No one told me about the fact that I would be labeled ‘the tired mom.’
The tears sleepless nights would bring for my child and I.
The hours of rocking a baby to sleep only for her to wake up again when she reached the cot.
The bags lack of sleep would cause under my eyes – bags that made me look like a zombie when I left for work the next day.
The exhaustion from running up and down the passage every hour.
The mood swings and fights that I would have with my child and husband.
The nights when I would fall asleep with a baby in my arms in a sitting position and wake up in a shock realizing how easily I could have dropped my baby down.
My answer was that I needed to co-sleep and honestly, I don’t regret it.
Not every child sleeps through the night… None of my kids did.
I know what you are thinking? Why didn’t you just sleep train your child?
That was an option I tried but honestly, I couldn’t go through with it – even after paying almost R2 000 for the book. I am not judging you if you did because I know you are most probably having a good 8-10 hours of sleep a night and I’m super jealous. But I just wasn’t strong enough for this.
My heart cried every time my child did. 5 minutes of crying felt like 5 hours of crying for me. It was painful.
Sometimes I wish that I went through with it because then I wouldn’t be sitting here writing about how I miss a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes I want to try it again with my 6-month-old son, but I am scared, nervous and emotional… so instead I co-sleep.
Co-sleeping wasn’t the easiest in the beginning because sometimes my husband would forget that we have a child in the middle, but I ended up becoming a light sleeper – it’s like when you become a mom, you are always on the alert!
Waking up next to my newborn every day was beautiful. It helped me bond much more with my kids and it helped me with breastfeeding.
The best part is when my toddler tries to wake me up in the morning with drool kisses and hugs.
I love the cuddles, especially during winter. But on many occasions, I do find a foot in my mouth.
Those long exhausting nights are over for me because even if I wake up 5 times a night, I don’t feel it anymore. I’m a happy mom.
I admit that co-sleeping isn’t the best for my intimate relationship with my husband but then again, the first 2 years of having a baby changed everything in marriage.
This season will pass. I will get through it and before I know it none of my kids will want to cuddle or sleep next to me. I am enjoying these little moments especially because this is my last child… The last time that I will co-sleep! The last time that I will wake up next to a 6-month-old baby!
To the tired mom, remember you’re an amazing mom. Don’t doubt yourself and your strength. You don’t get a break or any sleep, you are most probably alone with a newborn or 3 kids at the moment but you are still going strong. You may think that no one notices or appreciates you but your little ones do. They may not say it, but they express it when you least expect it.