Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
Parenting is survival. Sleep is a very precious, especially with younger kids, and if you’re getting sleep you’re not going to complain about how it’s happening. Sleep is sleep. Which is why I don’t get concerned when my husband and I don’t sleep next to each other every night.
I’ve read that couples that don’t sleep next to each other are destined for failure. There must be something seriously wrong with my marriage if I don’t insist on sleeping next to my husband every night if we are under the same roof.
Except that’s a lot of bullshit.
Our firstborn was never what you would call a great sleeper. She was awesome in that she would wake up (frequently) to breastfeed but would then fall right back to sleep. I also have the capability of falling straight back to sleep, so the arrangement worked. Even if she woke ten times a night (which was often even in toddlerhood) she would go right back to sleep.
This set-up worked fine when she was in our room, but then we transitioned our child into her own room. Guess who didn’t like sleeping in their own room? We found a toddler crammed into our bed more often than not, and no one was sleeping well anymore. There just wasn’t enough space, which would become more of a problem as I got bigger in pregnancy.
The solution? We had already outfitted our toddler with her own queen-size bed. It was simple enough to assume that one of us would sleep with her if she woke in the night. Could we have sleep trained her? Probably. But first, we’re lazy. And second, we’ve never been big believers in forcing our child into something before she was ready on her own terms.
On rare occasions, our toddler will sleep from 8pm to 6am without disturbing us at all. This is our glimmer of hope that one day she will sleep without us. Other nights, she will wake up any time between 11pm and 4am and demand our attention. This means that one of us will join our toddler in her bed, and everyone will go back to sleep.
This does not mean my marriage is a train wreck or that I look forward to not sleeping next to my husband. This means that we all value sleep and right now, this is what works. I get some night time snuggles with my husband, but in all honesty, he’s not the biggest snuggler anyways. He likes his space, especially at night, and can’t sleep with me squished against him (which is my favorite way to sleep.)
Nobody is heartbroken with our existing arrangement, and my husband and I are still very much in love. Whether we sleep in the same bed every night does not dictate anything about our relationship. We’re actually a lot nicer to each other because we are getting good sleep. We treasure our moments together when our toddler is resting peacefully alone, but we don’t stress over the moments when one of us must abandon the other. Remember, this is survival mode.