What I Want To Teach My Children About Sleep
I love sleep. I love sleeping next to someone. I love sleeping alone. I love napping. I hate waking up early. I love going to bed early.
I thank my parents for my love of sleep, my father who rocked me, my mother who nursed me. My parents who let me sleep in their bed until I was done, who helped me find comfort and ease in a bed of my own. A lot went wrong in my childhood (divorce, anger, custody battles), but before all that, I was soothed night and day by my parents and I credit their attachment-style parenting with how I survived all the hard stuff that came later.
Because of my parents, I can sleep alone, and I can sleep cuddled up against my husband or my children. In fact, sleeping with my children has come naturally because of how I slept as a child. My parents taught me to seek comfort at night in other people, bodies, warmth, love. My parents taught me that parenting doesn’t end when a child goes to bed.
If I teach my children anything, it is this: to seek comfort in the arms of another. I have seen too many people scared to touch, to connect, to surrender into sleep or love. Life is hard enough. If I can teach my children that love is there for them always inside themselves and in others, I have done my job.