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What I Want To Teach My Children About Sleep

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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.

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2 thoughts on “What I Want To Teach My Children About Sleep”

  • I think this is such a great topic. I was a CIO baby and ‘slept through the night’ at 6 weeks old (never mind that I was 6 weeks premature!). I have always had a very hard time bed sharing. When I met my husband and we started doing over-nights, I would never get any sleep. I just couldn’t sleep with someone else next to me! Once we moved in together it took me the better part of a year to get to where I could comfortably sleep next to him.
    Currently ‘we’ are co-sleeping – my son (19 mo) and I sleep in the queen bed in the master and my husband sleeps in the twin in our son’s ‘room’ (room where his clothes and books and such are!) that will one day be our son’s bed. But, my husband goes to bed later than us and gets up earlier than us, so it works out. And there’s just not room for the three of us in the queen bed! 😉 The boy and I like to spreeeaaaad out!

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