Aside from the many "OMG YOUR BABY WILL DIE!" comments that come up during conversations about co-sleeping, another thing I always hear is how terrible a co-sleeping mom's sex life must be. Well, I'm here to set the record straight about sex and co-sleeping once and for all.
So if you're unsure about how a couple can have a fulfilling sex life and marriage and still co-sleep with their kids, read on. And no, I'm not going to give you the intimate details of my sex life (you're welcome.)
First, pretend you're a teenager. And you want to have sex. (If you waited until marriage, replace that with "newlywed.") Where do you go to have sex? That's right -- ANYWHERE. The couch, the floor, the kitchen, the shower. As a co-sleeping parent, these places are still an option. The bed is not the only place you can have sex. In fact, it's the boring couple who restricts their lovemaking to the bed.
See, so that one is simple. Where do we have sex? Wherever we feel like it.
As far as co-sleeping husbands being "miserable," most husbands I know enjoy the baby being close by. Sure, some guys do feel a little bitter about the baby, but the couple can easily work out a compromise, where mom moves baby to the outside of the bed instead of between them (where baby is safest anyway). Or even put into a co-sleeper or side-carred crib for some or most of the night. Easy peasy. Most understanding husbands get that mom often gets the most sleep when baby is right there with her, making for a happier family in general. Believe it or not, most couples can logically work through the causes of a husband's dislike of co-sleeping like mature adults ... and it's usually not the co-sleeping, but a lack of intimacy or even just worry about rolling onto the baby. Both problems are easily solved in a way that still keeps baby in the bed (or next to it).
I know in some families, the mom and dad don't sleep in the same bed. This happens regardless of co-sleeping, whether because one person snores badly, has restless leg syndrome, very different sleep schedules, or many different reasons. It really has little to do with co-sleeping, and can hardly be blamed on it. While I wouldn't choose that, I know how nice it can be to have a bed by myself, after seven deployments while my husband was in the Navy. But who am I to judge another families' sleeping arrangements? No one, that's who. And frankly, no one else should either.
Now, last but not least, having a space to call your own ... my bedroom isn't kid-free. Why? Because in the middle of the night for nightmares or in the morning for cuddling or Attack of the Blanket Monster, I think the parents' bed has always been a place kids enjoy playing and bonding and cuddling. Plus, once all the kids are in bed, the whole HOUSE is the parents' alone. I know "pillow talk" is highly rated, but uh, once your baby or toddler is asleep, what's stopping that? Nuttin, that's what. But if you want your bedroom kid-free, be my guest, but stop telling me I should with mine, or anyone else, for that matter. My voice and our cuddling works equally well anywhere else, so the marriage? Again, not suffering.
Look, I really don't care if you use a crib, co-sleeping, sidecar, or put your baby in your bed. It's about what's best for your family, but especially for your baby, and is respectful of your baby's nighttime needs. But please stop pretending that the marriages of co-sleepers are broken and dysfunctional, and for gods' sake, keep your opinions about my bedroom and sex life to yourself. Thanks.
Have you had your marriage questioned simply because you co-sleep?
Image via Kai Hendry/Flickr