Family Bed

Oh dear! A topic like no other (except maybe vaccinating...). 


In one corner, you have the heartless people, who leave their child alone with all her fears and ignore every desperate cry for help. In the other corner, you have the helicopter parents, who take away their child´s every chance of developing autonomy or self-confidence. If they don´t accidentally crush them at night, that is.

Sounds like a sound basis for a reasoned dialogue, doesn´t it? Not really.


It´s best not to raise the topic. Especially, when other parents are present. You can never be sure, whether it´ll end in harmony or hostility. Everything´s possible. I know it is. 


But why do people get so worked up?


Everybody should (be allowed to) decide for herself and stand by that position. A decision won´t get better by fighting someone else´s position. Live and let live.


Our children sleep in our bed. All three of them. We even build a 2.4m X 2.4m bed for that. And I like it that way. Especially, because I know it´s going to be over some day and I´ll lie in bed alone.


It all started with the big C and an extra bed next to ours. One day, he decided to sleep in our bed. Today, his bedroom is just a playground.

Next came the twins. They used to sleep in their own beds at first, together in one room. I thought they were already used to sleeping alone since they had spent 7 weeks in the hospital. They had been born prematurely.

But after 1.5 years, they realized: It´s possible to sleep in Mom´s and Dad´s bed. They haven´t gone back since.


Now all three sweeties lie in our bed, every night. And they are all over the place. But thanks to the 2.4x2.4 bed, that´s ok. (Although occasionally, you get kicked in the face.)


We love our family bed. But I would never dictate having one to people. There´s no way to tell whether it´s right or wrong. A childhood is complex and messy. So, who´s to say what´s right for every child, everywhere, all the time? Kids aren´t atoms.


I don´t want to get condemned for my decision. And I don´t want to condemn anyone.


Sometimes, the twins prefer their own beds. Sometimes only one of them does. Maybe they get too much attachment, at times.

But I think a family bed offers an extra share of attention, attachment, love, trust, confidence, and security. But you´ll feel like a match. Or a punching bag. And at times, you won´t get too much sleep. But it´s only for a certain time. So it´s ok.


I wonder how long it´ll last. And I´m looking forward to the experiences that are to come. When are the kids going to sleep in their own beds because they´ve had enough of the family bed? Will the sleep through the whole night? Or will they crawl back in the family bed at night?


But what does all that mean four our dialogue? It´s obvious: If you want to have a family bed, go ahead. And if you don´t, then don´t.


It won´t turn you into a better mother. But it won´t turn you into a worse mother, either. It´s important to respect the others´ positions. Different circumstances will lead to different decisions.


To each her own.


Yours, Leo.


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