We had a relatively easy night last night, with the 7 year old only getting up twice. She usually slinks into the guest room, but since my husband was sleeping there last night (banished because of snoring), she lucked into a spot next to me in the Sacred Parental Bed. The 3 month old was sleeping peacefully in the bassinet, which is a relatively new phenomenon that I hope continues.
According to the New York Times, we have it pretty easy every night. In homes all across America, and dare I say the world, parents are up at various hours dealing with "migratory children." Especially between 1-3 am. Expensive princess beds are abandoned in favor of the parents' bed; or, even better, Mom ends up in the princess bed while Dad sleeps with small flailing children.
On one level, it's reassuring that our children are not the only ones up at all hours, unable or unwilling to sleep alone. But on a deeper level, the article brings up the idea that it's our lack of strict boundaries that may be causing the problem. Are we the problem? Are we the same parents who know that our parents probably had the right idea, but we somehow feel guilty for applying the same rules to our own children?
I have fond memories of crawling into my parents bed once in a blue moon during a thunderstorm. Sleeping on Dad's arm, (or better yet, sandwiched in between Mom and Dad) was a luxury I instictively knew not to ask for too often. Why is it so hard for my generation of parents to say "Sleep in your own bed!"? Because sleep is like crack. You get a few hours, and you just want more. We will do anything to get a little sleep, including let a few rules slide here and there.
As of toay, the new rule is that the 7 year old can sleep on the floor, on the couch, in the guest room - anywhere but in our bed. We just got the 3 month old out of it, and if my husband can stop snoring, we will once again share the Sacred Parental Bed. Not much happens but sleep, but for now, I'll take it like the sleep whore that I am.