Sometimes happiness comes under the most unexpected of circumstances.

Who is in Your Bed?

Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: parenting, single life | Tags: , , | 14 Comments »

This is my beautiful bed and its biggest fan...Layla.

Today I am going to take on bedroom politics.  I don’t care who you are having sex with.  I want to know who you are sleeping with.

Attachment parenting has become quite popular and I have many friends who sleep with their kids.  I have gone back and forth on this issue and on most days (or nights), I am flexible about having one of the kids sleep in my bed at a time.  Jonah has become pretty independent and has always been my good sleeper so he is usually fine with not only sleeping in his own bed, but also falling asleep there.  Layla is a different story.

Last night was the first night that I have been alone in my bed in a month and I slept like a baby.  Since we have been in California, Jonah has slept on a portable mattress on the floor of my mom’s office, but Layla insists on sleeping with me.  She is such a raucous sleeper though.  One night she flipped herself around and had her head at the foot of the bed.  One night she used my back as her pillow.  Other nights she talks, laughs and argues in her sleep.  It’s crazy.  It’s a lot of activity when all I want to do is stay still and be quiet

Since my divorce I’ve developed a whole new relationship to my bed.  First of all, now it is all mine.  I usually still sleep on my established side, but recently I have started to take possession of the middle.  Second, I now have a bed frame for the first time since I was kid.  I found a beautiful vintage cast iron bed and I love it.  I feel like a princess there.  I have a memory foam mattress that I simply adore, and I’ll be honest with you, sleeping has become a desired activity like never before.

My ex and I used to cuddle nicely, but he always has had a strained relationship with beds.  Like his dad, he tends to fall asleep wherever he is, on a couch, at a table, in a chair, even on the floor.  When we lived in an apartment or one-story house, I would wake him up in the middle of the night and bring him to bed.  Once we moved to our house in Northampton, it was too wakeful to shuttle him back to our sleeping quarters.

I used to think that a couple should always share a bed and that there was something wrong with the relationship if they didn’t.  Now I’ve realized that nighttime is for sleeping and that other amorous activities can take place at different moments and in different places.  Maybe the Cleavers had it right with their matching twin beds.  A good night’s rest is so key to one’s happiness.  Why muck that up with a partner tossing and turning, snoring or trying to snuggle?

I’ll admit it.  I’ve slept with a few guys since my breakup.  One was a champion spooner, but had been single for a decade and just didn’t like the way I slept so he always took off in the middle of the night.  Another wanted to touch me all the time and I had to instruct him that it was sweet when we first woke up or went to bed, but when I was ready to sleep, it was hands off.  Another was easy enough and we had great bedroom banter, but he was also an insomniac and I felt weird that I was sleeping so well while he was staring at the ceiling.

So what do you all think?  Who is in your bed?  Do you love sleeping with your child or spouse?  Do you need your space?  Do you have separate beds or bedrooms?  Exactly how do you manage your bedroom politics?  And while we are on the topic, can anyone tell me why a sleeping child looks so beautiful and a sleeping adult not so much?

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14 Comments on “Who is in Your Bed?”

  1. 1 Sarah Buttenwieser said at 10:46 am on July 22nd, 2010:

    Oh, I just dream about a night alone in my bed. SUCH a rare occurrence.

    That said when the dear spouse (snoring, snuffing, loud but fortunately falls asleep after me) is gone, I do just let my seven year-old fall asleep in my bed often;it’s easier. I think I am de facto cosleeper but it wasn’t intentional!

  2. 2 Barb said at 11:14 am on July 22nd, 2010:

    I am totally not into my son sleeping in our bed. When he was first born, at night he slept in the co-sleeper next to our bed. At five months he started sleeping in his crib in his own room. He’s always put to bed in his own bed. He finds it comforting.

    On occasion , like if he is really upset after a nightmare for instance, we bring him into bed with us. My sleep is never very good when he is in bed with us but allow it anyway on occassions where he really needs our comfort.

    Our bedroom is “our” joint sanctuary. I have also kicked the cats out of our bed permanetmly and we have never allowed our dog to sleep in the bed. We also do not have a tv in our bedroom. In addition to our love life activities we also read in bed, and we talk in bed. It is sometimes the only time and place where we can have a quiet conversation together that is not focused on division of labor or household chores.

    Our bed and bedroom is a place for us to respite and be together as a couple (rather then a family). Finding time and place to be a couple is important to me and to the health and welfare of our marriage. Being a family is a different dynamic than being a couple. Both are very important to me. To each there own, but the family bed is not for me.

  3. 3 Molly Monet said at 1:52 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    At home, Layla doesn’t sleep the whole night with me, thank God. The kids like me to read to them in my big bed, then they fall asleep and I put them in their rooms. I like my independence and remind them that it is MY bed.

    I understand your point, Barb, but I don’t have that issue to deal with, at least for now ;)

  4. 4 Kent Pelz said at 7:55 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    My relationship with my bed has changed over the years. As a teenager, I loved my bed and could sleep in it until noon every day. It was my “girl friend”, before I had the real thing. During much of my married life, my bed became my playground (sorry if that’s too much information, Molly). Lately what’s in my bed is my CPap machine, or at least right next to me on the night stand with the tube and mask extending into my sleeping area. Sure, Mom is still there next to me, but it’s hard to relate to a head covered in a plastic mask inhaling/exhaling pumped air. I’m grateful that this machine has helped me overcome sleep apnea, but the thought sometimes crosses my mind, “will I die with this mask on my face?”

  5. 5 Molly Monet said at 10:03 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    Well Dad, let me put the positive spin on this and say that the CPAP is keeping you alive and allowing you to sleep well too. Be grateful!

  6. 6 Marian said at 8:34 am on July 24th, 2010:

    We are big-time co-sleepers over here. My husband and I are close sleepers (with each other, I mean), which I love. We only have a double bed and have never felt like we needed something bigger. We slept with both of our kids in our bed, never in a crib. They both sleep in their own beds now, but usually the younger wakes up sometime during the night and comes down with us. Sometimes both of them, but that’s rare. It’s all fine and has all been a process, and I’ve never felt any rush to shoosh them out of our bed. I figure, this isn’t going to last too long. Pretty soon they’ll be big kids.

  7. 7 Molly Monet said at 9:47 am on July 24th, 2010:

    Marian, you are amazing! I guess some people need more physical space than others.

  8. 8 Marian said at 2:12 pm on July 24th, 2010:

    I don’t know about amazing. Just what works for us!

  9. 9 Rachel said at 1:22 pm on July 29th, 2010:

    Interesting post! I feel compelled to answer the question: my cats and my husband are in my bed. Nothing helps me fall asleep faster than the weight of a cat leaning against my leg.

    As a side note, I think my parents let me sleep in their bed until I was pretty old. I think I was given my own bed when I was three, but I would often crawl in between my parents in the middle of the night — we called this “heffalumping” for reasons that I never knew. The last time I heffalumped I’m pretty sure I was 12, though by then it was very rare and I think I’d had a bad nightmare. I think it was pretty regular until I was about 10. I turned out okay, but at 33 I still like sleeping with the cats. :)

  10. 10 Molly Monet said at 1:40 pm on July 29th, 2010:

    Thanks for mentioning pets, Rachel. Many of my friends told me about sleeping with their pets but didn’t comment on the blog (scaredy cats they are!). Before I got married I loved sleeping with my dog, which my ex kicked out of bed pretty darned quickly.

    So my kids will turn out cool even if they sleep with me for a while? I’m glad to hear it.

  11. 11 I Can be Alone, Yeah | Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce said at 7:51 am on August 10th, 2010:

    [...] I relish the ability to do whatever I want by myself.  I always start the evening with yoga.  Then I go home and just hang out in my house by myself.  It feels like the biggest luxury in the world.  I eat what I want, I watch whatever I want on TV (Mondays are Weeds, Castle, and Californication), I talk to friends on the phone (or not), I do some grading (or not), I catch up on Facebook, and I listen to my own thoughts.  The kids dominate the house the rest of the week and this my night to have the TV and the red leather sofa all to myself and to indulge my own whims.  And, thankfully, I get to go to bed whenever I want and sleep by myself. [...]

  12. 12 My Favorite Things- A to Z | Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce said at 7:39 am on October 15th, 2010:

    [...] My warm, comfy, wrought iron bed. [...]

  13. 13 Jack said at 2:05 pm on November 14th, 2010:

    My wife left the marriage 1 1/2 years ago, for reasons that are not quite clear. That I think is the whole problem. She never communicated very well perhaps, and kept things to herself, like she does now. That saddens me. But regarding the issue of bed, I do not share it with my kids very often. I like my space. I have a double bed, the same that was my grandmother’s, and the same on which my daughter was conceived. I still sleep on my side of the bed, but sometimes migrate over to the middle…I have not yet learned to claim the entire bed as my space. But…when I marry again, and I surely will, because I enjoyed my marriage, the relationship, and all that comes with that, including the arguments…when I marry again, I would like to have a HUGE bed, like the bed I shared with my girlfriend in the Philippines, in a very inviting bed-and-breakfast in Illocos City. The bed was clearly an antique, but it was monstrously huge, with room for 6 or 7 adults to easily sleep. Not that I want to sleep with 6 or 7 adults (well, women might be all right!), but both my girlfriend and I enjoyed the size of the bed, with plenty of space for both of us, and if we wanted to cuddle, we could; and if we wanted to make love, we could; and if we wanted to sleep, we could; or if we wanted to read we could; and not disturb the other. The bed and that place are burned into my memory. I think I will soon own such a huge bed to share with her when she becomes my wife. :D

  14. 14 Molly Monet said at 2:29 pm on November 14th, 2010:

    What a lovely image, Jack!


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