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The family bed

My daughters will be grownups one day. They’re going to come home from college with their boyfriends – eventual husbands – and invite them to sleep in our bed with us. The Family Bed – I’m raising the next generation of cult leaders.

Here it is -- my deepest, darkest parental failure:

In my bedroom there are two beds pushed together -- a queen and a double -- to accommodate every member of the household. My children have never slept their own beds, because Jerod and I suck -- plain and simple. We weren’t prepared for the ugly side of parenthood. Everyone with children warned us, but you really can’t imagine the paradox of joy and misery that comes with a baby until you have one.

And we lucked out with Lily. She was practically perfect -- except for her refusal to sleep by herself. It seemed so much easier to make a little space in our bed. We needed sleep – Jerod was a full-time student and I was a full-time newspaper reporter. We made a pact with the Devil -- our precious baby -- to ensure sweet dreams for everyone. Looking back now, I swear I heard God that day laughing his ass off.

And all those wise sayings my superiors ever offered about short cuts -- there’s no such thing as a free lunch; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is -- hit me like a ton of bricks when Ashlyn was born. Jerod and I were both laid off -- there was absolutely no excuse to let her sleep with us. In point of fact, she only slept with Jerod -- I had a separate bedroom all to myself except for the nights when I shared it with Lily.

I did at least try acclimating Ashlyn to a crib, but she was stronger than me and scarier too. She screamed bloody murder like a vampire exposed to sunlight. Her shrill cries echoed throughout the neighborhood, and she trembled in my arms every time I went to her -- as instructed by the doctor -- I’d scoop her out of the crib and attempt soothing her so I could start the whole process over again. I begged Jerod to take turns, but he’d have no part in torturing the baby. He claimed it was just too awful a job for Daddy.

I couldn’t take it anymore -- the agony of watching me transform from mother to psycho killer in my baby’s eyes was unbearable.

I only wish I’d spent a couple of weeks sleeping on the couch before I let Baby No.2 get the better of me. We had the guest room then, so I was perfectly content going to sleep every night in a bed to myself. It never occurred to me that I’d ever be out of a bed. But that is precisely where I find myself today. Since we were forced to convert said guest room into a play room for lack of toy storage, I’ve been bumped from my cozy bed to the sectional downstairs.
I’m tired. I’m grumpy. I’m ashamed.

You see, Jerod and I thought we were winning the war against sleep deprivation, when in fact there is no beating it. Sleep deprivation is an unavoidable side effect of parenting -- as unavoidable as death and stupid people. You can deal with it early or you can deal with it later. I think it’s probably best to take the bull by the horns in the beginning. Otherwise, you’ll wake up one morning in bed with your 40-year-old children and their spouses and their children and on and on.

I don’t know what flavor of Kool-Aid they slipped me in the delivery room, but I’d stick to ice chips and water if I was ever to have another baby. And that baby could cry till the end of time -- I wouldn't let it within five feet of my bed.


  1. OMG that is some funny stuff

  2. aww cute. what a lovely pictures you have added in this blog.
    Online Beds and Mattresses shop


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