Thursday, December 15, 2011

CoSleeping ROCKS

Welcome to the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival hosted by Monkey Butt Junction . Our bloggers have written on so many different aspects of cosleeping. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
The first time I saw cosleeping in action was in India.  Every afternoon the family that cooked and cleaned and looked after our hostel would snuggle in together for a nap on the open air porch at the front of the house.  Mom, baby, gramma, auntie, toddler, and preschooler in a jumbled pile of saris, long dark hair, and peaceful baby faces.  It was beautiful.

We have an open door policy in our house; if our kids need us at night, they can come get us, or they can call out and we will go to them.  The vast majority of the time, if they have nightmares or are thirsty or whatnot, our kids come into our room and snuggle into our bed.  I'm an introvert.  I like my space.  I don't enjoy being the peanut butter in a babytoddler sandwich.  But it is also extremely important to me that my kids not feel alone or frightened at night.  Now, I could get my bum out of bed and comfort my kids in their own rooms and then return to my bedroom and settle back in alone and unencumbered, but I'm thinking that's a little ambitious.  I have four kids.  I need shortcuts.  Besides, they grow up so fast: how can I miss even a nanosecond of breathing in baby smell or cuddling with my toddler as he wedges himself as close to me as humanly possible, poking the back of my knees with his too long toenails and whispering, "Move over, mommy" in his grouchiest midnight voice?  It's just too cute.

Brent and I met ten years ago.  He's my balance, my stable force, and the best man on the planet.  Period.  Everything we do is a part of this amazing, multi layered, gorgeous love story, shot through with red and blue and folded in on itself like ribbon candy.  Every baby we have is a delicious retelling of our story and filled up with so much life it's blinding.  Nothing makes me happier than sleeping curled up with my hubs and a handful of our kids, wrapped up in each other like puppies, feeling love in an enormous fullness.  This is all I want, in life.  All I've ever wanted.
It's not perfect.  There are toenails in my knees at night, baby farts in my face, I have a mental illness, a dog who needs a new home, and a secret desire to slide a knitting needle in my own eye every time my three year old refuses to get dressed yet again with a flailing and grating "NOOoooOOOoooOOOoooOOo!  I hAAAaaaAAAaaate getting drEeeeeEEEEeeeeEeessed!!!!"   We get stressed out about money.  My hubs is a nag about towels, water usage, and toilet flushing.  He also sorts his all black, identical socks according to how faded they are.  How am I still alive, after ten years of this?!!  Seriously.  But it is all so reminiscent of that family on the porch in India; we work, we clean, we feed people, and in the midst of it all the best part of our day is spent curled up together, sleeping.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

******* Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival

Thanks for reading a post in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival. On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the #CosleepCar hashtag.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Emotive Co-Sleeping Campaign - Miriam at Diary of an Unconscious Mother talks about her feelings on Milwaukee’s anti-cosleeping crusade and its latest advertising campaign.
  • Why Cosleeping has Always been the Right Choice for My Family - Patti at Jazzy Mama shares how lucky she feels to have the privilege of sleeping with her four children.
  • Cosleeping is a safe, natural and healthy solution parents need to feel good about. - See how Tilly at Silly Blatherings set up a side-car crib configuration to meet her and her families' needs.
  • Black and White: Race and the Cosleeping Wars - Moorea at Mama Lady: Adventures in Queer Parenting points out the problem of race, class and health when addressing co-sleeping deaths and calls to action better sleep education and breastfeeding support in underprivileged communities.
  • Reflections on Cosleeping - Jenny at I’m a Full Time Mummy shares her thoughts on cosleeping and pictures of her cosleeping beauties.
  • Cosleeping and Transitioning to Own Bed - Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine shares her experiences in moving beyond the family bed.
  • What Works for One Family - Momma Jorje shares why cosleeping is for her and why she feels it is the natural way to go. She also discusses the actual dangers and explores why it may not be for everyone.
  • Really High Beds, Co-Sleeping Safely, and the Humanity Family Sleeper - Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama gives a quick view of Jennifer’s bed-sharing journey and highlights the Humanity Family Sleeper, something Jennifer could not imagine bed-sharing without.
  • Crying in Our Family Bed - With such a sweet newborn, why has adding Ailia to the family bed made Dionna at Code Name: Mama cry?
  • Dear Mama: - Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares a letter from the viewpoint of her youngest son about cosleeping.
  • Cuddle up, Buttercup! - Nada of The MiniMOMist and her husband Michael have enjoyed cosleeping with their daughter Naomi almost since birth. Nada shares why the phrase "Cuddle up, Buttercup!" has such special significance to her.
  • Co-Sleeping With A Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler - Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how co-sleeping calls us to trust our inner maternal wisdom and embrace the safety and comfort of the family bed.
  • Fear instead of Facts: An Opportunity Squandered in Milwaukee - Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction discusses Milwaukee’s missed opportunity to educate on safe cosleeping.
  • Cosleeping: A Mini-rant and a Lovely Picture - Siobhan at Res Ipsa Loquitor discusses her conversion to cosleeping and rants a little bit about the Milwaukee Health Department anti-cosleeping campaign.
  • Our Cosleeping Story - Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares her cosleeping story and the many bonus side effects of bedsharing.
  • Cosleeping can be safe and rewarding Christy at Mommy Outnumbered shares how her cosleeping experiences have been good for her family.
  • Adding one more to the family bed Lauren at Hobo Mama discusses the safety logistics of bed sharing with a new baby and a preschooler.
  • The Truth About Bedsharing - Dr. Sarah at Parenting Myths and Facts discusses the research into bedsharing and risk - and explains why it is so often misrepresented.
  • Cosleeping as a parenting survival tool - Melissa V. at Mothers of Change describes how she discovered cosleeping when her first baby was born. Melissa is the editor and a board member for the Canadian birth advocacy group, Mothers of Change.
  • Dear Delilah - Joella at Fine and Fair writes about her family bed and the process of finding the cosleeping arrangements that work best for her family.
  • CoSleeping ROCKS! - Melissa at White Noise talks about the evolution of cosleeping in her family.
  • Safe Sleep is a Choice - Tamara at Pea Wee Baby talks about safe sleep guidelines.
  • 3 Babies Later: The Evolution of our Family Bed - Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment talks about how her family’s cosleeping arrangements evolved as her family grew.
  • Tender Moments - The Accidental Natural Mama discusses tender cosleeping moments.
  • Cosleeping Experiences - Lindsey at An Unschooling Adventure describes how she ended up co-sleeping with her daughter through necessity, despite having no knowledge of the risks involved and how to minimise them, and wishes more information were made available to help parents co-sleep safely.
  • The early days of bedsharing - Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares her early memories of bedsharing with her then new born and gets excited as she plans including their new arrival into their sleeping arrangements.
  • The Joys of Cosleeping in Pictures - Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama shares pictures of some of her favorite cosleeping moments.
  • Symbiotic Sleep - Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children discusses how the symbiotic cosleeping relationship benefits not only children but also parents.
  • Co-sleeping Barriers: What’s Stopping You? - Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she was almost prevented from gaining the benefits of co-sleeping her family currently enjoys.
  • Co-Sleeping with the Family Humanity Sleeper - Erica at ChildOrganics shares a way to make co-sleeping safe, comfortable and more convenient. Check out her post featuring the Humanity Organic Family Sleeper.
  • Why We Cosleep - That Mama Gretchen’s husband chimes in on why cosleeping is a benefit to their family.
  • Adding to the Family Bed - Darah at A Girl Named Gus writes about her co-sleeping journey and what happens when a second child comes along.
A big thank you to all of the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival participants!


Jen said...

Love love love! What a great piece.

melissa v. said...

Thanks Jen! xxoo

Dr Sarah said...

What a lovely, lovely post. You sound like you have such a wonderful marriage and family, and you describe it so beautifully here. This is the kind of post that leaves me thinking about all the wonders in life and how good it is to be alive and enjoying the ones we love.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

I love the mental image of that family in India!!
And ITA - cosleeping rocks for our family as well :)

melissa v. said...

@ Dr Sarah, thank you! It's not perfect, but it suits us well. =) I am very grateful for my family!

@Dionna, I'm so glad it works well for you guys, too; your photos on your post said it all!! =) I wish I had more photos of us curled up together!

Rob-o-SE-yo said...

beautiful piece. thank you for writing it.

livingpeacefullywithchildren said...

A great picture of love. :)

Andrea said...

Great piece! I love the paragraph about your kids being a retelling of your love story - kind of made me all teary! Thanks for posting all those links too.