I know this is can be a hot topic of parenting – whether to co-sleep or not. For my husband and I, we always said that it wasn’t something we wanted to do. Sure, when the kids were newborns they slept in our room for the first few weeks, but as soon as we were able to put them in their own rooms we did. And it definitely paid off for us.
I don’t know about you, but by the end of every day, whether I work that day or stay home, I always feel burnt out and all I want to do is relax and wind down and not be needed for anything. Up until this year, I had a STRICT 7 pm bedtime for the kids. If that meant we had to leave a party early or not attend at all as a result, then so be it. I remember one year we could not even stay for a Christmas Eve dinner with our family because they refused to eat before 7 so we just took the food home and ate it after the kids went to bed. For our mental health and the sake of our sanity in the house, it has always been worth it, especially when the kids were younger, to make sure they got enough sleep. I am not being dramatic when I say that my kids turn into different human beings when they are tired so I try to avoid that as much as I can.
Nap time was always important, too. In the first year of both kid’s lives I had a very rigid schedule for them to make sure they went down to nap at the right time every day so that we could all get a rest and I could get a break in the middle of the day. That meant that most days we didn’t leave the house to ensure they got their naps. Call me crazy but that schedule was probably one of the only things that got me through the first 2 years.
Now that they are 4 and 5 I am definitely getting more lenient on the bed time because they don’t require as much sleep and it doesn’t affect them as much the next day when they are tired. The one thing I am still strict on though is no co-sleeping. Is it hard sometimes? Of course! When my daughter, who is 5, asks why she has to sleep alone and I get to sleep with dad I can understand her confusion and empathize with her but that is not a reason to change up what we have been doing for her whole life. Not only do I fully enjoy putting my kids to bed at the end of a long day and sitting on the couch with nothing to do, but I also enjoy going to bed and sleeping peacefully without someone kicking me or snoring or getting up throughout the night. I am willing to compromise with my kids on almost everything to make sure they think what we do in our house is fair, but that is not something I am willing to compromise on.