We have slept with children for the past 9 years, which astounds me, as the time has flown by. I remember wondering and worrying about how we would make that work as we waited for Eliza to be born, and then how relatively easy that part of the puzzle was for us. The nursing, the colicky crying - that was more challenging! - but the sleeping together, as a family, was a no-brainer, giving us all the best night of sleep we could hope for. The biggest challenge for me was closing my eyes on the most beautiful baby in the world; Dan would gently remind me that while she was sleeping I should probably do the same...but she was so beautiful when she was sleeping! Like an ancient statue, carved out of the warmest smoothest wood, ancient and so new...But I digress.
We never pushed for our "own" bed, but Eliza announced, at age 6 1/2, that she was ready to try sleeping in her own room, a room adjacent to the family bedroom. Sure enough, without a moment of looking back, she was comfortable and happy to be on her own. Of course bedtime is lingered over, and she often invites one of us to sleep with her, but she never chose to move her bed back into the big bedroom.
So, this left us with Ani, who nursed until she was 4 3/4 and needed to have company while doing all manner of things, sleep being one of them! Our nightly routine has been to read until we are tired, and then one of us lies with her until she is really really asleep, which often means we are too...I was skeptical when Dan suggested that maybe she'd be ready to move into a room with Eliza. His vision had us moving our bed into the room with the most beautiful light, while giving the girls plenty of bed room and an adjacent "study". When we were in Wisconsin in April, Ani spent almost every night in with the big girls, sleepover-style, so we decided to ask the girls about moving, and they were really excited about it!
Do not come in my room! If you hav bad intenchons.If you hav good intenchons you can cum in!
In some ways they were more ready for this than I was; I love being close to them while they're sleeping, listening to a room full of family giggling, talking and breathing in their sleep. However...Eliza has not had a moment of "I hate sharing a room, I want my own room back". She is working on all sorts of skills that are challenging right now: sharing, listening, being respectful of another's space and opinions. Anika takes such pride in making her bed every morning, and when I lie down with her at night she as often as not will turn over at some point and say, "G'night Mama - you can go now". I hear them sometimes in the morning, talking, laughing, and I get plenty of snuggling from my early bird who crawls into bed with me first thing in the morning. And how is it having my "own" room after nine years? She wriggles as if snuggling down under clean sheets in a well-made bed, cozy and content with a good book and her husband next to her...It is pretty sweet.