Some of you will roll your eyes and tell me to get a room when you read this. A few of you are probably in the same shoes with me.
Both my daughters have been sleeping in the same room with my husband and I. We have been sleeping together since the day they were born.
Some of my friends think that I am being ridiculous. They think that this arrangement is not good. They believe that I am not promoting independence towards my daughters. They also question the quality of my relationship with my husband. They also can't stand the ambiance of my bedroom with pink bedsheet and flowery pillows.
Before I made the decision on this sleeping arrangement, I had lengthy discussions with my husband and my mother.
My 4 siblings and I used to sleep together in the same room with my mom for at least 8 years. I remember how she "combined" beds in the bedroom to prevent her kids from falling. She did what she did out of necessity and for practical reason. She never thought about how sleeping arrangement could have emotional impact on the children.
When I tried to analyze the impact of what she did, I can say that all of us grew up to be independent kids. I cooked my own meal during my primary school years albeit just fried eggs and fried rice. When I was just about 10 years old, I used to walk with my sister for swimming classes 2 km away from our house without any adult supervision. When we were in high school, we went back from school taking public transportation. My bothers and sisters never had our parents pick us up from school. When I asked my mother how sleeping together with the children had affected her relationship with my father, she smiled and said, "We are still together, aren't we? And I think with 5 children, I can say that we were quite "productive".
When I discussed this with my husband, he said that we would only have the kids for 12 years at most. After that we would be lucky if they don't ask to have some privacies. He really believes in enjoying our time together as long as we can.
Fast forward to now... I am glad I decided to sleep together with our kids. My mother has been right. I love the 15 minutes we have together before the children sleep. When they were younger, my husband and I used to take turns telling them bedtime stories. Now we talk about anything and nothing. Sometime we watch crazy stupid commercials on YouTube and have good laughs on the bed. I love their smells when they sleep. I love the feeling of hugging them at night. One night my daughter woke up in the middle of the night and recorded her daddy's snore using the ipad..!!
We are moving to our new house soon. My daughters will have to sleep in a different room. I believe it's time for me to let them have their own spaces. Part of me is relieved because I will soon be able to roll my back freely on the bed. I can have my white cotton-satin bedsheet back. I won't be kicked in the middle of the night anymore...
But part of me is also sad... Although it's just a room away, I feel like they are going away from me.. I know it's crazy but this thing has been bugging me for weeks now. I am so tempted to move their beds into my room..!
But then I am reminded again by Sting : If your love someone, set them free.
And by Khalil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable