‘I love cwtch­ing up in bed with my boy but I know it can’t go on’ M

South Wales Echo - - YOUR VIEWS -

Y poor hus­band feels like he has be­come a lodger in his own home.

It’s be­cause when we turn the TV off and say “good­night” we have to go our sep­a­rate ways – him to the top floor of our three­storey house and me to the mas­ter bed­room on the mid­dle floor.

It’s not that I’ve fi­nally snapped over his snor­ing or that we’re hav­ing mar­i­tal prob­lems of any kind. It’s be­cause our lit­tle boy, who’s al­most six, ab­so­lutely point-blank re­fuses to sleep in his own bed.

It’s not just a re­cent thing. This has been go­ing on for years on and off – more on though, if I’m hon­est.

I only feel brave enough to write about it be­cause Stacey Solomon ad­mit­ted this week that she’s sad she has stopped shar­ing her bed with her two sons af­ter nine years of co-sleep­ing.

She says she would “do it for­ever”, but as she val­ues her sleep and her re­la­tion­ship she’s had an ex­tra spe­cial Lego-style bunk bed built for her boys to en­tice them to sleep in their own room.

It seems to have done the trick so far, with Stacey say­ing the boys are ac­tu­ally ea­ger to go to bed. But none­the­less, the tran­si­tion has been bit­ter sweet.

I can to­tally re­late to this. While I love cwtch­ing up with my boy, see­ing his cheru­bic face on the pil­low next to mine and be­ing able to com­fort him im­me­di­ately if he wakes in the night, I also know that for Pete’s sake and mine, it can’t go on for­ever.

It all started when we moved into our house two years ago. As a mega stroppy three­nager Luke made bed­times an in­ter­minable hell as we chased him round and round his room try­ing to coax him into his bed.

If we got him in we had a bat­tle to get him to lie down. If he lay down, he would lie awake and then get straight back up. I se­ri­ously felt close to a ner­vous break­down be­cause bed­time lit­er­ally took two to three hours every night.

We had no evening to­gether as a cou­ple any­way, so in the midst of yet an­other bed­time melt­down one night I asked him if he’d go to sleep in mummy and daddy’s bed out of sheer des­per­a­tion. He said he would and, apart from the odd oc­ca­sion, he’s been there ever since.

It wasn’t much of an is­sue at first. We have a king-size bed so there was room for all three of us.

But now Luke’s much big­ger and Pete’s get­ting pushed out. He faces the stark choice of ei­ther spend­ing the night on the edge of the bed with his head on the bed­side cab­i­net or up­stairs in Luke’s bed.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to get him into his own bed.

At first we sold on the tod­dler bed for a proper sin­gle di­van. Our think­ing was the thought of a proper “big boy bed” would ap­peal. It was pretty much a fail­ure and we soon ended up back at square one.

We booked a hol­i­day cot­tage this sum­mer where he could have his own room, think­ing it would get him out of the habit of sleep­ing with mum and dad. But when we woke up in the morn­ing he was curled up on the end of our bed like a cat.

And although I haven’t got the funds to get a cus­tom-made bed like Stacey, I did spend a fair amount buy­ing a small dou­ble bed for Luke’s room and get­ting him new Minecraft bed­ding to try to en­tice him to sleep there. My think­ing with the larger bed was that I’d sleep along­side him un­til he got used to it.

He was in there for about a week and then we all ended up back where we started.

Just like Stacey knows par­ents will judge her harshly for her ad­mis­sion, I know the same ap­plies to me too.

I’ve come across par­ents in the past who say they “make” their chil­dren sleep in their own beds and “never” al­low them in mum and dad’s bed “be­cause once you start, you never get rid of them and it’s not good”.

That’s all very well and good if you have chil­dren who do as you say or put up a mi­nor protest. But I won­der how they’d re­act if they were also faced with a two to three-hour nightly bat­tle for weeks at a time. I’m sure they’d cave in too.

We’re now go­ing to dec­o­rate Luke’s room in yet an­other bid to tempt him into his own bed. Who knows, we may be third-time lucky. If not, we’ll shortly be pur­chas­ing a su­per king bed.

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