In Our House, The Parents’ Bed Is A No Kid Zone

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My kids have never, not even once, asked to sleep in our bed. I know, I know. What a bragger. What a show-off.

But honestly, it’s not about that. It’s just that my husband and I knew from the very beginning that we wanted to keep our bedroom ours, and ours alone.

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But before I go on any further, I’d like to declare loud and clear that this is in no way meant to be a bedsharing-shaming post.

I have plenty of friends who co-sleep with their little ones because it works for them and I have never judged them for one second. As with everything that goes with parenting, I say, do what works for you.

But for us, from the beginning of our marriage, over ten years ago, we decided that we would create our bedroom to be a place of rest.

We don’t even have a TV in our room and we intend on keeping it that way. In the evenings, after all of the chores are done, we usually climb into our bed, read, and clonk out. Yeah, I know, that’s some real mid-life romance and magic.

But hey, it’s quiet and important that our bedroom is a place of serenity.

So, when it comes to bedsharing, it’s just that we knew that it would never work for us.

You see, I’m already a light sleeper by nature. Always have been. So, if you stick a kicking toddler into the mix, yeah, I’d never sleep. And me without sleep is not a pretty sight. I act like a mean mom-zombie, wanting to punish her offspring.

Yes, our children slept in our room next to our bed when they were infants because it was easier when they were feeding that often, but after that, they’ve been in their own rooms. The kids call it “The Parent Bedroom” and it’ll likely always stay that way. But from the beginning, we knew we wanted our bedroom to be an adults-only kind of party.

So, once our children were around 1-years-old, we decided to sleep train.

Again, I know that’s not for everyone, but my family craved the routine, the schedule, and the whole sleep in your own kind of bed thing.

So, we do the same thing every night. We put on our PJs, brush our teeth, read a couple of books, shut the lights, and close the door. The end. Typically, it’s relatively a breeze because we’ve made it a routine, but it isn’t seamless.

There are plenty of nights when my children throw tantrums because the thought of being away from Mom and Dad over the course of the night is just too awful.

That, or they need 102 sips of water because they just might die.

In those situations, we do our best to diffuse their tears and quiet them to sleep.

Yes, often we cuddle with them in their beds, but they never come into ours. Mainly because I know that if I do that even once, it just might become a habit. A habit that I do not intend on making, or breaking. So, while tuck-ins aren’t perfect, overall, my children know that bedtime means that it’s time to sleep—in their own beds and in their own rooms.

It's possible to make your master bedroom a kid free zone. If you're co-sleeping, but don't know how to get your kids out of your bed, here's how we did it. #cosleeping #marriage #filterfreeparents

Today, with my children at the ages of 4 and 6, they’ve never asked to sleep in our bed.

Yes, they call out to us when they’re sick or have a nightmare in the middle of the night. And we cater to their needs with love, but when it comes to snuggling with us in our bed, they just don’t.

Again, how families choose to sleep is their own business. And I am not trying to push our sleeping habits onto anyone, that’s for sure. But this works for us and hopefully always will because in our family we’re just a little happier with our own space and a full night’s rest. Or maybe they’ve just learned that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

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Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer and writing instructor dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Since the pandemic, Angela and her family have been rejuvenated by nature and moved to northern Michigan to allow the waves of Lake Michigan to calm their spirits. She has been published in Good Housekeeping, Good Morning America, ABC News, Parents, Romper, and many more. She is currently at-work on her nonfiction parenting book, Wild Things by Nature: How an Unscientific Parent Can Give Nature to Their Wild Things.

1 COMMENT

  1. I love this. First that you are just telling what works for you and your family. I do not think there are hard rules for these situations and you stated that well.
    I let my children sleep with me once a week. It was a ‘sleepover’ time that was planned and something they looked forward to every week.
    If during the week they had a nightmare or accident or whatever brought them to me I would get up and deal with it, tuck them back in their bed and return to mine.
    Children learn and adapt to the rules as long as they are consistent. I did not have problems really with that at all.

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