Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just the five of us (on one mattress)

Frequently when I go out in the company of 2-3 of my children, persons who have only one child will comment about wanting more kids but worrying about the extra work, extra money, not enough time, not enough room, don't want to be outnumbered, or the ever popular fear of returning to the world of diapers.

While lying uncomfortably in my own bed last night something occurred to me.
I never get enough room to sleep in perfect comfort. That's a fact. However, there are several other important facts that accompany this statement that I think people who make statements like those listed above, should know.

1. When I was in high school and had two loving parents paying my bills and providing me with food and a private room and a queen sized pillow top mattress for my exclusive use was the last time I had enough room to sleep in perfect comfort.
2. As soon as I added another person to this arrangement... it was all downhill in the sleep quality department. I'm looking at my husband on this one. But even with the addition of a 6'3" adult man whose oversized uvula and resulting snore-decibals have amazed sleep researchers, I've found sleep comfort. Because, hey, I'm with my loving companion and we enjoy the warmth and secure feelings generated by tandem sleeping.

3. When co-sleeping with a baby (and following all co-sleeping rules as suggested by the Institute for Common Sense) my sleeping body will remain unmoving. No tossing, no turning, no minute movements that would prevent my arms from becoming concrete blocks filled with pins and needles. Is co sleeping comfortable? No. Uh-uh. But I do get more sleep and I like nothing so much as waking up to that little smooshy face.
4. Then I go and add another kid. Then there are more rules from the Institute for Common Sense. Keep the infant and the toddler apart with an implacable yet responsive barrier (re: Me) So now I have the pillow top queen size mattress (that is on the floor to help prevent the problems only gravity can cause) and it's pushed against the wall (see above comment about gravity). So, in this order: wall, infant, mom, toddler (sleeping in whatever orientation makes the least sense), and snoring man companion. Happy family.
5. Then those kids grow a little and I have the above layout except add about 70 pounds to the collective and occurring less frequently because occasionally the kids accidentally sleep in their own bed the whole night. Tired mattress, cuddles on demand.
6. But then I add that third kid. The one who tips the scales. Now there is more child than parent in the equation. But, man companion and I shelled out big bucks for a king size mattress. Not a pillow top, but still very nice. So with a new bed we have more resources to throw at the problem. The problem being "where do the 5 of us all sleep when 3 of us desperately want to be laying directly on top of mommy?"

Do I have more room now?  No. Despite the addition of 18 more inches of bed, I am still usually in a body position that looks like a particularly difficult asana at yoga. Example. Last night my infant slept through the night, in her crib. My 6 year old slept on her own (queen sized pillow top) bed all night. My son, post night-terror, landed in the middle of my bed. So? The of us. I should still have about 2.5' all to myself right? Nope.
Wall, body pillow for keeping the baby from hitting the wall when she comes in in the morning to nurse, me, pillow to keep me from getting kicked by the child who spins like a can opener all night, pillow to protect man companion from said child, man companion. And beside the bed, the dog licking himself noisily.

What is the point of this patchwork dissertation of digression and musings?  No matter what resources you have to begin with, you'll use them to make your situation work. And that isn't just having enough, it's thriving. It's success, it's winning, it's overcoming. It is love and it is worth it. Believe you have the wherewithal and you will. If you're a survivor, you'll roll with the punches. ETC!

As for the whole hating diapers thing, I can't really help you except to quote Paul Reiser when contemplating the alternatives, "Thank God for diapers."

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