I have had kids coming into my room for years now, waking me up for one reason or another. Usually I work on keeping our kids in their bed, but the other night was a different story.
It was dark, quiet… I had been sleeping for hours when it happened. Those footsteps that we know so well. The ones that come down the hall, getting louder and louder until they come to a stop beside your bed. then come the words “Mom? Can I sleep in your bed?”
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I am all for a child sleeping in their own bed. Really, I am. I really can’t sleep when our kids are in our bed… I know it’s silly, but I am so busy worrying about them falling out of the side, or me rolling on them or thinking about how I am going to wake up in the morning without them hearing me get up. I just don’t sleep well. For that reason, our kids all sleep in their own beds every night.
However… sometimes, your kids just need you… and it might be in the middle of the night. That is OK. Whenever your baby (no matter their age) needs you, be there. ♥
I can remember being young and doing the same thing. Waking up in my room and realizing that I was all alone. I can remember being scared when I walked down our dark hallway, past my brother’s room (where I would normally go in the middle of the night, because he had an extra bed that I could sleep in, even though he never knew that I came in until the morning) and into my parent’s room.
I remember the pajamas that my mom would wear, I remember what was on the end table beside her bed, the color of the comforter on her bed. I remember walking to her side of the bed and whispering those words to her “Mom? Can I sleep in here?”
My husband, Mickey was the same way. He told me that when he was young, he would sleep outside of his parent’s room every night. He never went in, but his parents would find him, every morning, curled up in a ball in front of their door. They told him that he could come in, but being outside of their door was enough for him. Mickey and I laugh about it now (and I tease him for it), but it really shows you how much our kids want to be near us.
(Mickey, by the way, falls asleep almost every night when he tucks the kids in…)
So, back to that night. Back to the footsteps at 3:00 am that made their way down the hall in the middle of the night. They turned to tip-toed footsteps once they reached my room. Then I felt it… tap, tap, tap…
Then the whisper “Mom? Mom? Can I sleep in your bed?” It surprised me when I opened my eyes to see Jack standing there. Jack is our oldest. 9 years old. He never comes into our room at night. The little ones still will on occasion, but I don’t think Jack has done this in four or five years.
Now, normally I would say “Oh, Honey. I’ll walk to you back to your bed and tuck you in and lie down with you for a few minutes.” but sometimes, your kids just need an extra cuddle. When they aren’t feeling well or they are scared or they just want to be with you.
I want to remind you to just welcome those moments. I’m so glad that I did, because he has not done it since. We don’t get those moments back.
I put all of my “sleep in your own bed” rules aside for the night. Sometimes, Moms… they just need you. He fell asleep holding my hand. I didn’t sleep (The irony of that, right?!) but he did and he felt safe, secure and loved by his mom & dad. What more could I ask for?
Sometimes, your kids just need some extra time with you. Don’t be so busy worrying about “following the rules of parenting” that you forget the REAL rule of parenting: bending those OTHER rules to make them work for your family, your child and you.
An extra cuddle tonight might be just what your child needs. Embrace it. Your child will remember it 30 years down the road, when their own child comes sneaking into their beds at night.