There are topics that are always up to date and always trigger new discussions. One of these topics is the family bed. I have never written about it, but I would like to do it at last. It is especially important to me to pass on an important message to you that reads: “As long as you are happy, your children are too!”
But that’s just one of the thoughts I’d like to share with you. There are a few more …
When I look around and read reports about the family bed or breastfeeding, I mostly read about extremes. Some are totally for it, the other totally against it. Some operate the family bed quite excessively, the others do exactly the opposite. But what about everything in between? Is the family bed available completely or not at all? The same goes for breastfeeding and many other topics. However, for the time being I only want to go into the family bed.
I wonder how you think about it before and after my article!
Let’s start with that every person is different. This is not only true for our children, but also for ourselves. For example, I am a very miserable sleeper. I have always been! I can not sleep when I think too much. I can not sleep when someone is digging beside me. But I can not sleep if I hear any sounds.
Micha, on the other hand, can fall asleep in every position and position and with so much noise. And I would not say now that this is typical man and typical woman, because I know countless men who tick as I do, and countless women who tick as well as Micha.
What I mean by that: Even when we become parents, we do not lose all our traits. Of course we are changing, that will not last. But we remain WE and that is – as I think – also very important. We have individual needs just like our children. We have own attitudes and opinions. Some parents need more peace of mind, others need extra closeness and security.
There are also other factors: There are parents who work a great deal and in the evening are actually looking forward to the peace and quiet in their bed. But there are also parents who work a lot and feel the cuddly family bed as a perfect balance. Everyone is and feels differently. That’s so important to understand and respect!
The whole thing can be transferred equally to our children, because every child is different.
I have three children and in character, none resembles the other. Lotte, for example, needs a lot of closeness, but she is a very good sleeper. However, she sometimes wakes up at night and then needs a lot of closeness. Lilli falls asleep badly, but falls asleep when she sleeps. And Tom is still in between.
I breastfed Lotte for nearly two years and let her sleep in bed beside me for two years. Lilli slept from the beginning in her crib, but in our bedroom. And Tom slept in my bed for about a year and then moved to his own bed in his own room.
As you can see, we handled it three times completely differently. Not only is there not or not at all. There is still a lot in between!
Micha and I would not want our children to be brought to bed in the evening to fall asleep there. But that does not exclude that they are always welcome with us. First and foremost, when they wake up at night, we try to comfort them in their bed. But as soon as there is more need for closeness and security, our children can ALWAYS come to us and continue to sleep with us, waking up in the morning in our area.
I just want to convey that no mom (and no dad!) Has to feel bad if you can not do anything with the family bed because you have different views. And I want to convey that those of you who have a completely normal family bed need not be ashamed or feel justified in justifying themselves. At the same time, I want to convey that there are a lot of possibilities in between.
Each parent has different needs. Every child has different needs. If you find a middle ground together, everyone is happy. There are no set rules. There is no strict timetable. There is only you and your family who must find the right path for themselves.
Do not be discouraged to stay true to your individual gut instinct! Listen to your heart and not what others say! Do not feel bad if things do not always go the way you imagine! A family means living together and getting together. You grow together and mature together. You get to know each other a bit more each day, respect and appreciate the needs of others, and be there for each other when you’re needed.
Lilli, Lotte and Tom know that their rooms are their kingdoms. They go to bed there and get up there. Usually. But they also know that they can always call for us and always come to us when they need us. They are allowed to sleep with us when they need it. Micha and I feel, if that is so.
So there is not ONLY the family bed or ONLY your own children’s room, there is also a combination of both. Life does not go by script, but by what you make of it!
I think … no matter which attitude you live in, one thing is most important: love.
When we show our children how much we love them and always offer them an open ear and open arms, … when we talk to them and listen to them … when we give them rest but also spend time with them … when we see them perceive as independent little souls, … if we respect their needs and traits, then they will perceive us as well. Then they will also listen to us, comfort us, cuddle us, understand us too, because they have learned the most important values through us. And these values should not spring from firmly established rules, but from your heart.
In this sense, you know your family best. That’s what’s doing to you, which is good for you all, so that you all are well!