Havoc at Home: Everything you ever wanted (or didn't want) to know about the Family Bed
So one day, you decide to post an innocent photo of your new bed on facebook. The next morning you wake up to find that it has been viewed by 30,000 people and you think...
Ok, does no one have anything better to do? It isn't THAT remarkable.
As the day goes on, it gets crazier and crazier. Suddenly 175,000 people are discussing my sex life and how they (or wait, no, me) are going to have to pay for therapy. So this post is just to answer some of the many questions that come from not understanding the concept of co-sleeping. And FYI, not getting into the history, the cultural, the moral, the whatevers about it. You can just google it. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Question #1: How in the world do you have sex?!?
First, I highly suggest this book. We read it to our kids. It will give you a good start.
Oh wait... I GUESS you aren't actually asking that. Well the easy answer is that sex doesn't have to happen in a bed. There are plenty of 16 year olds who ended up in the back seat of a car to prove that! I think what it boils down to is your lack of imagination. I am sure you can figure it out. In our house, by moving everyone into one room, we suddenly had several other rooms that were completely empty at night and we no longer had small children wandering, crying into our bed in the dark.
Question #2: Why would you do this?
I think the answer for this is different for every family. For our family, there were several factors.
- We travel a lot. When we travel, we stay in one little pop-up camper or one hotel room. That means that our kids are accustomed to sleeping together and in the same space as us. So every time we would be on the road and return home we had to "retrain" them to sleep in their own beds. Bedtime was full of tears and fights. They got out of bed repeatedly. Our house was lit up like the 4th of July with nightlights because everyone was anxious alone. We got to the point where our bedroom floor was covered in palettes full of sleeping children. It got old.
- Our kiddos have always been raised to believe that if something wasn't working, we found a solution. Sleeping arrangements are an ever evolving thing. I am sure we will reconfigure when it stops working. I am the queen of flexible.
- Sleep. We just needed sleep. Tom is disabled and is often sick or needs care at night. I was up helping him, nursing a baby, putting kids back into their own beds, soothing a toddler woken by other kids... it was a mess! When we moved everyone together, the toddler got a dark little cave to sleep in. Our anxious, insomniac 11 yr old had a dark little cave to sleep in. Our wild sleepers each had their own space and I was still by Tom to help him if he needed it. Sleep, people. It is really simple.
- It's cute? I don't know. I honestly just took what we had and made it work!
Question #3: Isn't this a waste of space?
Yes. Now I have two whole free rooms in my house. They previously occupied beds that no one used. Now the clothing has a room of its own, as do the legos. Why would clothing and legos get their own room? Its a numbers thing, really. There are just WAY MORE pieces of clothing and WAY MORE legos than children in our house. It seemed more logical to share a bed with the smaller number. Besides, sleeping with legos sounds awful!
Question #4: What if someone is puking?
Yup, a big family has it's fair share of pukers. In our house, when you puke, you don't get to stay in bed. You get moved to the family room couch with a parent designated to hold your bowl. So really, it doesn't make much difference. In fact, we get way more "warning" time this way. Before, by the time they made it to us, it was already coming up. Now, we statistically make it to the bathroom with less accidents. And yes. We have actually been thrown up on in bed. And it was NOT when we were sharing a bed. Just sayin'.
Question #5: Doesn't everyone wake each other up?
Nope. Everyone has easy access in and out of their bed. They get up to pee and get a drink and get back in without an issue. Even the baby waking up crying almost never wakes anyone. Tom snores, but well, ear plugs do the trick. And it would be sort of rude to make the husband sleep in his own room!
Question #6: How in the world does your bedtime work?
This is a great question and one that we have changed over the years. Currently, the baby and toddler go to bed first around 7:30pm. We simply lay with them until they are settled/asleep. They are on the bottom beds. At 8:30pm, Izzy and Ben (ages 9 & 7) head to bed. They sleep on the top bunks, and so they just get into bed with hugs and kisses! There is a little night light to allow them to see. At 9:30pm, Zach (age 11) goes to bed. He simply crawls in! If the baby wakes or stirs, a quick snuggle will settle him down. At 10:30-11pm, we go to bed. Usually if someone is going to wake, it is this time. We simply help them and then settle in. The baby wakes to eat and then everyone falls asleep! It seems to be working wonderfully!
Question #7: What happens when you have more kids?
We won't. If we do, please contact my husbands urologist, Dr. Posch and leave a scathing review. And then you can donate to us so we can add on to the bed and the car.
Question #8: What if your kid wants to move out of the bed?
It's a FREAKING MIRACLE!!!! Honestly, we have tried. Many times. But if at some point, someone requests a change, we will happily make it work. As I said before, it is an ever flowing dynamic.
Question #9: What if the kids on the bunk beds fall off?
Well first off, the Kura Bed is not a bunk. It is a loft, so it already sits quite low to the ground. Secondly, they would fall on a mattress or one of us parents. While not ideal, I doubt it would do much damage. Thirdly, you can purchase a thinner mattress, it just wasn't as comfortable for them. If you are HIGHLY concerned, feel free to buy a bed rail off amazon and ship it to us. I prefer white so that is fits the current color scheme.
Question #10: Isn't it awful changing the sheets?
Sometimes. It really isn't too bad though. We do it as a team and it seems to work just fine! I mean, who really loves the job anyway?