I Can Sleep When I'm Dead
I think I first heard someone say, "I can sleep when I'm dead" in the context of some cross-border merger transaction which required working day and night at the office for several weeks. At the time, I had no idea that the person had appropriated the phrase from every mother since Eve.
Of course there are varying degrees of sleep deprivation for any mom. There is the zombie new mother phase when you are waking up every 2-3 hours in order to feed the baby. Then there are the nights of teething/ear infection/croup/colic agony which can last weeks and even months. After the baby phase, there is another span of interrupted sleep when you go through nighttime potty training. But eventually this settles down and you can get some nights of peaceful slumber. Except for the many many of us who are co-sleeping parents, whether by choice or default.
Just to be clear, this post is not an attack on co-sleeping. I slept with my mom till I was five and we moved to the United States. Back then in Korea and still today in many Asian countries, people sleep on the floor on sleeping mats that are put away every morning. If only my boys would sleep next to me without kicking me in the face, using my shirt as a blankie or sleeping horizontally between us, I would have no problem with co-sleeping. If I had Brangelina's custom made bed that fits them and all of their kids, co-sleeping would not be an issue. But when a woman at my church said to me, "you look tired [I think she meant crappy] all the time," I knew the lack of sleep was definitely having a physical toll on my body and I needed to find a way to get us away from it.
We started co-sleeping when we lived in a one bedroom apartment in New York City. My first child H refused to sleep in the crib because he could sense that we were in the room. We tried to move him out to the living room but that didn't work either. We moved to a two bedroom apartment and I finally got him sleep trained (Ferberized!) two months before I had second baby R. Then we moved to California and the training went to pot because we felt badly for H with all of the recent changes in his life. My husband Stewart slept with him every night. I was breastfeeding R so it was easier to sleep with him than to get up in the middle of the night to get him. Fast forward two years.Continued on the next page