2 In Family/ Parenting

Why I Want My Kids to Wake Me Up Way Too Early

When Titus was first born he slept in bed with Lindy and me. Honestly, I was never a big fan of this setup. I had this idea that our bed was supposed to be our bed and letting our kids in there would somehow undermine our marriage.

I know, I have issues.

Thankfully, I started going to counseling and Lindy didn’t leave me on the grounds of my stupidity. I’ve learned a lot and loosened up quite a bit since those early days.

Slowly, I discovered the joy of snuggling my kids in bed.

Titus eventually progressed to a co-sleeper thing and then a pack n’ play at the foot of our bed. Now some of my favorite memories from those first few years of our little family were the slow mornings with everyone up way too early, but spending forever snuggling and playing together in our bed.

As timed passed Titus moved into a crib in his own little room and then a “big boy” bed in that same room when his little brother, Boaz, was ready to takeover the crib. Now that they have two little sisters they’ve been ousted from that room and sleep in bunkbeds in a bedroom across the house.

No Such Thing As Sleeping In

One of the universally agreed upon worst parts of having little kids is how early they wake up. And there’s, like, nothing you can do to change it. I’ve tried keeping the boys up way past their bedtime and they’re still up before the sun.

So a year or two ago I set a goal to train the boys to turn the television and cartoons on all by themselves in the morning. For about the last year they have successfully pulled this off and it’s kind of been awesome. Titus will even serve up some morning snacks for Boaz now.

Every few weeks Boaz has a hard time sleeping all the way through the night and he’ll come into our room at three in the morning or something awful. Once again, I’ve trained him to just bring his pillow and a blanket. He doesn’t even wake me up anymore, he just sleeps on the floor next to our bed and all I have to worry about is not stepping on him when I wake up.

Training My Kids to Leave Me Alone

I had a realization the other day that broke my heart.

My little boys don’t climb into bed and snuggle with me in the morning anymore.

For whatever reason I found myself awake at like 4 AM with this awareness that no one was going to come climb in to my side of the bed; I lay there and was just overwhelmed with sadness.

About an hour or so later Boaz came in with his pillow and blanket and begin to lay down by himself. I heard him quietly getting settled on the floor and decided I’m not having that anymore. So I grabbed his little hand and pulled him into bed with me for snuggles. He fell right asleep in my arms and I just lay there enjoying his quiet breathing.

Just this morning I got lucky because Titus came in pretty early. The TV wasn’t waking up and he needed my help. I pulled him in bed with me, and while he didn’t sleep we did get to whisper and snuggle for a bit.

Sleeping In is Overrated

I’ve made my mind up: I was dumb about all of this sleeping and stuff. One day really soon my boys are never going to come snuggle me in bed anymore.

I don’t care how tired I am throughout the day or how great those extra few minutes of sleep sound; I’m going out of my way now to get my kids into bed with us as early in the morning and as often as possible.

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Cat
    April 10, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Tried leaving a comment here earlier, it must not have gone through! Just wanted to say I loved hearing a “dad perspective” on cuddling and co-sleeping with kids. My hubby’s experience was similar to yours in the beginning, and he still can’t sleep well with either of the kids in bed (he’s just a super light sleeper!), but I think he has realized some of the sweetness of these cuddling “family bed” years. I love when my two year old, like clock work, climbs in with me at 6:15 almost every morning. That and coffee are among my favorite morning things 🙂

    • Reply
      Justin
      April 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

      Oh man – once the kids climb in bed, sleep is pretty much over for me too! I guess I’m just trying to decide that the extra level of exhaustion is worth it. It helps to have some of my coworkers with older kids talk about how they miss parts of the parenting stage we’re at right now to get that extra perspective.

      Right now Boaz, who’s currently 5, is the only one who regularly climbs in bed (sometime between 4-6am) but I’m eagerly anticipating the time when my daughters begin to do that!!

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