I think there are a lot of parents out there who don't plan on co-sleeping, but somehow end up with a kid (or two) in bed anyway. In fact, I'd venture to say there are plenty of parents out there who don't even call what they do "co-sleeping," because their kids start out in their own beds but, somehow, migrate. Regardless of whether or not you call it by name, if your kid sleeps with you for part of the night, chances are high that they're are things you won't miss about co-sleeping once it's finally over.
I'm definitely in the "didn't plan to c0-sleep" camp. I guess you could call us reluctant co-sleepers, if you really wanted to put a label on the group. However, I guess if I really hated it I'd have kicked my kids out for good, and definitely by now. The fact is, there are moments when I really love it, because I know my kids will want nothing to do with me in 10 years. At least, that's what I tell myself as I lie sandwiched between my kids, in a stiflingly hot room, as they fidget and chat their way to sleep each night.
No, I don't think any co-sleeping parent would call it a perfect scenario. However, many of us do allow it to take place (or choose for it to take place) with the understanding that parents only get the opportunity to cuddle with their kids for a short period of time. There's nothing wrong with enjoying it while it lasts, assuming that safety precautions have been taken. Still, I guarantee there are things you'll be happy to say goodbye to once the time is up and you've sufficiently kicked your kids out of your bed, including the following:
Getting Hit By A Rogue (And Strangely Powerful) Limb
Kids really have no idea where their bodies end and the rest of the world begins. It's kind of adorable, until you sleep with them. Getting slapped in the face or nailed in the groin stop being adorable pretty much the first time it happens.
Sleeping On Three Inches Of The Bed
When my husband and I finally splurged on a king sized bed, we thought our nights of feeling overcrowded in bed were over. Turns out, it just means there's a bigger space in the middle of the bed that no one is sleeping on.
Being Afraid You'll Roll Off In The Middle Of The Night
Thanks to the three inches of bed you manage to balance yourself on, while your kid is pressed against you, the fear of rolling out of the bed completely is something you'll have to come to terms with, and something I, personally, can't wait to say goodbye to.
Being The Victim Of A Co-Sleeping Injury
Black eyes are not uncommon in the co-sleeping world. What's a little less common, however, is a deep scratch in your cornea, requiring you to wear a contact lens that acts as a bandaid for several weeks. Not that I'd know, personally. (I totally know, personally.)
Having To Change The Bed Sheets In The Middle Of The Night
Or you know, not, because you'd done it too many nights in a row and you either don't have the energy, or you don't have the clean sheets necessary to do so. Which means you plop a towel over the wet spot and pray it doesn't soak through.
Being Puked On
One of my favorite moments with my daughter was the night she puked her guts out, after eating too much icing at a birthday party. She actually puked rainbow colors, thanks to all the sprinkles she'd consumed, all over me. Twice.
Being Smothered To The Point Of Overheating
Our new house is great, in terms of space, and it's the first house we've had central air conditioning in. However, due to the fact that our bedroom is west-facing, on the top floor, it gets pretty hot by the end of the day. Combine that with two kids who want to snuggle in as close to your body as possible, and discomfort doesn't even begin to describe it.
No Spontaneous Bedtime Sex
HAHAHAHAHA. As if that would ever happen now that you have kids, anyway.
Kids Sleeping Sideways
Why? Is there some kind of law of physics we don't know about, that causes children to move sideways, once they're in bed and asleep? Did I miss an important science class in high school? Someone explain this to me.
Being Used As A Pillow
The best is when this happens unexpectedly and in the middle of the night. Did you know that a child's head is actually four times heavier when it's landing on your chest or stomach? True story. Those kids have bowling balls for heads.