Ah, motherhood. Before becoming a mom, you were a private individual with a life that was, more or less, your own business. Now, your every choice is scrutinized like you’re running for president, especially if you're a mom who has decided to learn how to co-sleep safely. After assessing your birth story (or any other way you may have acquired your small human) and deciding if you feed your child correctly (spoiler: no matter what you do, you won't be doing it "correctly" to someone), people always want to know how the baby is sleeping. This, apparently, is how we distinguish the "good babies" from the "others."
If you’re like me (and you actually answer, answer truthfully and answer with some form of, “Oh, yeah! He sleeps great as long as he’s next to me and can nurse freely at night"), you’re probably familiar with what frequently comes next. It doesn’t matter how much research you quote. It doesn’t matter what pains you’ve taken to make your bed a safe sleep space, or that you haven’t gone to sleep intoxicated since before your positive pregnancy test (sigh!) or that you don’t smoke or that your family is basically the walking embodiment of the safe sleep seven. Nope, chances are you'll encounter at least one person who is absolutely convinced that, even if you aren’t in imminent danger of killing your child, you’re definitely in imminent danger of killing your romantic relationship, or any chance you might have at creating one if you’re single.
Yes, if you’re a co-sleeping mom, or have any plans to become one, you’ll become an expert at answering creepy (and really, judgmental) questions like these, because if there's one thing potentially worse than putting your kid's life in danger it's, as a woman, putting your sex life (presumably) on the back burner. These questions, unfortunately, will assume you're doing both. Oh, society. Sometimes, you can be just the worst.
“So, How Do You Have Sex?”
Um, well, how do you have sex, especially with your nose that far up in my business? Fun fact: sex can happen in other places besides a bed, and at other times besides nighttime.
“Is It Affecting Your Relationship?”
Yes, it has greatly strengthened my relationship with my son. Oh, you meant negatively and with my husband? Not that it's your business, but we like each other a lot better when we’re well rested.
“Aren't You Worried You'll Crush Your Kid?”
I mean, I’ve managed not to roll over on my husband or my cat for the last few years, so no?
“But Seriously, Aren't You Concerned About Putting Your Kid In Danger?"
Yes, which is why I don’t do anything that will impede my ability to get a halfway decent night’s rest, thereby making me a less alert parent. That's why we practice safe co-sleeping.
“Aren’t You Worried Your Kid Will Be In Your Bed Forever?”
For my son's future dates’ sake, I’m sure he’ll figure out how to sleep through the night, and without me, before he goes to college.
“That Just Seems, Well, Unnatural”
Ah, yes. Because five-bedroom McMansions are totally how humans lived for the majority of our history. Also, define natural for me, if you could? Everybody seems to think it means something different.
“What About When You Start Trying For Your Next One?"
Wait, are you planning my family for me? We will figure that out for ourselves if and when the time comes, thanks. I mean, we were able to make a baby without your help, so there's really no need for you to worry.
“But When Will He Ever Learn How To Be Independent?"
Probably sometime after he figures out how to speak in sentences and not put everything he finds into and/or around his mouth. I figure I’ll give him more than a few months outside the womb before I kick him out and tell him to get a job.
“Don't You Worry About Stunting His Development?"
By cuddling my kid to sleep so he doesn’t cry all night? I’m sure I’ll do way worse things before he turns 18. His pediatrician is pretty pleased with his progress thus far, so I think we’re good.
“That's So Weird!”
Not really. A lot of families co-sleep with their little ones, they just don’t admit it in public because, well, then they’d end up having conversations like this.
“Oh, So You're, Like, One Of Those Lazy Moms, Huh?”
YUP. Guilty as charged. I am a proud lazy mom, especially if "lazy mom" means that I am rested (to the best of my ability) and taking care of myself so that I can take care of my child.
“Well, I Don't Want To Freak You Out, But I Read Somewhere That...”
Oh, no. You need to buy me a drink before you finish that sentence. Please and thank you.