Thursday, June 11, 2009

unruly soapbox: 3 in bed

Yeah, I share my bed with my husband and my son.

Titillating, ain't it?

I write in response to this very annoying article from Parents or Parent or Parenting or It's Apparent That Our Readers Are Transparent. One of those magazines. I get one of them in the mail because it costs about $1.99 a year and gives me colorful pictures for my child's school collages. But even I can't remember the one to which I subscribe.

Don't read it. You don't want to waste the brain cells. Just look outside at a tree instead. I'm going to condense the article for you.

"Insert funny joke. We share our bed with our 2-year old, mainly because it was easy when our kid was a baby. Now we don't get to have sex. Several funny jokes. We tried to do be romantic, and it failed. Our kid is demanding and selfish. It's hard to be a parent. Bedsharing ruined my parents' marriage. We seriously never get to have sex, so we just watch TV instead. Wry, pithy crap. Now we have sex during naptime. Ha ha!"

Yep, that's the whole article. Someone wrote it, Parenting paid for it and printed it, millions of people bought it, and now CNN thinks it's really important that you read it and titles it "Romance Difficult With 3 In Bed", like that's a major breakthrough.

And i'm telling you that this sort of drivel makes me sick.

Seriously. Are we just telling people that it's okay to lose all passion, let your child take over every facet of your life, and get old while you watch 400 channels? That it's funny and clever and sassy to watch your life go to hell in a proverbial handbasket while you watch Everybody Loves Raymond with your kids' feet in your face? That you would publicly admit to giving a sleeping toddler the power to destroy your marriage?

We co-slept with our first daughter until she was 14 months old and are currently sharing our bed with a 6-month-old. And it doesn't change who we are as people. And it doesn't change how we feel about eachother. And it doesn't destroy romance. You know what does? Partners who think it's okay give up on themselves and eachother because it's easy, because kids are hard work, because life takes over. All the same reasons people give up on anything-- exercise, hobbies, friendships. Because working at anything is hard and doing nothing is easy.

I hate that our news sources want to make money by watching the audience shake their heads knowingly, blindly accepting loss of self as a consequence of parenthood. I hate that they appeal to parents by putting down bedsharing instead of putting down the people who are blaming bedsharing for the negative repercussions of their own laziness or lack of imagination.

Here's a big idea: get the baby to sleep, then put a blanket on the floor. Go out on your back deck. Check out the height of the kitchen counter. Go play on the stairs. Your bed is not the key to your marriage, romance, or procreation. Turn off the f'ing TV and FEEL SOMETHING.

I know i've touched on this before, a la Mombies. But it's so much more pervasive than that. We live in a country with a 50% divorce rate. You seriously have to actively protect your marriage, work at it. If both parents come home to exhausted, boring partners with no passions or interests, why would they want to be together, kids or no? People get lured into Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, looking for something interesting. People gain weight or get lost in escapes like video games or the internet and wake up one day, no longer attracted to their spouse.

I'm not saying this is happening to *you*. The reasons i'm friends with my friends, and the reason this blog probably appeals to anyone reading this diatribe, is generally because they are interesting, active people with pursuits, thoughts, and a certain joi de vivre. But i've said it before, and i'll say it again, and it's the biggest cliche out there: If it's worth having, it's worth putting in the work. If you don't use a muscle, it atrophies.

And if you're not willing to work around a small, needy person to get your rocks off and reconnect with your spouse, you're in a lot more trouble than can be addressed by reading some little "sound bite" article from CNN.

I'm smart, i'm sexy, and I share my bed with two men, at least for the next couple of months, and Parenting can bite my ass.


Caroline D. said...

the "kid in my bed ruins my sex life" is just an excuse for those who don't want to be having sex with their adult bedmate anyway.

sooo, the back porch, eh?

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

Absolutely not. We have mosquitos the size of banditos, thanks to neighbors who haven't serviced their pool in 3 years. Blech.


....I am shy.

jarvenpa said...

Ah, yes, lack of imagination. I always wondered about people who were "omigod, your sex life will disappear if you have your kids sleep with you and their daddy". Seemed they must have very boring sex lives. My partner and I shared our bed with babies and toddlers (at one time one of each) over the years. We figured bed was a lovely place to sleep, to read stories, and to cuddle. For the hot and goodness, we had 20 acres of woodland, gardens, and some very nice cushions down in the kitchen.
It's kinda neat having your neighbors acres away. Though there was the time the curious deer ambled over and stared...

Urfa said...

We often share our bed with a third, and it just makes the sex better.

Christine's Arts said...

Amen to that! I have five kids and they all had their turns sleeping with mom and dad while itty bitty. We did keep having kids didn't we?! Couldn't stop foolin' around and now our 31st anniversary is coming up. I'm still sweet on him.

veganf said...

3 times today and we have a baby who sleeps with us and 3 other kids! Whoever wrote that article is asleep at the wheel of life!

EttyOop said...

loved this post. Thank you!

My husband and I have a couch. and a floor. and a bathtub. and a shower...

and yeah, there's a baby in our bed. and sometimes it might be nice to cuddle with my husband while we sleep, sure. But we make sure that there is touching and cuddling and intimacy at other points. And we hold hands or have our feet touch in bed :-)

my mother gets on my case all the time about the baby in the bed and/or the baby still nursing. You know what? families should do what works for them and not make excuses and not try to find reasons things are going wrong. Instead, fix em!

*off soap box*

your blog makes me smile or laugh or applaud in my head pretty much every day i read it. thank you for that :-D

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog. Standing ovation and all. I'd like to say my marriage started failing after we stopped the co-sleeping. See there, I just destroyed their whole theory. That was fun. What other theories would you like me to destroy after you so eliquently took them to task.

Chantile said...

Stumbled on your blog from... honestly I have no idea. But this was EXACTLY what I needed to read today!! I just became an insta-stepmom, and my husband's five-year-old is living with us for the summer. Great kid, but very demanding. Thank you for writing this--it's inspiring me to throw the romance back in! Thank you thank you thank you!

Heather said...

One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is a strong, healthy marriage model... which means that you and your spouse have to work at keeping the marriage alive in every way.

When the romance dies, it's a symptom that your entire relationship is in trouble... and that's never the fault of the kids.

And I'm not fond of outdoors either. I don't like things with more than 4 legs. *shudder*

J said...

Your creativity level goes way up when you have kids - in so many different ways. I have a guest room if we really want to do the deed in the bed. Otherwise the couch, the floor, the bathroom, the table on the patio - any and all will do to keep the passion alive. They won't be sleeping there forever!

Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read that article. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.