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.