Put your hands up if you’ve ever had to kick your kids out of your bed? Yup. Comes with the territory right? Well, I thought I’d never be on the winning side of this struggle, but I am. I want to share with you what worked for me and a book that allows me to look back lovingly.
Some of you already know that I rarely turn on the TV or any technology for my kids. Not to say that I don’t, I just rarely do. One way I’ve been successful at doing this is by reconnecting with the joy of reading and experiencing stories for the first time with my kids. It took some time to slow down life and get into simple stories with joy, like my kids. But, once I did, the world opened up wider to us…especially me.
Another thing I experienced as a mother, and you all know a lot about this, is getting the kids out of my bed! Right?! Sleep training is one thing, but when they are old enough and big enough to crawl out of their crib and into your bed, that’s a whole different type of training. I’ve had nights where I wake up and don’t even know how the child laying next to me got there. I think to myself: I didn’t even wake up in the night?
And I would always give them a pass, like: “well, they are adjusting to a new schedule…they are transitioning emotionally…and want the extra time sleeping next to mommy…to feel safe.” But then I realized if I don’t stop it now, it will never stop. They will never leave my bed. And, it would also be healthy to establish adult/child bedroom boundaries.
It was my therapist at the time, (YES, I went to therapy, and loved it!) about 2 years ago, that suggested I work with my children and set up a reward system. They would receive one slumber party night with mommy if they sleep in their beds for a whole week straight. Well, I was desperate for anything at the time and extremely tired so I thought to give it a try. It took some time, and a lot of consistency on my part, but it worked! It really did. Even over the summer, when I went to Chicago for two straight weeks and we all slept together, the girls were able to come home and sleep in their beds without a problem.
Now, on to the book recommendation, right?!
My children and I live in a dual language life. We mostly speak English but frequently communicate in Spanish. One book that I’ve found along the way this year is La Cama de Mama or Mommy’s Bed by Joi Carlin. The beauty in this book is in its simplicity. The story is about a mother of three who has a wonderful big bed that all her children love. The kids use their imagination to catapult their dreams into reality in her bed. Additionally, we see the practicality of her bed for her “mommy time” and gathering together for family meetings. Lastly, we see how at the children’s most vulnerable moments, mommy’s bed is their safe haven. It’s a super sweet book, one I can relate to and salute the struggle.