Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Big Boy Achievements & Being An Emotional Mess

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Big Boy Achievements & Being An Emotional Mess

My little boy is growing up...and he's doing it far too quickly for my liking.

It seems that every day lately there's a new achievement, a new word, something he wants to do all by himself...
This week alone he's decided that he no longer needs my help to brush his teeth or wash his hands, he's flying through his potty training (You can read about that here on Tesco's website if you're interested!), and he's even started to pay for his own fairground rides (well not with his own money...he hasn't gone out and got himself a job or anything...what I mean is that he's started to ask if he can hand the money over to the ride attendant himself!)
I'm proud of every single achievement of course...just like any Mummy I love to watch him growing and developing more and more...but tonight, after yet another milestone was reached, I found myself feeling really sad.
Tonight, for the first time, Tyne fell asleep in his own himself.

We've always had a bit of a struggle getting him to want to sleep in his own bed, you see...we co-slept from when he was a baby and although he did have his own cot it was in our bedroom until he was a year old...and when he moved into his own bedroom he often preferred to fall asleep in our bed and we would transfer him through to his bed once he was asleep.
I heard it all, of course...I was creating bad habits...I was making a rod for my own back...he needed to learn independent sleeping...etc etc etc.
Once Noah came along, it was important to get Tyne settled into sleeping in his own bed because Noah's co-sleeper cot attaches to our bed and it seemed unsafe to have him in there incase Tyne rolled into the co-sleeper or threw the quilt over it in the night, etc.
And so we slowly started to encourage Tyne to sleep in his own bed again, and he's been doing this well...but he's always needed one of us with him while he falls asleep.
We take him up to bed, tell him a story, tuck him in and then sit with him quietly until he drops off.
It usually only takes around 5 or 10 minutes, so it's no big hardship and not something we minded doing...knowing he'd grow out of it eventually.
And tonight...that seemed to happen.
After taking him up to bed, tucking him in and kissing him goodnight he asked me if Daddy would come up and sit with him...I said yes and that I'd go and fetch him...I went downstairs but Jon was busy feeding Noah, and so it was 10 minutes or so before he went up to Tyne's room.
By the time he got there...Tyne was fast asleep. He hadn't shouted down for us or got out of bed, he'd simply fallen asleep all by himself.
Of course we were pleased, and I fully intend to tell him tomorrow morning how well he did and how proud we are of him for being such a big boy and falling asleep without us...but what I won't tell him is that I cried tonight when I realised that we'd reached yet another milestone.
That it was the end of another era.
I know a lot of parents won't understand it...but having Tyne in our bed to sleep has been one of my absolute favourite moments of motherhood.
Aside from their births, I'd say infact that it's been my favourite part of it. It's so hard to explain but there is such a closeness and such a bonding to that time...when the 3 of us are cuddled up together sharing a sleeping was our quiet family time, with no distractions from TV or toys, when we'd just cuddle up and have a chat and all fall asleep is truly one of the loveliest times of my whole life.
And I know, from talking to friends and to my sister, that a lot of parents hate bed sharing with their children...that to some people its their worst nightmare.
I see all of the memes doing the rounds on Facebook about how torturous it is to share a bed with a kicky, wriggly toddler and so on...
But I've never felt that way...having Tyne in our bed meant lots of cuddles, it meant I knew all night that he was safe and near to me, if he ever had a nightmare I was right there to soothe him, and likewise if I ever had a bad dream just seeing him laying right there would be an instant comfort...Because I guess I depend on him just as much as he depends on me, and I need that reassurance too.
I know that's probably not right, and I shouldn't be selfish enough to want to have him so close all the time because he needs his own space and he needs to learn to be independent...but I'm simply telling the truth, that it was a comfort to me just as much as it was to him.
I love waking up and having him there telling me all about the dreams he had, and seeing his excitement and enthusiasm for each new's certainly contagious and makes even me - the most un-morning person you could ever meet - that little bit more willing to get up and partake in 7 am starts (Yes 7 am is the absolute earliest he wakes, so don't feel too bad for us for sharing our bed with him for all these years....he sleeps in late at least!)
It made me so sad to have to encourage him to start sleeping in his own room.
I found it hard to try to explain to him why he had to sleep in his own space...I gave him all of the usual reasons....because it wasn't safe for him to sleep so close to Noah while he's so little...because big boys sleep in their own beds...because he has a lovely bedroom going to waste...
And I clutched at all the usual straws too....his bed would be lonely without him...I could hear it crying!...because the night fairies would come and leave him a little treat if he managed to stay in bed all night by himself...
But really, while I was telling him all of this rubbish, I was wondering to myself what the real reason was...WHY is it so very important to rush him off to his own bed? He's only 2 years my eyes he's still a baby...I've no doubt whatsoever that when he's 18 he isn't going to be wanting to sleep in our bed so why is it such a problem if he wants to while he's still so young? He'll grow out of it by himself.
It's not like it was causing anyone any problems....his Dad and I were fine with it...we all slept well...there was no discomfort...
But it was just one of those things....we knew society was telling us that he should be learning independence and sleeping by that's what we needed to do.
And we did.
And now he's gone that one step further by falling asleep by himself with a simple goodnight kiss.
And I'm glad that he's growing, I'm glad he's learning.
But I can't help but be sad that it's one further step away from those bedtime cuddles.
That it's another sign that my baby is growing up and becoming a big boy...because once he reaches a certain age I know there'll never be those cuddles again, even when he's poorly...I know that in just a few years time he'll be grown up before my very eyes and never again will I have my lovely cuddly little boy there to cuddle up with giggling beside me. And I can't tell you how sad that thought makes me.
But I'll always have those memories of the time we spent cuddled up together, and they will always be a highlight of my life as a mum.
I've got years ahead of me of having my bed to myself, of lovely uninterrupted nights of perfect sleep...but I know I'll always long for those nights he was there between us, hearing his little snores, laughing at the silly things he said in his sleep, wondering what he must be dreaming about....
So for anybody out there who finds themselves bedsharing with their children and being made to feel guilty or like the odd one out for doing it....don't.
No matter what the nay-sayers tell doesn't last forever, they'll outgrow it soon just enjoy it while it lasts.
And that goes for anything else too...if your child still uses a dummy or a comforter...if they need to be cuddled to matter what their need from you is that those around you tell you that they're "too old" for or is a "Bad habit" you've started....just ignore it.
If you're ok with...what does it really matter?
Let it be and just enjoy it while it'll pass soon enough....they're really not this little for very long, and once that time is's gone.
But thank goodness for the memories.

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  1. Oh Hayley I loved this post! Being a parent is so bittersweet, every new step is so exciting but at the same time you mourn what you're leaving behind! We didn't co-sleep but when Zach wouldn't settle or would wake up early we would put him in our bed with us. He's now in his own room, and barely sleeps in our bed with us and it's something I miss so so much! xx

  2. I co-slept with G until she was 2.5. I loved it too :) I wish I'd co-slept with b more, but I was worried as a first time parent.

    G transitioned fine into her own bed. She slept brilliantly from the first night. I still cuddle her to sleep most nights, then transfer her. & I cherish every moment of that :)

  3. Oh... Such a lovely post...

    I have two sons and j too dread the time when I won't be getting their selfless hugs, kisses and giggles when they become big boys....

  4. Oh sweetie! I felt the same way when Jessica graduated from a cot to big girl bed. I cried in my husbands arms that night (he laughed and called me a daft pillock). Great post. Am now off to read your potty training post in the hopes of getting some tips.


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