Does your husband sleep in the same bed as you? Mine doesn’t. Hasn’t (consistently) pretty much since our son was born…nearly two years ago.
We first stopped when he was born because I was co-sleeping with him. My husband has rolled over onto me in his sleep, so there was no way he could be trusted sleeping next to a baby. And he either sleeps like a log or wakes at the slightest thing. So for those first four months, I chose sleeping with my son and my husband chose to sleep in the spare room. We all slept better.
And so we prioritized sleep.
At four months we began to transition him to the crib. My husband came back to bed, but we were no longer used to sleeping with one another. We were not only waking one another up, but my son would wake at midnight and I wouldn’t be able to lay him back down in his crib without him crying crying crying. But if I brought him back to bed he slept. And I slept. So my husband once again found himself in the spare room.
It wasn’t until he was ten months old that he slept through the night consistently. I thought – finally! I can have my husband back. When he didn’t come back to bed, I asked him to please start sleeping with me. I felt it was not good for our marriage and I missed going to bed and waking up to him.
And so he did. Only later than me. So I would go to bed, fall asleep, only to be woken up by him as he got into bed (motherhood has made me an extremely light sleeper). I would start to fall back asleep only to be woken up by his monstrous snoring (I swear it got worse in the time we spent in separate beds). I’d toss and turn, get angry and finally say fuck it and go sleep in the spare room.
Once again, sleep took priority.
And so here we are. Still sleeping in separate beds and honestly I hate it. I miss him. I wake up some days feeling angry, sad and I want to lash out at him, even though I know it’s not his fault. I’ve asked him to come to bed just once a week – but for some reason that hasn’t happened. Habits are hard to break I guess.
I wonder if we’ll ever find ourselves back where we once were. With the baby coming I don’t see it happening any time soon. Though I really would love to not feel so alone at night.
I’d love to have her sleeping next to the bed – not in it with me – with my husband next to me. I’d love for her to wake as her brother did with little grunts. I’d pick her up, nurse her and she’d fall back asleep. I’d place her back in her bassinet and turn over, hug my husband, and drift back to sleep.
Instead I fear that our nights will be as they were with my son. That she won’t settle. That I’ll be alone at 3 am with a screaming baby who won’t latch.
I talked to my husband about it the other day and he told me, straight up, that he needs to prioritize his sleep. He needs to prioritize his job right now because it’s new and he wants to make a good impression.
He has told me he’s happy to “throw money at any and all problems that come up”. And that if I am struggling, then we’ll hire a postpartum doula to come at 6 am so that I can have a break and sleep.
But I don’t want help from an outsider. I want my husband.
How do other couples do it? Do both just accept that sleep will be lost? Do both suffer or does one sleep so that they can pick up the slack in other areas? I don’t know about other people, but my husband is really quite unbearable when he’s not sleeping and he’s stressed out. And I know I’d rather a well rested and useful husband – but I also don’t want to feel like our marriage is crumbling because of this.