The Couch

In American culture, if a man does something wrong 
within a marriage
his spouse might say, "Go sleep on the couch."
To this, his buddies would say, 
"You've been put in the dog house!?!
Sorry, man."

I know I'm a woman;
however, I chose the "dog house",
as my main sleeping arrangement, 
for two years straight!
Let me explain:

For me, 
this couch from the 70's

brought back fond memories.
It reminded me of a green, rocking chair
my dad would rock me in when I was young;
especially, if I was sick.
The pattern slightly different, but as close as I could find,
(from a Craigslist ad), within the State of Wyoming.

My husband has a very demanding job
and, at 13 years my senior,
is no longer a spring chicken.
He has his limits,
reaches them a bit more easily,
and needs his rest to function at his best.
(Don't we all?)

As many women can relate,
during the 3rd trimester of any pregnancy

it's often hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
And, so, during the 3rd trimester of my 4th pregnancy
the couch was my salvation.
I found rest as the cushions provided just the right amount of firmness and give
to the various parts of my body that needed comforting the most.

Then, after my youngest was born

and I became a mother of a 4.5 year old, 3 year old, 1 year old and newborn,
the couch remained my best friend.
From the newborn's round the clock feeding needs 
to a one year old who consistently, 
without fail,
would wake-up at 1 a.m.

for a year straight,
(no matter what I did to ensure she'd sleep through the night);
the couch was HQ, (Headquarters).

And, with a hundred year old home
and paper thin walls,
where noise from one room traveled to another
in the blink of an eye;
where a toddler's cry beget that of a newborn's,
this mama made the decision to go from the "cry it out" method
to attachment parenting
and the couch became the bed for my one year old and me.

As often as I held my newborn to my chest

I also found myself equally holding my toddler. 

I slept more 
and for a sleep-deprived mom, additional sleep is a God-given treat.
Not only did I sleep more
but my babies slept more too.
Comforted by each others presence,
wrapped in love;
yes, it's the stuff the best memories are made of.

There is no wrong or right way to do this mothering thing,
(i.e. the "cry it out" method vs. attachment parenting), 
despite what all the books and articles say.
Each child is different and with each child your life continues to evolve and change.
You adjust and adapt.
And, when your baby is young 
you do whatever it takes for both of you to survive!

If I advocate for anything it's this:
Set aside a place of your own 
where you and your baby can rest comfortably 
for the inevitable midnight feedings.
A place of comfort and quiet solitude.
Perhaps, something as simple 
and inexpensive
as a $25 couch will become your refuge too;
"vintage" is back in style;
I miss the couch.

1 Response

Jean Postema
Jean Postema

November 06, 2015

Such sweet memories warm a mother’s heart and also those who read them. That last sentence is awesome and holds so much feeling that one can almost feel them as we read them.

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