The real reason I still lie with my son at night

My son is 10. He is a wonderful, independent, feisty and smart child and every night I lie in bed with him before he goes to sleep.

It started when he was a baby. I never let him cry.  Not even a bit – some would say I never let him turn over unattended in his cot and they’d be right. I was am a tad neurotic but more importantly I just hated the sound of him crying alone. I imagined lying in my bed and calling my husband and him ignoring me and I knew how much I hated that.

So it’s become a habit.

A ten-year long habit.

It’s not that he can’t sleep without me there – he sleeps over at friends whenever he gets the opportunity, he’s been on camp, I’ve been out or away and he’s still gone to sleep without a problem.  So it’s a habit rather than an addiction…

He is growing up so fast. He’s testing his boundaries and striving for independence and responsibility.

During the day I am becoming a bit of a nuisance, being replaced with friends and skateboards, books and x-box games. He doesn’t want to hold my hand ever and at all, he is not super keen on listening to me ramble on. He no longer thinks I’m fun at the park.  And apparently I don’t have a clue when it comes to playing rugby. Funny that.

But at night when we lie in bed he will do anything to prolong his bed time so he talks and he talks and he talks and when I don’t want to stick my head in the oven from the continual chatter and the refusal to sleep I lie next to him and think how precious this time is.

And I will lie with him as long as he will have me there.



Filed under Little Pencil

14 responses to “The real reason I still lie with my son at night

  1. I know you must be busy Lana but I wish you would write more. This is beautiful and a reminder to me too that it is the ritual of putting them to sleep that is just as important as the going to sleep. My Secundo (only 6 years old) won’t hold my hand or kiss me in public any more. But at night he just wants to be held. He wraps his arms and legs around me and holds on tightly. I inhale the top of his head and it is, as you know, heavenly. Thank you for this post. xx

  2. Linda

    That was beautiful, my son used to have “morning cuddle”, he’d come in and snuggle and chat early in the mornings, he did it until he hit teenage years and started sleeping past normal get up time. He’s almost 21 and whenever he’s home and sees me in bed he calls out “morning cuddle time” and jumps onto (not in anymore) for a chat.

  3. Please brace yourself for when he turns 16 (as my son did in sept) and he is embarrassed to be seen in public with you (as happened to me on the weekend and my heart broke). I totally empathise with you as my son is a cool, funny, clever, witty boy (although he is shy) who I have many ‘in’ jokes with and many wonderful conversations have been had and yet still the embarrassment. Take everything you can get while you can.

  4. Mike

    Very, very nice!

  5. Elle

    Great post!! My little man is only two and many people are already telling me I am causing issues for us both by laying with him until he falls asleep each night. But as with you through the day he strong independant, still thinks I’m fun at the park but already hates holding my hand or getting kisses in public so reading books and chatting about our day until he falls asleep is my favorite time of the day! And I only hope he still wants me to do it with him when he is ten!! :-)

  6. Lana, this post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve been feeling the pain with Mr 8 (my third). Goodbye kisses are done in the carpark not in the school yard, he drops my hand the moment anyone comes in sight. Without realizing I’ve unconsciouly been spending more time in his bed during the bedtime routine – I know this because the girls are in their room next door and I often get the “why were you in with the boys for sooooooooo long”.

    I love this post and I love your parenting style.


  7. Lovely post Lana. Mr7 and I have ‘a little chat’ every night. It started when he was young and it’s continued. My mum told me to keep it up for as long as he’d have me. Some nights it’s hard – when I feel I have better things to do – but once I get in there and we start talking, I realise nothing else is important.

  8. Sue blue

    Cherish this time together – in a few more years, when your son is a teenager, things will change….

  9. Nicole

    I too have gone many many years of interrupted sleep rather than let my children cry like we did on occasion with our first – certainly helped no one… Funny, my 6 yr old boy just the same with those night time chats – all the things in his head come flooding out! Cherish I will.

  10. Lovely Lana. Am storing this one away for when my 2yo graduates to his big boy bed :)

  11. I so SO agree! My Mr 11 tells me, and asks me, all the most interesting stuff at night, just before sleep – tales I would never be told during the day come pouring out (me too, being a right nuisance, usually!).
    You’re right. Time is short. Enjoy it while you/we can. :)

  12. Lana. I am lying next to my almost ten year old son right now this very second. We watched the Matrix together and now he’s scared. He’s so big and little at the same time. Your beautiful words made me cry. X

  13. I was once told by someone I admire that I should always lay down beside my children before they go to sleep at night because it’s when they are most likely to tell you what is on their mind. I have found this to be true. I’m not sure if it’s the darkness and the ability to let out the things that worry them the most in the cloak of that darkness, or it being ok to tell me about their excitement about a boy (my daughter) or getting into trouble for something they are upset about (my 9yo). Whatever it is, I try and make sure I do it it as much as I can.

    I understand this is something you’ve always done. And I think it is beautiful. You will always have the most special bond with your boy Lana. xx

  14. Motherhood perfection!
    I adore this. A good reminder for me who sometimes gets frustrated at the reluctance of my Mr 3 to go to sleep! One day I’ll be desperate to be needed and wanted for late night chats!
    Soak up every minute Lana!xoxoxo

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