It Won’t Last Forever

When she lays sideways against me, she usually swings her legs over my knees. They dangle. They dangle because she is tiny and even the simple act of laying across me is monumental to her. Her limbs looking so very small in relation to mine.

To me it’s heaven. Her body nestled across mine, while her brother rests his head on my shoulder. Everyone breathing in unison and calm together.

This is how we sleep from time-to-time. Not so often anymore, but often enough for me to realize it’s nearly gone.

Sometimes, when I lay on my side, she can still curl to spoon me. But her spoon involves her tiny feet against my thighs and her head in my neck. She still fits there. But barely. Just barely.

He is another story. He can’t fit there ever again. Now he wraps his arms around me like a little man, and uses one hand to pet my back, or pet my arm. He dotes in a way where before, he wanted the doting on himself.

Now when he rolls over, he’s careful to not touch my breast, instead choosing to lay a hand on my belly. This one is harder for me. More emotional of a change. Before his head would lay nowhere but my breast. Not anymore. He is embarrassed. He is aware.

It breaks my heart.

It doesn’t happen so often anymore, but when they are both at my side, sleeping with limbs strewn across mine and breathing on my arm it’s almost as if time doesn’t move, and I am at peace.

I can hear their breath.

They aren’t darting off to play, or at school, or in the yard.

It’s the one time of day I have no fear for them, or for myself. They are with me. They are safe. We are together.

This morning as I awoke with feet in my face and a sweaty head on my shoulder, I realized it was just a moment away from being gone. We are but days or months from being done with wanting to lay near Mom. Needing to lay near Mom. Able to lay near Mom.

They both barely fit any longer…not just in size.

It’s nearly gone. Time is so very short. Those tiny feet now push away instead of pushing on my thighs. That once small head now changes his mind and goes back to his own bed, full of independence and assured and able to comfort himself.

I laugh now at myself. Wanting not so long ago for them to learn to sleep in their own beds. Willing it. I needed the break, or the space, or the freedom at night. Forgetting one of the mantra’s I would tell others when they looked-down on our co-sleeping habits, “it won’t last forever.”

And here we are. Forever. And I’d like it to last just a bit longer.



  1. Am wrecked. Gah.

    (MAH BAYBEE!!!!)

  2. Got that throat-ache from tears welling.

    Oh, the pure animal pleasure of warm little ones nestled against you. It’s primal. We drink it up even as it drains us (or so we imagine).

  3. Love it, as always your writing is wonderful. For me it’s not the bed. It’s the bath. And it’s long, long gone. Our lovely bath in Sydney, and I could take a bath with all four of my kids at the same time. For the first year of Charlie’s (my youngest) life the kids and I could all fit in there at once. Innocent, warm, snuggly with lavender scented bath stuff. Followed with warm fluffy pjs.
    You’re right, so right. It’s gone too fast. My oldest is about to turn 18, my youngest is now 9. But you never forget. Happy Mother’ Day, my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Amen and I feel you! We stayed at my parents’ last night. Usually my boys (5 and 2) want to sleep in the sofa bed with us or on a cushion right below us on the floor. Last night they had a sleepover in their older cousin’s room. They didn’t even come to us in the middle of the night. And my heart broke a little.

  5. Aww.

    Lovely post !

  6. I’m crying now.

    But I also needed the reminder. Because this morning I had a baby nursing on one side and a 4-year-old clinging on the other, and I was so fed up. I wanted my space. I forgot how much I will miss these days.

    It’s really hard, watching children grow up. Much harder than I ever expected.

  7. Ok I’m a mess now! That was so beautiful. My little one is turning three on the 31st and I REALLY feel time slipping away too. However something tells me she’ll be sleeping with us until she’s 16. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Heather says:

    That was beautiful… Thank you for an awesome Mother’s Day gift! It breaks my heart to think I won’t always wake up to a sweaty head on my shoulder or knee in my back. It does go fast, but I am truly loving the ride!

  9. *sniffle*

    Read as I was nursing my baby boy. So beautiful. Thank you.

  10. Oh I KNOW! I wrote something a bit like this, but not as good ๐Ÿ™‚

    It goes too fast!!!

  11. Beautiful. I feel exactly the same way. We can’t get this time back and it makes my heart ache.

  12. Karen Wiggins says:

    Wonderful! Where does the time go?

  13. I love this feeling too. My husband, of course, gets all grumpy when the little feet connect with his gut in the wee hours. But the soft steady breathing, the little fingers lightly resting on my neck? How do I put those back into their own beds? So quickly they will be too big for this. I savor it.

  14. Beautiful post.

    My husband wants me to take our 4 year old daughter down to her bed after she crawls into our bed each morning at 3 am. But I don’t want to. My 6 year old son already sleeps, proudly independent, in his bed each night. I miss snuggling with him. So when my daughter crawls in, mussed hair and sleepy faced, and whispers she wants to sleep with me because she loves me, I let her in, and spoon her. It will all be gone too soon.

  15. beautiful.

  16. Beautiful, just beautiful. I look forward to weekends when my 6 yo son gets to sleep in the “big bed,” and wonder/worry when that ritual will end. And end it must, I know. But how I cherish it now.

  17. And with that, a first-timer has become addicted to your blog. This is such a heartwrenching post…

  18. This is so beautiful. For someone on the other side of things, right out of the parenting gate, it’s so important to read this. Thank you.

  19. OMG GAH. No fair. Happy mother’s day.

  20. Oh yes, those days are fleeting and just like you, I cherish them too.

  21. You have put into words the way I feel every morning when my son crawls out of my bed. He still snuggles at night, but I wonder for how much longer. It will be too soon for me, but he is free to go when he feels ready.

  22. You often break my heart and make smile all at the same time with your posts, Erin, but never so much as this one.

  23. My “babies” are both in college now – and although this is trite – enjoy and be aware of the magic of those snuggling & nursing days. I felt tears welling up as I was reading your beautifully-written post thinking about how I loved the closeness of when they were toddlers & babies. But I realize I’ve raised happy, smart and loving boys who are successful young adults now. And isn’t that the point for everything we do as Mothers? Enjoy it all, Mom’s & Dad’s!

  24. Great post. So with you!

    I would love for my little one to sleep all night on her own. And yet, co-sleeping for part (often most) of the night also hold that appeal, the cuddling, the feel that she’s still my baby, that she still needs me… I don’t like sleeping alone, never have. So I understand why she doesn’t either. It’s just a little while longer, anyway. I will have plenty of time to sleep all night uninterrupted without finding a little head on my stomach or a little hand in my face. I will have plenty of time for that when they are older, and I know I will miss this time. I may be tired, but I’m enjoying it anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. This is why we still co-sleep. She is now making the choice to sometimes sleep on her own and we let her go with sadness in our hearts. But my job is to raise a free individual with her own thoughts and needs. Every time she takes a new step I know that I’m dong my job well. I love you JJ

  26. This is just a beautiful post. I’m teary reading it. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Very sweet. My baby is 2 and she naturally sleeps with us. My boys are 9 and 7 and I can’t get them to sleep in their own room or beds. They’d rather drape on my bed, the sofa at the foot of the bed, a mattress on the floor… as long as it’s close to us.

    I know these days will soon be gone. I try not to think about it.

    Stumbled upon you.
    .-= When did I become my Momยดs last blog ..Waiting to be Wronged =-.


  1. […] Erin has a great post about motherhood […]

  2. […] But what makes me a bit different is that these politically charged stories are interlaced with my life. They are part of my life, my work, and my passion. Between the punditry you’ll find stories of my struggle with balancing motherhood and career. Posts about my family’s moral compass, teaching sex to my kids, and even just my thoughts as my children grow. […]

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