May 13, 2009, 10:01 am — Updated: 12:16 pm --> Lisa BelkinSleep
(Illustration by Barry Falls)
Duane, a Motherlode reader, asked a question in the comments that I would like to pose to all of you. It came up during our latest conversation about co-sleeping, and Duane wrote that he is about to become a Dad, and is finding that he and his wife don’t have the same views on the subject. Or, perhaps more accurately, he has doubts that she doesn’t share. He says:
As a father-to-be with a wife who really wants to co-sleep with our coming baby, I’m struggling with the idea. I have been though 100s of web sites and 98% are written by women saying how great it is and how happy it makes them. So far no one is really taking the father into consideration. From what I see, the father is left to deal with whatever the mother wants and is left to the wayside. I feel that our bed is just that — our bed, for me and my wife. How do you not lose intimacy with each other when you have a baby/toddler between you? Does the father’s opinion and feelings matter, or should I just shut up and do what my wife wants? Some fathers advice would be nice!!!
In addition to the specific questions Duane raises — How do men feel about co-sleeping? What about the loss of intimacy? Where are the website’s with a Dad’s point of view — there is the more over-arching one that he raises: What do couples do when they disagree on something fundamental about parenting?
I know will be tempting for some of you to paint Duane as merely a guy concerned he won’t get enough sex with a baby in the room. But let’s look at him as a nervous Dad instead — one who needs some reassurance (either that he has a good point, or that it will be okay), and some pros and cons of co-sleeping, and some advice on how to navigate sensitive subjects with your spouse.