I Shared a Bedroom With My Baby Until She Was Almost 1 — Here’s What Happened I Shared a Bedroom With My Baby Until She Was Almost 1 — Here’s What Happened
When I decided to have a baby on my own, I mostly worried about becoming a different woman. I feared I’d go from a cool,... I Shared a Bedroom With My Baby Until She Was Almost 1 — Here’s What Happened

When I decided to have a baby on my own, I mostly worried about becoming a different woman. I feared I’d go from a cool, independent, and travel-happy writer to a mom lady who only talked about mom stuff to mom friends. That was a valid concern, sure, but in hindsight, I had bigger issues on the horizon.

My future daughter and I would be sharing a bedroom in a small one-bedroom apartment, possibly for the rest of time. Because my parents owned the small apartment and I got to pay a discounted rate, there was a good chance we’d be sharing that same bedroom until she went to college! I have no idea why this didn’t make me anxious at all — especially because I planned to keep dating after having a baby, and, not to mention, I’m a major “need my space” person. Instead, I was comforted by the idea of us falling asleep and waking up together, sharing our dreams, retreating from the world . . . just us. As I mapped out the room, my heart danced with premonitions of all-night cuddles and, one day, all-night girl talk; a sense that mama and kiddo had our own tent, amid all the chaos; our own tribe, among the masses.

My mother — even earthier and less traditional than me — and I got to work on the bedroom while I was seven months pregnant and huge, sweaty, and chafed under my MuMuus. When we applied this metaphor of a tent within a village to visualize the room, we realized we didn’t need much. There was just enough room for a full-size bed (which I already had), a new, beautiful crib (which, luckily, a close friend bought me for my baby shower), and . . . not much else.

I’m a minimalist at heart, so I was OK forgoing baby-room-y things like a rocking chair or proper dresser. We turned a cool, white lacquer piece I already had into a changing table by adding a changing tray up top. I bought a beautiful macramé for one wall, and I painted my own large watercolors for the other. I turned a little hallway outside our bedroom into a small, open closet for the baby. We draped her little dresses on neon pink baby hangers that we found at Ikea, which isn’t my favorite place, but damn, I loved those things.

In the end, our tiny, shared bedroom with only a bed, a crib, and a faux changing table — a construct my more upscale friends might cringe at — was photographed by stylish home design blogs. It looked — and more importantly FELT — absolutely fabulous.

Before I knew it, I brought my new baby, Hazel, home to our wee bedroom. She came a month earlyand was a little small, so I had to nourish her and grow her around the clock. We spent a lot of time in that room trying to catch our breath and find our balance, just the two of us. Hazel was spectacular and had some spectacular lungs on her, too. She cried a lot! I had some serious blood pressure issues, and I had to constantly monitor that. It was an adventure, to say the least.

I don’t envy any new mom in those first few days/nights of parenthood, but I look back at the beginning of things and wonder how I did it alone. My family helped as much as they could, but for the most part, I was a single mom, and that made me as proud as it did drained. I tried my best to stay poised and strong. Simple pleasures kept me sane. Vanderpump Rules while breastfeeding, almond croissants from the local French bakery when I was stressed, and our warm, cozy bedroom with a dedicated space for her and a dedicated space for me. It continued to soothe me at a time when I could have (and should have) been really scared.

Within a few weeks, Hazel reached a good weight and my blood pressure stabilized. However, despite her enviable crib, supercool bedroom, and amazing mommy (wink), Hazel was not much of a sleeper. This made it really hard for me to get my work done after bedtime or have any semblance of a social life. If I left her with anyone at night, she’d scream and scream. So, as soon as her doctor said it was OK, I sleep-trained her. I used a light, modified version of the “cry it out” method, and it took a full 10 days and nights before it worked. I had a baby who slept! We still shared a bedroom, but once she was on a good sleep schedule, I felt alive again. Hurrah! I could take on more writing assignments, see my friends, and even start to date.

One of the first guys I met (via Tinder) was Sam. Hazel came on almost every single date with us, and before long, the three of us were together all the time. Sam became my boyfriend and Hazel’s favorite human being in the world. He never pressured me to move out of the bedroom – we’d often just hang out together on my couch in the living room and then I’d kick him out around 2 a.m. (sorry, babe!).

A few months into the relationship, when Hazel was almost 1, my instinct told me it was time to change up our sleeping arrangements. While I never needed a man to complete our story, Sam was the best thing to happen to us — and just like I had to nourish and grow my baby, I wanted to nourish and grow my love for him. On top of that, my maternal instinct told me Hazel was ready for her own space, too.

So I bought a plush daybed and a well-reviewed twin-size mattress and prepared to transition out of our shared bedroom into my only other option: the living room.

While I knew it was the right move, I was extremely emotional about moving out of the bedroom with Hazel. The thought of this new stage in our lives excited me, but it also broke my heart. Things were changing. She was getting older. I was falling in love with someone, someone who would eventually become her father. Those first few months, when it was just mamma and kiddo, were so incredibly sacred. We survived something so unique and otherworldly together. We existed on pure love and almost nothing else. Soon, those days would only be a memory. How do you turn the page on something so powerful?

You just do.

The daybed came. Sam helped moved furniture around. Hazel’s bedroom got bigger, with a dreamy Moroccan rug and a lot more room. She immediately LOVED playing on the floor with all her dolls and blocks and instruments. Still, the first night we slept in separate rooms was rough. I peeked on her sleeping several (hundred) times and wept on and off throughout the night. Sam wasn’t there. I was alone, like in the beginning. While my insides hurt and I missed her so much, I knew it was the right thing. It was time. Though I loved every minute of sharing a room together, our door was always cracked open to the magic of new possibilities . . . and look what happened . . . life is stunning.

Today, Hazel is almost 3, and we live in a new apartment with Sam. Hazel has her own bedroom and we have ours. Our home is joyful and spacious. Hazel’s crib is in storage, in case we have another baby, which we’re trying for — because, unsurprisingly, the three of us are really good at being a family. I still peek in at Hazel sleeping sometimes and get weepy over life’s incredible beauty, inevitable pain, and the terrifying love that is parenthood.

When I think about our shared bedroom, which is quite often, I beam from the inside out. We were so cool. We were so us. I can’t wait to see what comes our way next. Hopefully it won’t mean giving up my new queen-size bed.

 

Obinna Onyia

  • Alicia

    2018-08-07 #1 Author

    I shared a bedroom with my son for a year also 💕

    Reply

  • Ty

    2018-08-07 #2 Author

    I share with my baby also , I wonder for how long 😩

    Reply

  • Preshy

    2018-08-08 #3 Author

    Awww that’s cute as a parent we tend to find it hard to let go our kids as they grow older because of the bond you have with them when they still babies ❤️

    Reply

  • Olandra

    2018-08-08 #4 Author

    I Shared A Room With My Son Also

    Reply

  • Sarae lucas

    2018-08-08 #5 Author

    I’m currently about to make the transition. My son is 5 months today and breast fed. I’m already seeing that he’s become quite aquatinted with sleeping with me and my fiancé. Well soon to be 😉 I’m already dreading starting the day one transition.

    Reply

  • Aolionia

    2018-08-08 #6 Author

    It is good to share rooms though

    Reply

  • courtneymurray

    2018-08-08 #7 Author

    My daughter will share a room with me as well until she’s a certain age nothing wrong with it.

    Reply

  • Neisha

    2018-08-08 #8 Author

    My Baby Can Not Sleep Without Me And I Can’t Without Her. She Sleep Right Under Me.

    Reply

  • Laura

    2018-08-09 #9 Author

    Omg thats crazy my son always slept with me

    Reply

  • Mrss Martin

    2018-08-09 #10 Author

    I share my room with my son. And I plan on doing so until we have another child or when he outgrows his crib

    Reply

  • Brittney

    2018-08-10 #11 Author

    there’s nothing wrong with that , but that’s just my opinion 😊☺️

    Reply

  • Tiondra Bryant

    2018-08-10 #12 Author

    Yesss! We tried having our child sleep in his room for a few days and it was a fail! ❤️

    Reply

  • Brianna lannan

    2018-08-10 #13 Author

    I totally envy everything about this article! You did better than I did momma! My son is 2 and still sleeps with me. I’m so happy for you finding your perfect happy ending 💖

    Reply

  • Charleshia

    2018-08-10 #14 Author

    My daughter can not sleep without me she’s under me 24/7 😩❤️

    Reply

  • Mariah

    2018-08-10 #15 Author

    I don’t see what’s wrong with sharing a room

    Reply

  • Diamond

    2018-08-11 #16 Author

    I shared the room with my daughter until she was 2

    Reply

  • Orim Sade Franca

    2018-08-12 #17 Author

    Having your kids around you at a tender age gives inner joy and happiness

    Reply

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