Overheard at Barnes and Noble: CoSleeping

November 7, 2007

(Or, Carrie’s on a rampage about bullies!)

I couldn’t resist .. had to get this quick blog post in.

I’m sitting here working at Barnes and Noble and overhear a conversation at the table across from me. 5 coworkers are talking, and the subject of cosleeping comes up. Evidently one of the young men has a new baby in his house. One of his male coworkers looks at him and says:

“That baby is in the bed with you?”

The other guy nods his head.

“Man, don’t even start that. Don’t even let your wife start that. Blahblahblah…….”

What I WANT to say is:

“Why don’t you shut up, you stupid ignorant redneck, and let the man raise his child the way he and his wife want to? Why don’t you let him and his baby’s mother decide how they get their baby to sleep? Get your head out of their bedroom (because that’s what this is really about - this guy is concerned about this new dad’s nookie life, probably because his own is so disappointing so he has to transfer his frustration on this poor innocent new baby!) and worry about your OWN.”

Thankfully, what I DID say was:  

“That is none of your business.”

Now I would bet you a million dollars that if this young father said that he and his wife were hitting their child with a wooden spoon, or taping him to the wall with duct tape so he would do time out, or some other thing, noone would have anything to say. But cosleeping?

What makes people think they should tell you what you can and cannot do in your own bed?

And don’t think I’m this “mind your own business” about my own choices. I even defend people who made choices other than mine.

One day I was standing in line at the grocery store, sans kids. The cashier said something to the woman in line whose 2 year old daughter was sucking on a pacifier, something to the effect of “why does she still have that thing in her mouth?”

As if. It were. Any of. Her #*%(#% Business!

The mom, looking embarrassed, began to do verbal backflips - as if she needed to justify herself! Finally she said something like “Grandma says she’ll get rid of it when she’s ready.”

Now, most people can’t believe I have 4 kids because I look young and I’m small. When they’re not with me, I look like a single girl in her 20’s. So I’m sure that when I spoke up, both of the women were surprised and thought, what does she know? (They didn’t realize that having 4 kiddos gives me the street cred to say whatever I want about childrearing. Hmmph!)

I said: “I think Grandma’s right. She’ll let go of it when she outgrows the need. Babies have a strong need to suck, and it’s pleasure and comfort for them. Some babies are still breastfeeding at that age.”

This went over like the proverbial turd in the punch bowl with the cashier, but the mother looks visibly relaxed and thankful that I spoke up. It just got all over me that this perfect stranger thought she had the right to comment on another’s mothering choices!


Thank goodness for blogging. It keeps me sane!

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13 Responses to “Overheard at Barnes and Noble: CoSleeping”

  1. Annette on November 7th, 2007 4:16 pm

    Preach it Sista!

  2. Wendy on November 7th, 2007 4:24 pm

    I love this post Carrie because your response was very similar to what I was thinking - CoSleeping cuts the “nookie time” for men and that is a HUGE issue for them. :)

    I, too, hear many conversations in stores where total strangers display their concern on how a parent is raising their children. I remember one day when I was buying a remote control toy for my oldest son and the cashier didn’t approve of my purchase, because my son was only 4 at the time and she thought he was to young. She commented that she would never buy her son something like that at that age. I replied to my son so she could hear, “I guess it’s a good thing she’s not your Mom, huh?”.

  3. Kelly on November 7th, 2007 4:37 pm

    Love to see you kicking tail and taking names girlfriend!

  4. carrie on November 7th, 2007 5:04 pm

    And isn’t it funny about how the “concern” is so misplaced? How many people will not do or say anything when they witness abuse but they’re getting their undies n a bunch about cosleeping (or homeschooling, as Fernanda Powers talked about the other day on her blog).

    Wendy - I think that if someone is using cosleeping as a way out of marital closeness, they’re masking a bigger issue. Kids don’t mean the end of intimacy in the marriage unless one or both parties wants it that way. I’m convinced of that.

  5. Jen @ One Moms World on November 7th, 2007 5:09 pm

    Oh… Carrie… you know that would have hit a nerve with me. Since Madisyn has been in preschool the past two years I have heard this over and over so much of moms questioning me why I co-sleep and how I could ever have a romantic relationship with hubbs.

    Well ahhheeem…. and this is coming from a mom that still co-sleeps with her five and 3 year old.

    It comforts me to know that I am protecting my girls and they feel like that are safe and sound in our bed. I get to wake up and have their arms wrapped around me and see their beautiful faces. I am not saying that this is for everyone, but before someone makes such a judgemental statement you need to look at all the pros for co-sleeping.

    I can almost bet I got a whole lot more sleep with my girls as infants since I was co-sleeping and breastfeeding.

    And to touch on about the romantic part with hubbs, to me the bed is for sleeping. When I go to bed.. that is what I do as sleep is precious to me as a work at home mom. Hubbs and I keep our relationship alive by finding other places in the house to keep the fire burning so to speak. We don’t have to stay in the boring bedroom and have it all by ourselves to have a romantic relationship you know? So before a judgemental person says my man is deprived ahhh heem they better think again.

    And he is for co-sleeping as much as I am, because he knows we all get sleep and are happy the next morning and plus like he said they are only children once in our life so I want to treasure this opportunity as long as possible.

    Once again I am not trying to push co-sleeping onto people but before they make such an ignorant statement they better have the facts straight first!

  6. Christina on November 7th, 2007 5:14 pm

    It’s truly amazing to me that total strangers think their way is the only way. Sure, I’ve seen kids with bottles who, in my mind, are too old for them, but I would NEVER think to say something! Not even if it was a sibling! If the child is happy then the parents are doing something right!

    Good for you for speaking up, Carrie!

  7. carrie on November 7th, 2007 5:15 pm

    Well put Jen! Just as I wouldn’t dare hit a mom over the head about using a crib or whatever, it bothers me to see cosleepers getting these intrusive bullying comments.

    And I agree - there’s the guest bedroom, the sofa, the kitchen table…. ;)

  8. carrie on November 7th, 2007 5:17 pm

    Christina that reminds of how I’ve heard women say they felt rejected in certain circles because they weren’t the picture perfect example. For instance, a mom who has to supplement with formula (or give expressed milk in a bottle) feeling judged by breastfeeding moms.

    As much of a Lactivist as I am, I have never taken that stance. I had a mom pour out her heart to me for an hour once about how hard she tried to breastfeed her baby, but because of a genetic defect in their palate, it wasn’t possible. This mom pumped her milk for a YEAR. I had nothing but admiration for her!

  9. Arika on November 7th, 2007 6:29 pm

    Go Carrie Go! Jen you too girl!

  10. Shannon Smith on November 8th, 2007 5:13 am

    I love this post. You are so right. People wouldn’t dare get into the middle of a parent cussing and yelling at their child in the middle of WalMart, but let them do something that is nothing more than a personal preference, and they think they have to give their two cents.

    I was just talking to somebody the other day about this. I was mentioning how Andrew likes the taste of coffee. Sometimes when we go out to eat when the waitress asks him what he wants to drink, he’ll ask for coffee. Nine times out of ten the waitress will tell him no rather than asking me or asking him if it’s ok with his mom. Can I just tell you that 100% of the time when they tell him no, I tell him yes. Hello? I’m his mother. I’ll decide if he gets coffee or not. It’s not like he asked for a beer!

    Maybe you should have said what you wanted to say. LOL It would have been great to hear what they had to say to that.

  11. Thankful Thursday: Enforcers, Ikea, Blogging, and other stuff | Natural Moms Talk Radio on November 8th, 2007 6:17 pm

    […] I’m grateful for blogging. It keeps me sane! […]

  12. carrie on November 8th, 2007 6:23 pm

    Shannon that’s funny. I sometimes let my oldest drink coffee too. People think nothing of letting their kids drink Mountain Dew or Gatorade all day, but coffee with milk? Evil.

    Mu-Wahhhaaahaaaa! (That’s supposed to be a scary laugh.) ;)

  13. Marcie on November 19th, 2007 4:50 pm

    I’m not sure how I missed this post, but I just read it today, and HAD to comment!

    It’s weird that I came up on this, because just yesterday I was thinking about that idiot father that went “on strike” because he didn’t want his wife co-sleeping. The thing about that whole story for me, was that this man thought it made more sense to camp out on the roof of his house, embarrassing his wife, overlooking the needs of his children and really-how the heck did he think he was gonna “get some” with that approach?! Not to mention umm…if the problem was lack of intimacy and privacy between he and his wife….how was sitting on the ROOF solving that problem!?

    Grrrrr…. If that were my husband, I’d be painting a big sign and standing it on the lawn that read:”Taking Donations for my “Divorce this idiot” (with a big red arrow pointing up to the roof) fund.”

    Anyway-sorry I got sidetracked.

    Here’s my comment: I don’t think this is about Nookie as much as it’s about being selfish. Cuz ladies, let’s face it-Nookie can happen anywhere! ;) It’s about a man who wants the trophy of fatherhood, but none of the sacrifice.

    And as for making comments to parents…I also look young, and I’ve got 3-and I’m breastfeeding my over 2 yr old, and sometimes this is in public. You would never believe some of the comments I’ve gotten. I just smile, kiss my babe, and think to myself that ignorance is rampant…..

    Thanks for a great post Carrie!


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