Coming across an article about moving beyond the biomedical view of co-sleeping with an infant, I can’t help but remember how much pressure we place upon ourselves to live independently and without having to rely on others. Even the concept of co-sleeping with an infant is shunned by modern medical practitioners because of the ‘risks’ involved, like accidentally crushing or suffocating the child. This runs counter to traditional views of parenting where physical bonds are established early on.
What about one-in-seven Americans living alone at home? Could these two factors be related?
I’ll be honest and say upfront that I believe co-sleeping is an important factor in a child’s development and that the risks cited by modern medical practitioners are far outweighed by the possible benefits.
I strongly believe this is true for single mothers as well. Single moms live extremely stressful lives. The burdens of parenthood, the demands of work, the expectations of society and even the stigma of single motherhood all weigh into the equation. It is hard to find enough time and energy to shower children with the affection they need to become strong, confident and self-assured individuals, so single moms need to establish any bond that they can.
Even if that bond is by simply letting the infant know that mommy is right there beside him or her.
I’m not saying that mother and child should be inseparable and spend all their time together, but you would be surprised at how much damage we cause to our children and ourselves by driving a self-imposed wedge in the relationship. The number of aging Americans is growing, and the lack of family concern and involvement will inevitably take its toll on our country as a whole.
Why does this matter? Well, loneliness isn’t as harmless as most people make it out to be. Depression, bitterness and other psychological conditions can stem from simple loneliness – especially when your joints are aching and you can’t move around as efficiently as you could when you were younger.
So to all the mothers out there don’t be afraid to show some affection for your child. What you do now will affect your future and the future of your child, so give your children a hug and let them know that you’re there even if all you do is sleep beside them.