Parenting is full of difficult decisions, and one of the most argued has to be the effectiveness of cosleeping.
But it seems the age of the children also should be discussed, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor aitathrowawaysleep found himself in a tough spot when he tried to set boundaries in his own bedroom.
But after his whole family disagreed with him, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was being selfish.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my wife that if she wants to bedshare, she needs to sleep in the kids’ beds?”
The OP wasn’t originally concerned about his wife cosleeping with their children.
“My wife and I have been together for six years. She has a thirteen-year-old and a nine-year-old.”
“[An important side-note], my wife and both of her kids are diagnosed with ASD, and her nine-year-old is also diagnosed with ADHD.”
“When we first got together, they were both still in her bed.”
“But they were both relatively small and I worked nights. It was never an issue.”
The OP has struggled to sleep comfortably after his work schedule changed.
“Last year I suffered a work injury and now have to sleep on a memory foam mattress.”
“I assumed by now both kids would have grown out of cosleeping, but obviously haven’t.”
“I cant comfortably sleep in a bed with two kids, especially because my stepson (nine) is a little ninja. He is constantly kicking during the night.”
“They will occasionally sleep in their own beds, but very rarely.”
“My stepdaughter is a little better, but my stepson will have meltdowns if we try and send him to his own bed.”
“My wife doesn’t believe we should force them out, which I understand, but I can’t keep sleeping on the couch when they’re in the bed.”
The OP couldn’t take another night of the arrangement.
“A couple of days ago I blew up over it. My back was killing me, and I was tired.”
“I essentially told her to take the kids and sleep in one of their beds, I need the comfortable mattress for my back.”
“We never really got to discuss it because stepson got upset and started crying.”
“That night she took the kids to her parents for the night, and back at home, she explained that they wouldn’t all fit in one of the kids’ beds.”
But no one agreed with the OP’s overall standpoint.
“She agreed that I could have the big bed, but is ordering a memory foam mattress for our son’s bed so I can sleep there comfortably.”
“I don’t want to sleep in a kid’s bed; I want my bed, and I’d like to actually spend a night with my wife.”
“Her parents are on her and the kids’ side, obviously, but I still don’t think I should have to give my bed up for them.”
“In the nicest way possible, I paid for it.”
“The issue is getting worse, and my in-laws are now calling me abusive for trying to take their comforts.”
“So, am I the a**hole?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some sided with the OP and his need for boundaries.
“NTA – I also think it’s problematic for your wife to expect you to sleep, night after night, with a teenage stepdaughter.”
“That aside, kicking you out of your own bed so she can sleep with a teen and a tween is a strange dependency on her part. Is she planning on moving into their dorm rooms or going on their honeymoons in the future?”
“Just no. Time to grow the kids up and have an adult relationship with her husband.” – PaigeTurner2
“I’m a stepdad.”
“When the kids first moved in, they used to hang out on our bed at night and when it got to bedtime and they were still laying around in there watching a movie and stuff, and I’d always tell them it was time to go.”
“GF (girlfriend) tried to argue with me about this and I just said, ‘I want to be able to hop in bed when I’m ready to sleep – I don’t want my bed to be occupied.'”
“She asked if they could sleep in the bed and I just said no – the youngest was 7 and my stepdaughter was 10.”
“If wanting my bed to be available to me makes me an a**hole, okay.”
“A fight I lost (initially), however, was closing our bedroom door at night.”
“I used to wake up to the kids whispering ‘hey’ right next to me at 3 in the morning. I had a**hole friends as a teenager and I told her I was really scared I was going to wake up swinging and end up clocking one of the kids for being creepy at 3 am.”
“It was a big fight in our house because she wanted them to have access to us, but I told her they could knock on our door – it’s not difficult.”
“Eventually, I won on all counts – I can sleep in my bed without the kids in my spot and I close the door.”
“OP should have dealt with this early on TBH.” – wisdomandjustice
Others observed it wasn’t a matter of age, but frequency.
“Well… it’s not a problem occasionally at any age, in my opinion.”
“My teenage daughter will crawl in bed with me if she can’t sleep, or if we do a late movie night on the weekend in my room ( she doesn’t have a TV in her room.)”
“I remember when I went through a bad breakup in college, I went home and slept that night with my mom.”
“I think the issue is less about an age limit and more about choosing to sleep with your 2 kids EVERY night, and kicking your partner out of the bedroom. It doesn’t make sense.”
“Maybe if it was a brand new baby that’s nursing every 2 hours, but to have 2 big kids in the bed every night instead of your husband? That sounds like a bigger issue.”
“If I was OP, I’d probably leave. He has a health problem that is being completely ignored (and are they even having sex? If so… how/when? With kids in the bed every night?) in favor of the weird dependency the wife has created with this long-term co-sleeping arrangement.”
“What is OP even getting out of the marriage? They really seem to be an afterthought in their own home and marriage!” – memeelder83
“I had a hard time sleeping on my own as well. My dad died when I was 5, and I was always terrified that something was going to happen to my mom even when we were safely asleep in our beds.”
“My mom would lay down with me as well until I fell asleep. Sometimes I would go into my mom’s bed if I woke up.”
“But the goal should be to get kids to sleep in their own beds. Your wife is being ridiculous. NTA.” – knl2m
“I had the same problem when I was a child except my mom would let me sleep with her and my dad. This has wrecked their relationship (not just that but in various things) and also 20 years later, I still have a problem going to sleep, which I would not have if one of my parents stood on his/her ground for 1 month to teach me how to sleep alone.
“OP, it’s time to impose yourself for the sanity of these children.” – passoire_
A few saw the situation as an absolute dealbreaker.
“I had trouble sleeping alone when I was a kid, probably older than normal. My mom would lay with me in my bed until I fell asleep and then she’d leave. If I’d wake up in the night, I’d occasionally crawl into bed with my parents until I was around 9/10.”
“But there was no way in h**l either of my parents would let me sleep with them every single night. That’s insane.”
“And to kick OP out of his own bed?! I’d legitimately consider ending the relationship if I were him.” – AnAvocadoThaaaanks
“Me too, this would be a deal-breaker for me. OP can’t have sex in their own bed. Heck, they can’t even comfortably sleep in it, WTF (what the f**k).” – Laurelinn
“The fact that she said she was going to get a memory foam for the kids’ room so HE could sleep in there baffles me. Absolutely shocks me. I would take my bed and move out.” – apollo22519
The mother’s reasons for keeping her children in her bed are unclear, but the subReddit agreed the arrangement was not healthy.
Not only would the couple have little alone time to maintain their relationship, but the children would also struggle with establishing their independence, and the OP would not be able to sleep comfortably after his work injury.
The subReddit agreed it sounded like a losing situation all-around.