I know, to even read that sentence sets off all kinds of alarm bells.
This was a topic of discussion on This Morning last week, the staple program of the stay at home mum, and so the target audience for such a debate was at least correct.
The debate began as several tabloids picked up that a recent Swedish survey says a third of mums think this is ok to have sex in the same bed as their sleeping infant, however others believe it is nothing short of child abuse. 59% of American parents admit to having done it, from which many cynical conclusions could be drawn.
American mum, Lynnea Shrief said she breast fed and co-slept with both of her children to make her life easier. As a consequence she claimed, she refused to have to drag her husband into another room when the mood took her (as she paid for the comfy bed) and so opted sex on the other side of the bed when the baby was sleeping instead.
Yes , sex is common and natural, and of course is the way said infant is brought into the world. But as Sonia Poulton pointed out, it is an adult activity, which should be between two consenting adults (or more should that sort of thing float your boat) but NEVER including an infant, sleeping or not. Sonia said it seems the most basic instinct that sex and babies should not be mixed under any circumstances, which to me just seems morally correct.
One criticism thrown at Sonia, is how it is any different to having sex whilst pregnant? To which she replies it is significantly different. I for one however abhor the thought of having sex whilst pregnant. As a woman with quite a high sex drive that is some statement, and considering I have yet to be pregnant may be easier said than done. But to me it reverts back to that very same premise, that instinct, which to me under no circumstances should be undone.
As pointed out by Phillip, sex is a wide spectrum. A spectrum which includes paedophiles and rapists. This may sound a bit extreme, but as Sonia challenged Lynnea, how the hell can you even get turned on with a baby in the bed? Personally I found it difficult with an ex partners child in another room let alone the same bed! Also, how is it worth it if you have to be so quiet and still as stated by Lynnea, surely you would rather sneak off to the sofa and give it a proper good go if sex was that important to a healthy, post birth relationship? A damp squib of an effort is more likely to decrease the love in the relationship, not enhance it as claimed by some.
Lynnea even admitted to stopping to get her awoken two year old a glass of water, waiting for her to go back to sleep, then finishing herself and her husband off. This to me reminds me of the occasion everyone experiences at one point in their sexually active lives… the parents walking in. Once your mum or dad has seen you in the throes of passion it is pretty darn difficult to get them out of you mind, therefore carrying on is a no go unless you’re Chandler from Friends. Surely this works the same way round, how can you get your child out of your mind’s eye to carry on?!
Children are scarred from early experiences, the vibrations and noises can be taken in whilst asleep, even if not remembered when older. Boundaries are important in this heavily sexualised society; children are exposed to too much too young as it is beyond parental control. Parents should aim to retain their child’s innocence for as long as possible. The fact they are asleep just does not wash. Children should not know what an orgasm sounds like, and to young ears as pointed out by Sonia, such sounds to a child sound like the moans and groans of pain. And so Lynnea’s argument that children sleeping and awake are often exposed to the much more negative experience of family arguments actually goes against her point. They are sounds that to innocent ears connote fear.
Disturbingly, This Morning’s online pole saw 56% of viewers’ side with Lynnea.
I would be interested to know you thoughts.