Our Version of the Family Bed

We don’t usually practice the Family Bed at our house. Call me crazy, but I don’t like being jabbed in the ribs or listening to the grinding of teeth while I sleep. But, sometimes we like to shake things up a bit and make exceptions at the Wilsons….so, when Dad travels, the kids hop into bed with Momma.

Whenever Pete heads out of town there’s no doubt that within five minutes of his departure my kids will begin claiming who’s turn it is to sleep with me. We began our Family Bed experiences about four years ago when Pete started traveling more often. I liked having everyone in the same room for safety purposes… plus it kept me from getting lonely. But the effort to keep me company came with sacrifice, having my first two boys sleep with me meant I was subject to rib-jabbing and teeth-grinding. Then when the baby was big enough to get out of his crib and join us it meant throat-choking was added into the picture. That sweet little guy would put a death grip on my neck like no-other. It was sweet for about the first 5 minutes… then I’d just become claustrophobic.

There were nights when Family Bed would start pretty gentle and peaceful like this…

And somehow during the night the peacefulness turned more into this….

I tried for a while to keep them all three in bed with me, but as my little sweet boys have started to turn into big boys I’ve given up. We now pull a couple of sleeping bags out into the floor or if Dad’s on a long trip we get fancy and move their twin mattresses. So one boy ends up sleeping with me and the other two together on the floor. Of course, due to what my eldest child has termed the “most important matter of fairness,” we rotate nightly who get the special honor of sleeping in bed with momma!

Honestly, I love putting them in my bedroom together and listening to them whisper and giggle. Oh, how I love it… unless it’s a school night and the whispering and giggling have lasted 45 minutes and has slowly turned into bickering and squabbling.

One of the things I have always loved about my husband is his creativity. Upon meeting him there were two unique differences that got my attention: his creativity and his evangelistic heart for the lost. His level of creativity is put to use everyday at his job, but it’s also something he brings into his parenting. He works hard finding creative way to show the love of Christ to our boys. Whether it’s showing them God’s goodness in nature or walking them through a family devotion and prayer he’s always looking for fun and innovative ways to help them personally connect with Jesus.

Not long after I started implementing Family Bed when Daddy travels, Daddy got a wee bit jealous. He thought it wasn’t fair I got all the sweet cuddly time of jabbing, grinding, and choking while he slept alone in a king size bed with 800 count sheets in a quiet and comfortable hotel room. Oh, the irony.

So Dad choose to execute a new addition to Family Bed by adding Pallet Night. Yep, Pallet Night… Every Friday night the boys pull out the sleeping bags and grab their pillows and head to our room. They get all situated and we settle in for a night together. Sometimes we all 5 start out with a movie in our bed and sometimes we just each grab a book, settle into our spot, and read ourselves to sleep. Our goodnight is very Walton Family style. And it’s another way my husband creativity sneaks family time into our regular routine.

I just spent a few long nights being jabbed in the ribs, choked around my throat, and listening to the grinding of teeth. I think I am due a nap. Good news is huz’s travel schedule is slowing down for a few months so I’ll be sleeping with warm-n-cuddly a lot more than rib-jabber, teeth-grinder and throat-choker.

And if any of you are looking for a good summer book to read with your tween you should considering checking out Swipe. It’s dystopian, apocalyptic fiction, which is quite the trend today for middle school aged kids. An entertaining book set during the End of Days with a strong biblical foundation and a fresh, modern perspective! A definite conversation starter for you and your child.


Brandi is a wife to Pete and a mom to Jett, Gage, and Brewer. Her life is truly “Brandi & Boys.” Brandi has been a pastor’s wife for almost 15 years. She and her husband planted Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee in 2002. Brandi has a heart for women in ministry and co-leads a ministry for pastors’ wives at LeadingandLovingIt.com. Brandi loves to be organized, but hates to clean and ice cream is her favorite food.