My 9-year-old son and I share a room. After the death of my father and a divorce, it brings comfort to both of us.

My monarch ascended into the daybed and nodded, feeling relieved. If he desired to sleep in my room, I asked him. It was frightening and I observed a tropical-storm occurring in our coastal town of North Carolina — thunder resounded in the background and lightning illuminated the sky. My son hesitantly stood in the doorway, holding a stuffed toy and a pillow. “Is this storm going to be okay, Mom?” He inquired.

Several months prior, my spouse and I had parted ways.

He complied, and for a few months, I took advantage of the situation to motivate my son to slumber in his own bedroom. In North Carolina, married partners are obligated to reside in separate residences for one year prior to being able to legally terminate their marriage.

However, ever since that storm, he has desired to remain in my chamber, and that is acceptable at the moment.

Without any problems, my son slumbered in a crib in his personal chamber as a baby and young child. In truth, we did not consistently share a bed.

Waking up at the same time every morning and going to bed at the same time every night, he felt secure in his own space. He worked, slept, and had a solid bedtime routine with his own bed, book, bottle, and bath. I tried to minimize the time it took to settle him at night, but I was never a fan of the cry-it-out method.

It was overwhelming for his delicate spirit, and he was aware that his grandfather was unwell. However, we made it a point to visit him together frequently, and my son had formed an especially strong connection with my father. Observing his declining health had a significant impact on both of us, and my dad had been diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer. When he was 4 years old, we moved back to my hometown in New Jersey.

The night at which my hardest moment in life was, the sweet sound of his breathing provided me comfort and helped him sleep better by being close to me. I let him sleep on the pullout sofa at the foot of my bed since he was stuck. One night, I started having sleep issues, waking up earlier and earlier. My son had a tough time too. I felt irritable and exhausted, and I was angry. I was completely shocked and overwhelmed by grief as my father slipped away.

Sharing a bedroom post-divorce fosters a sense of familiarity

Throughout it all, my son has remained my top priority, encompassing his future, mental well-being, and happiness. It has been 10 months since the end of my marriage and four years since my father’s demise.

Offering him some additional solace, I am permitting him to reside in my chamber. And that devastates me, as I am unable to provide him with the stability of the familial bond he has always been accustomed to.

I know that I am making plenty of mistakes as I stumble into this new life as a single mom, but it feels right to let my son sleep in the room.

As my therapist said to me, during times of transition, co-sleeping — even in separate beds — can be reassuring to children.

Happiness will also bring me, and he will desire privacy. I’m sure that will change soon enough. So, we will continue to keep roommates. Right now, we are navigating an unfamiliar world, but I want my son to grow up to be steady and independent on his own.

Until that time, I find comfort in the increased sense of safety he experiences by staying in my room.