Dad Defends Wife's Choice To Co-Sleep And The Internet Picks Up Its Pitchforks

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 
Image via David Brinkley/ Facebook

Dad’s sweet tribute to his wife went viral. Then the trolling started

A few weeks ago, a dad’s sweet post about giving a mom space to co-sleep with kids went viral. Now there is no trace of the original Facebook post anywhere. Why? Because David Brinkley, the father who wrote the sweet post, isn’t on Facebook anymore. Either is his wife, Alora.

The post pictured his wife cuddling with their two children in bed. He was responding to a friend who asked, “Doesn’t your husband hate that? My husband would never let me do that.” His post was a response to that question — and a tribute to mothers and their choices.

“I just decided to come out as a man and set a few things straight. I do NOT hate any part of what makes my wife the mother that she is. I would NEVER degrade or disregard anything that she feels like doing for my children. Do I have to squeeze into a small corner of the bed sometimes? Yeah? But my God, how beautiful does she look holding my children? Making them feel loved and safe?”

The brief moment of co-sleeping he mentions was enough to cause the perfect parents of the internet to pick up their pitchforks — and endlessly shame the parents in comment sections everywhere.

I’m glad he loves her but it doesn’t make the co-sleeping any less dangerous.

Science tells us: ” Infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents – but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and never on a couch, armchair or soft surface — to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths, according to a new policy statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.” No it’s not fake news. No it’s not an opinion. It’s guidelines from Pediatric experts.

Idiots. It’s significantly more dangerous to sleep in the same bed with your kids than to have them sleep in their own bed. From a purely safety standpoint this concept and article are ignorant.

It’s not unusual for a partner to take a backseat to a child who needs a cuddle. My own 3-year-old was sick all weekend, and my husband was on the couch. Whenever one of my children needs to be near me at night, my husband instinctively gives us room. That’s what this post was about — simply giving a mother the room to nurture her children. Sometimes that means co-sleeping. Sometimes it means just getting out of bed so kids can have a little more cuddle time. And this is not to say that fathers can’t provide that nurturing. But for some families, babies instinctively look to mom for comfort when they’re sick or need extra love.

Brinkley’s wife Alora responded to the endless comments criticizing her parenting choices on her own Facebook page, which is now down. “This photo is one second in millions of passing seconds- it’s hardly a full story. This picture was taken when I was having one of the hardest days as a mom.”

“This was a special nap time experience- I laid down to nurse my daughter- my 2 year old son came in to snuggle with his baby sister,” she said in the post, according to KOCO News. “My husband supervised this entire experience and made it possible for me to comfortably lay with them both like this as he very lovingly and carefully watched over us.”

But why think about the reality of what is actually happening here, when we can instead play parenting expert — slamming the choices of other parents?

A man took to Facebook to write a loving tribute to his wife. His family has now been harassed and scrutinized so much that they are no longer even on social media. What’s wrong with this picture?

Why can’t we give parents the benefit of the doubt? Why can’t we look at a picture like this and think, “Been there. That’s sweet,” instead of “DON’T YOU KNOW ANYTHING?”

Parental guidelines are always sweeping rules. It’s just easier to say that a thing is “unsafe” than to outline all the ways that it can be safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics can’t say, “co-sleeping can be safe if done the right way,” because it leaves too much room for error. It’s why signs read “any amount of alcohol is unsafe” during pregnancy. Because not all people are capable of handling risk management, or informed enough to make the right decisions. But that doesn’t mean that every damn comment on social media needs to be a condescending teaching moment. Sometimes we need to just back off and appreciate a moment or a sweet note for what it is.

But that just isn’t what the internet is. So instead of nodding in solidarity, a couple who love each other and their children have been shamed off the internet for absolutely no reason. Yes, there are pillows in the bed. Yes there is another child there. No, this family doesn’t need your concern-trolling. Even more than that, they don’t need to be endlessly harassed until their only option is to completely delete their account.

Like one of our writers said so eloquently before, perfect parents of the internet, put down your pitchforks.

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