Snuggle jail


Snuggle jail | Clean.

Snuggle jail | Clean.

I woke up this morning (as I have each morning for the past week or so) wedged between my two kids in bed. Pete's in there too, barely hanging on to his piece of real estate.

Four across in a king – with two of us around six feet tall – the other two gaining fast.

Hello, cozy.


Lupine refers to my position in this family squeeze chute as "Snuggle Jail".

With a kid on each side, snuggled in as close as can be.


My dad was that parent when I was small.

It was his side of the bed that my sister and I climbed in on when we woke scared in the darkness.

Where we knew open arms would greet us to chase away the shadows.


And now it's my turn.


When I wake up in Snuggle Jail I wake simultaneously grateful, sore, and cranky.

Grateful to have these people around me to hold so close. Grateful for the safety our family, our home, and our bed provides.

Sore because I haven't rolled over for hours and my back objects to this arrangement. Loudly.

And cranky because it's impossible to extract myself without waking everyone in the room and that means I don't have my quiet half-hour of writing and tea-drinking time in the morning.

Which I love.

And which I kind of need.

It's my anchor. My bookend. My start-up.

My one solo moment of the day.


And yet…

And yet.


I have three sweet people who love me, need me, and want to snuggle on me.

One of whom I've know since the tender pink-haired age of twenty-one; the others since they took in their first perfect breath of air and gazed up at me with their knowing eyes, right there in our living room.


Life could be so much worse and I'm hard-pressed to think of many ways to make it better.


So let's reach for gratitude and get on with the rest.


It's a busy time over here.

We're learning a new rhythm of farm chores with the arrival of the cold.

We're reluctantly abandoning some of the projects on our to-do-list until next year. (Because, no, I can't plan these iris bulbs in frozen ground, and no, Pete won't be climbing on the roof to fix the chimney so we can put in a wood stove.)

We're taking long walks, looking for tracks in the woods, and then coming home to gather and homeschool around this old kitchen table.


We're taking it day-by-day.

Because it's the only way we know.


And even if we're out of milk and the chickens have hidden all of the eggs, we've got soup we can eat for breakfast.

And even if it's cold and windy out there today, we just stood together in silence and watched in awe as a coyote hunted a mouse down by the creek.

And even if I woke up wedged in Snuggle Jail I can't think of three people I'd rather be in this lovey-lock down with than these.


Yes. I'm shaking off the last of the negative and diving into all that is good.

Because really, it's more than I could ever hold in my hands.


Join me.




18 thoughts on “Snuggle jail

  1. Michelle says:

    It really is all perspective. I like your optimism and positive attitude. More people should stop whining and appreciate what they have. Yes, we all have things we don’t like to do and no, nothing is ever perfect but we in North America have little to complain about. Your writing is a good reminder to us all.:)

  2. Holly says:

    I co-sleep..on a Queen-sized bed that doesn’t really fit all of us. I wake up every morning with a foot in my back or myself half off the bed. I know exactly what you mean with this post! I am grateful every morning and I often think of how someday I will look back upon these ‘problem’ moments and wish I could wake up with aches and frequent wakings in the more time. = )

  3. Marie says:

    Oh yes! Snuggle Jail is so apt! My version, pinned against the wall with my little one pressed up tight, tight against me with her hand under my shirt on belly or boob and my arm pinned under her. How exactly can the head of a three-year-old weigh such a ton when the whole girl only weighs 30 lbs? And I marvel at how the arms and legs, hands and feet become giant sandbags in the dark, swinging unexpectedly and Oof!

    Thank you again for the great perspective shift.

  4. kelly says:

    Amen! Yes to seeing things from a different perspective…allowing for the angst but seeing the light too…because really, we are all just so darn lucky aren’t we, to wake up in all. that. love.

  5. Angie says:

    Been there on all the levels you described. Even gone through the same thought process of loving their sweetness, feeling sore from not being able to move, wondering how to get out because now that I’m awake I’ve really got to pee but want the silence to continue, being okay with them sleeping in my bed instead of their own because there may come a time when that won’t happen.

    Get over it…it’s lovely…do some yoga to work out the kinks and get on with the beautiful day. LOVE IT!!!

  6. Margaret B. says:

    snuggle jail… ah, yes. years ago, when I asked our pediatrician when/whether we should be encouraging our older son to sleep on his own, the pediatrician wisely said, “if you are so inclined, let your son decide when he is ready to stay in his own bed, because once he decides to sleep on his own, you might just find that you miss sleeping with him.”

    Now that he’s 10, it’s a perfect balance. Usually he is in his own bed, but just often enough, I find myself locked up tight in snuggle-jail.

    thank you, Rachel for your beautiful thoughts & words —

  7. KC Pagano says:

    Snuggle Jail, that’s a prefect description! Lately I’ve had rotating snuggle jail. One babe will come in at 4 in the morning and leave at 5, then in comes the next minutes later and stays till dawn.

  8. Sagetribe says:

    Yes, yes! We woke up the same way today. I love our snuggles and love their little hot breath in my face. I would, however, LOVE a way for them to stay asleep until 7:30, because my morning time is so needed…thinking about having them have quiet time in their rooms if they wake up early. It sounds lovely in my head…

  9. Knitting Mole says:

    I LOVE snuggle jail!! I cosleep with my daughter every night, occasionally Daddy joins us (he’s a big time snorer, so its lucky if he makes it thru the night without us kicking him out). But as there is only the two of us, I usually can make it out of bed without waking everyone. This morning my little one did wake before I left for work and I was so grateful. I miss getting my hugs and kisses on the days she sleeps in. Daddy however did roll his eyes because that he wouldn’t get his alone time this morning 🙂

  10. leah says:

    I love this! Morning quiet time is vital for me too…even if it’s just ten minutes without a small child attached. But there are those days that the baby wakes up just as I’m crawling out of bed and I have to refocus and realize that quiet isn’t going to happen today…and that I can either allow it to ruin my day or view it as another sweet moment in my life as a mom.

    Oh, and the soreness from snuggle jail? It has sent me to the chiropractor before! But yes, it’s totally worth it.

Leave a Reply