Milla Jovovich: How Co-Sleeping Has Strengthened Our Family Bond
Milla Jovovich is finding the beauty in stepping away from modern-day motherhood and going back to basics.
“I feel that the connection with children and mothers is so strong in places where there are not so many ‘things’ to get in the way,” Jovovich, 39, says.
“No electronic distraction devices, no high-tech baby equipment, just a mother carrying her little one everywhere, sharing a family bed and having the help of all the other women around to raise the baby.”
Courtesy Milla Jovovich
Unlike other cultures, Jovovich has “always thought the Western way of raising kids was so disconnected,” especially when it comes to sleeping arrangements.
“Everyone has their cubicle at home, babies go into nurseries, little kids have their own rooms,” she explains. “You are so separated from one another!”
But the mom of two — she welcomed daughter Dashiel Edan in April — and her husband, Paul W.S. Anderson, have found the perfect solution: The couple co-sleep with their daughters, including 7½-year-old Ever Gabo.
“I feel that it’s helped us so much to stay connected as a family,” Jovovich says. “Because we share sleep at night, our daughter naturally feels very connected to us and that, in turn, makes her want to please us!”
She continues, “[Ever] trusts us and listens to what we say. There is an innate sense of respect between us all that I feel can be lacking with some of the other parents and children I see in our society.”
Jovovich is also a big believer of tending to a newborn’s needs and chose to not use the cry-it-out method with her children.
“[Ever] was never a ‘good’ sleeper, so every two or three hours I was waking up to feed her and calm her. I never wanted to let her signals go unanswered and letting her cry it out was not the way I wanted to raise my child,” she says.
“Not that I judge other methods of mothering, I just knew that it wouldn’t make me happy to allow her to be separated from us at night and cry for hours on end. And I always say, whatever you need to do to be a happy mother is the best for baby.”
Now that her firstborn has passed the baby stage, the proud mama’s bond with her “kind” daughter is stronger than ever. “It’s funny, but now that she’s 7 years old and has calmed down, she really is my little friend and buddy who ‘gets it.’ I have time to sit back and just watch her blossom,” she shares.
“To sit and draw together — without the endless ‘No, paint goes on paper, not on your face/hair/carpet/all of the above’ — is so fun because I can see how talented she is and can only imagine what her drawings will look like in a few years! It’s all so precious.”
The memories of watching her baby girl grow up only add to the excitement of the family’s newest addition. After a whirlwind of Ever’s younger years, Jovovich is looking forward to slowing down and embracing each moment with daughter Dashiel.
“I feel that it is inevitable that you never appreciate your first child as much as you should. When our daughter was a baby, I was so used to living on another schedule that I was a zombie for the first few months,” she says.
“I remember cherishing the calm moments so much, when she would be relaxed and falling asleep in my arms and I could just look at her beautiful little face and sing to her and tell her how much I loved her and give her little kisses.”
She adds, “I’m so excited to have another baby because I can actually stop and smell the roses this time around. So much of being a parent is spent running or worrying, cleaning up messes, going to doctors, making sure they eat the right food and act polite, that actually being able to step back and see how amazing your child is can be something we forget to do.”
— Anya Leon