This year marks seven years of owning The Cradle Coach and to say I've seen it all is an understatement. I've seen so many of you call for help, worried and fearful of being judged. I've seen the mom that swore she would never repeat the same habits with her second child. I've seen the mom that was so afraid her marriage would never survive the newborn stage, due to the lack of sleep in the home, that she lived in fear her husband would leave her. I've seen it all.
Even then, I look back and realize how strong each of you have been, even during this exhausting journey. I think about the empowerment that was felt and taken hold of to make sleep a priority in your home. Mothers who told me they couldn't imagine sleeping another wink and after creating a sleep goal (and sticking to it), now can't remember life any other way than to sleep throughout the night. Mothers who were working all day at the office and up all night nursing their baby to sleep - those mothers took hold of their weakness, asked for help, and are now enjoying their time with their little ones instead of dreading the sometimes mundane cycle of raising a child. These women have accomplished so much and I am in awe of them...of YOU! They chose not to live in fear but to overcome their biggest hurdles in the season they were in.
All this leads me to the best sleep tip I could ever give you...the one I wish I had known almost 7 years ago when I first became a parent. Always remember this...
Don't Be Anxious
Some of you are currently looking at your screen surprised that you wasted your time reading the first half of this post just to read those three words in the form of a sleep tip. Ha. But, truth be told, that's all you need to understand in order to succeed - to succeed in this parenting journey, to succeed in sleep, to succeed in life: Don't be anxious!
Why? When we are anxious, we let fear hold us back from the unknown. We worry and stress about the details. Why isn't my kid sleeping? He should be sleeping through the night! She should be sleeping 12 hours by 4 months. She should... He should...but they aren't and guess what?? THAT'S OKAY!!! This parenting journey is already hard enough, why are we moms adding one more thing to the mix?! Watch what happens when you step out of your fear and anxiety and step into hope, determination, joy, and happiness. Watch what your toddlers do when you stop worrying and you start living...in the moment!
What we see in toddlers’ sleep alone, when their parents create a world of security in their lives, is astonishing! We've had clients whose three year olds now sleep throughout the night after NEVER sleeping prior - all because the parents stopped being anxious about the what ifs and started being present in their moments.
It sounds so simple yet so many of us just can't seem to stop. You are in the thick of it, barely getting a moment to yourself, and you’re just, well, surviving. Instead of surviving, you should be thriving! Make it a priority to say no. Make it a priority to turn off the outside world and focus your attention on your kids, on your partner, and on yourself. You have to let certain stresses go. And you have to accept the fact that sometimes just maybe you HAVE to ask for help. That's the secret to our clients’ sleep successes. They made the most important first step in their journey and called us for help. They then took the second step in making a goal and set out to accomplish it, with our help along the way. You can do this - you can fill your homes with joy and your nights with confidence and security if you learn to stop being anxious. You are doing a great job and you deserve to live your perfect life