The Real Solution to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

You may be here to find answers to your exhausting problem: your child will not sleep through the night and you’re about to check into a psych ward. You would rather put duct tape on your sunburn and rip it off than sleep another night waking up 5 times.

The solution is neither close nor far. Because your child will be ready when they are ready. Guess what mommy, the magic solution is patience. Or you just drag your feet throughout the process like I did.

You can go onto your favorite Facebook mommy group and beg for answers. You can try everything under the sun like essential oils, music, bedtime routine, daddy help, or whatever you find on the magical google. But he will not sleep until he is ready.

When will they be ready?! That is the most irritating, hair-pulling, and exhausting question a mom can ask herself.

It does have a lot to do with circumstances. Do you share a room? Do you breastfeed? Do they have health issues? Do you sing to them every night? Many things can contribute to their sleep habits. Or you have no issues and get the beauty sleep we all envy and will sell our left leg for.

Here are a few ideas that can help your child create good sleeping habits. Remember all families are different.

  • Establish a consistant bedtime routine. This helped us create a calm time for our son to know it is time to sleep. It helped him  to fall asleep on his own. It took months for him to finally sleep through the night but this helped the process.
  • Find a sleeping helper. We put an Eeyore in his bed. 
  • If your child is past 16 months and they still breastfeed at night like our son did, you can slowly wean a feed at a time until you are fully weaned. This also prevents pain. This was the only method that helped our son finally sleep through the night. Do what works for you.
  • Comfortable temperature. If it’s too hot they wake up. Too cold they wake up.
  • Night time diapers. These have helped us because the pee won’t wake him.
  • Dinner about an hr before bed. This helps keep him full all night.

These are just my experiences. If you’re going through sleepless nights, I feel you. I left my keys multiple times in my locked apartment because of sleep deprivation. I’ve locked our son in our car. I’ve tripped multiple times in the middle of the night. The list is long. Not to mention patience is rare.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Find support and remember this won’t last. Remember if something doesn’t work, don’t loose hope and don’t feel like you’re failing. Always ask for help. You got this! 

Motherhood and Guilt

I have been working on a few things within myself to better my relationships, marriage, and become more of a patient, gentle mother/wife.

I am…

  • very impatient
  • worry too much
  • rush things
  • complain
  • and irritable; especially when hungry or stressed.

I try to work these things everyday, however fall short quite often.

After I mess up, I feel like a horrible mom or wife. For example when I yelled at our 1 year old who is just tired and doesn’t mean to stress me out. I still feel so guilty for yelling and I am trying hard to make sure the situation is better next time. This time I forgot it was nap time and tried driving to a park. It was my fault.

Motherhood. Parenthood. It is hard! I am faced with my worse side more often than I wish to and the fact is that I am molding this little human which is quite terrifying and wonderful at the same time. Some days I have things all figured out. Some days I have things out of control. Change is hard, but the best things in life are worth working hard for. We have only been parents for a little over a year, however it is still extremely hard to think of someone else more often than myself. A small person needs so much attention, time, and love.

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When feeling an overwhelming amount guilt, it can be depressing. I remind myself to do better next time and plan accordingly. Dwelling only makes things worse and I will never be perfect. I can only brush myself off and move on.

There’s always a new day to try again!

Share your experiences and what you learned from it! What have you worked hard on within yourself?

 

Confessions of the Sleep Deprived Momma  

As I type, it is 9:56pm. I went into bed at 8:00pm. I am so exhausted my body doesn’t want to fall sleep. I know any minute now Liam will wake up for the first time tonight, right after I almost drift off into dreamland. Dreamland? Scratch that. I’ve been so sleep deprived I cannot even remember the last dream I’ve had besides last weekend when I made Liam go back to bed with me or when my husband takes Liam for a few hours while I try to sleep. 

Sleep deprivation is the hardest thing I have had to deal with in my entire life. It is worse than dental work. It is worse than speaking in front of an audience(I am horrible at it). It is worse than breaking up with a high school boyfriend. 

Being extremely tired all the time really takes a toll on your mood, motivation to do anything productive at home, and having patience with anyone around you. It is especially difficult when you work outside the house.

Having a 18 month old who does not sleep through the night has many challenges! It can be so overwhelming that I just want to lock myself in my room for a week! This may sound dramatic but from what I have read, sleep deprivation is no joke and is serious. 

I feel like a horrible mother most days because of my lack of patience with a cranky toddler, messy house because I have zero motivation, and depression because the nights are long and the days are tiresome. 

This just needs to be said because as I scour the internet for solutions to Liam’s horrible sleeping habits, I realize I am not the only one and that it will eventually pass. 

Waiting for our time for sleep has been extremely difficult for me. I have many stages of how I deal with this. It circulates until I can’t take it anymore and then I go around the stages again.

Stage one is denial. This is when you cannot accept this is what it is and try to find all solutions you can. 

Stage two is numb to it all. You just go with it like a zombie on coffee.

Stage three is guilt. You feel guilty for it being this way and for being the mom/person you are while being so sleep deprived. 

Stage four acceptance. You accept this is the way it is and for a few weeks deal with it the best you can.

Repeat.

Sleep has never seem so amazing to me. 

-Justgoingwithit

The Grieving Stages of a Former Stay at Home Mom

The transition from being home with your child all day, everyday, to working full time without seeing them is not only hard and tiring, but sad. Separation anxiety and missing your child is so strong! The routine goes from always tending to your child to giving them to other people for the whole day without knowing everything that goes on. And that is scary and heartbreaking to an anxious person.

These are the mental stages a mother can go through when transitioning into a working mom:

1: The First Day

This is surprisingly not the hardest day. However, your child will be on your mind all day and when they cry when you pick them up makes you sad. You do get somewhat distracted by the new job.

2: The First Night

You dread having to go back and cry because you will miss them so much.

3: The Second Day

This is hardest day because you know how the day will feel and your child is still confused why they are being left even if though they are distracted by the toys when you drop them off.

4: The First Full Week

The last day of the week your child is done being there. You may see more crying than the first day. It will make you cry in the bathroom before you start work.

5: The Second Week

You feel a lot better this week and can focus on your job. Your child has adapted fairly well to the routine. There are little tears now and then, but a lot of progress has been made for both parties.

6: The Constant Reminder That You Don’t See Everything Anymore

You have to accept that you no longer get to see everything your child learns or does for the first time or see their development first hand. This makes you sad.

7: Acceptance

You are confident in his caregivers and know that at this time you are doing what is best for your family. You know your child is learning a lot, gaining social skills, and having fun. Someday you will be able to be home with your child/children again and in the meantime enjoy life.

 

Reflections While Nursing a Toddler

Breastfeeding is an amazing journey full of cuddles, giggles, baby hair sniffing, pain, exhaustion, sacrifice, and pride. As I start to lean towards the weaning process it makes me both happy and sad.
I want my body back yet I enjoy the closeness we share. I want my space back yet I love the look he gives me. I want my time again yet I love how I can always make him feel better. I want my sleep yet I love his hand grasping my shirt.
This experience has taught me many things. Many things that I need to either work on or things that are out of my control. Breastfeeding is something you must give into completely. It is something that is a complete sacrifice. And I believe it is worth every tear, every wake up, and every pound they gain.

Breastfeeding is the prime example of a love/hate relationship. You learn that it becomes your whole life. You learn people will have advice or opinions that they will share regardless of your standpoint. You learn you second guess yourself even though your gut is always right.

You learn your not the person you once were. You were selfish and you could do things on your own time. You are now a mother. You know must let go of just thinking of yourself. Breastfeeding is your life. But it does not consume it if you learn to embrace it as a part of you not all of you.

As I go into toddlerhood, I have many thoughts of when I want to end the breastfeeding relationship. Today you have so many options or advice on what you should or should not do. There are many factors that can come into play as to why someone wants to wean their child of breastfeeding. There is no set timeframe and honestly, there should be no pressure to stop. I am now okay with slowly weaning and once again going with the flow. That has seem to work well with most things this past year. When I start to stress out about it or try to push it, tension or stress happens with Liam and it does not goes as well. Patience is key to anything. Just like having patience with mealtime, I am having patience with the weaning process. The glorious virtue that I need to work on the most is testing me daily.

Breastfeeding a toddler makes you feel like a pro however can also make you feel like you are controlled by it. But as the days go by the nursing is less and less. And I am going to enjoy every moment because someday I will miss the bonding with just Liam and me. I am going to miss the one thing I can have with him. I will also enjoy having my space. It is bittersweet.

When did you stop nursing and why?

Father’s Day is more than a Holiday

This past weekend was a great reminder how much has changed in the past year or so. These holidays are fun to reflect on your life and how blessed you are.

My husband is an amazing father. He has never hung out with a baby on a regular basis prior and was never the type of person that wanted to be around babies. He prefers older children to hang out with. However, over these past months he has done amazingly despite not knowing anything about babies. His natural instincts and his intelligence guide his choices and decisions regarding Liam. I respect the hell out of him even if I fail at showing that sometimes! Parenthood looks good on him.

My husband is more patient than me. He will let Liam steal his glasses and let him pull his beard hairs out.

My husband is more assertive than me. When I tell Liam no or try to sound stern, Liam smiles and laughs because I just sound like mommy. My husband gives me coaching lessons on gentle sternness.

My husband is more silly and playful with Liam. I am the mommy so I love teaching while playing. Daddy is goofing around and amusing Liam.

My husband is more perspective and insightful than I am with many things. He is the one who helps lead the decisions about the important things regarding Liam. I am learning to give all my trust to him.

My husband is more dedicated than I am. If he has a task that he wants to do, he will get it done that day! I like to plan and plan, but a lot of times fail at finishing!

My husband is more of a talk it out person than I am. I like to attack with emotions and he is the level headed problem solver. Although, we both have gone far with improving!

This Father’s Day brought more appreciation for my husband and all that he does. I want to thank his parents for raising a lover not a fighter. A loyal, smart-butt, and silly person.

This Father’s Day is more than just a holiday; it is a revelation.

 

Liam’s First Steps Unassisted

I got a surprise today while filming Liam. He looked like he took two steps without holding onto the side of our bed. I grabbed my phone to try to catch him doing it again. However, he took multiple steps during the video! It was such a surprise I almost cried! He is growing so fast and this was unexpected. I am so overwhelmed with joy. It is a bittersweet moment. I showed daddy when he come home shortly after and he was all smiles.

Liam officially took his first steps unassisted as a 41 week old/ 9 month old! I am excited to see when he starts to walk. This journey is extremely fun, challenging, and rewarding.

I can tell that Liam is proud of himself and makes the most adorable little screech when standing. Time is ticking away until he is walking or running away from me. Ahhhh!

 

 

New Research Says… You Are Doing it Wrong

I am a researcher. I must know how to make something. I need a step by step process or solution. I must understand.

That can be a great thing or it can be my down fall. In today’s world, we have access to way too much information. “New research says”…..you fill in the blank. How do we distinguish what is actually best for our children? How do we know we are doing something right? It can be so confusing and overwhelming to have access to any topic you want to read about. But a lot of the time “new research say” you are wrong. But that is how you take it and that can be confusing!  Again, it can be a great tool, but I feel it also damaging our natural flow of parenting!

You would read up on how to properly change the oil in your car correct? Although that is basically way simpler than raising a child, you need to have the knowledge to do so. But how do we find “the knowledge” to raise children safely and effectively without over doing it?

I do not have a complete answer for that. And it is so hilarious to me that I am writing my own post about this topic, which someone will read and it will add to their web of online reading about parenting. But in this case this is a perspective and not research.

It comes down to finding the example (another parent, Jesus, a community of people you actually know, listening to your husband’s input) you want to learn from and trust you will be a good parent. We are now so technology reliant that we tend to shy away from REAL contact with the people around us. We no longer live in a community. We live in a internet, crazy bubble of “facts” that we so willing share that we no longer have the ability to go “with our gut”. We do not trust ourselves let alone others. We need that research to determine our choices or actions. We do not even trust doctors anymore! Who do we trust?

It is a cycle of fear.

How do we change this? You may say to just take a break from the internet. But you need to talk to someone and get some input from a friend or relative. However, many of those people are also stuck on the “new research” and again, you cannot get away from it. How do we do find answers amongst the chaos?

It is silly that I am writing about this on the internet, the place I am saying can be damaging, but as mentioned it also can be a good thing.

Choose wisely. Break of the cycle of fear. Trust yourself and the one you look up to. These are the things I am learning.

How are you going to break the cycle of fear and confusion?

Why Do Women Apologize for Their Appearience?

There is something I have noticed for a long time. I have seen this since I was a child. I have also done this myself! Why do women feel the need to apologize for the way they look? For an example, since being a mom I am apart of many Facebook groups. I see all types of people. But one thing in common among them all is that if they post a photo or video of themselves with their family and they happen to not be wearing makeup or have their hair done to their liking, they apologize to the viewer.

If you do not apologize what happens?

What happens is that you feel great in your skin and know that just because you look tired or your hair is not perfectly straight like you prefer, does not mean you do not look beautiful. If you are with your family or baby in that photo, you know what I see? I see love. Putting yourself together is fun and feels great, however those moments where you have been playing with your child or a picture was taken of you unexpectedly, do not apologize. Apologizing sends a message that something is wrong with you. Nothing is wrong hun, we don’t care that your hair is up today.

What I really think is that you are apologizing to yourself. 

Stop apologizing. You are not perfect and never will be.

Lets send the message to our children that we do not need to apologize for our looks. How about if we do not like how we look in that picture we look at the message in that picture instead. Do you see a happy mamma? Do you see a happy baby? What do you see? Don’t focus on those under eye circles. Don’t focus on your bun.

Most of the time we look great but our inner voice is our worse critic.

Stop apologizing!

 

 

The Stages of a Mother’s Self-Image

As I look at a photo I took of my son and I as he is sleeping on me, I see a women who looks tired, worn out, and patchy skin. I immediately felt insecure. But then I look at my son laying there all warm and cozy and my perspective changed. I see a mother’s love.

I feel there is a fine line between letting yourself go and letting yourself slow down. A lot of the time when you become a mother, some habits or self care go out of the window. It does not have to be that way or have to stay that way.

As a new mother, I tend to put my needs last and I have learned how to find the balance.  I tend to feel like I have to do something with myself in order to feel normal again. Sometimes I feel bad when I do not put myself together or not even care. Other times I do love to get myself “presentable” in the morning. Sometimes I just want to lay in bed with my 8 month old and breathe in the moment because these moments are slipping away. The quiet and calm moments I have with Liam in bed when he is asleep in my arms are what make me feel that my self image is more than just makeup or my hair being nice. It is the love I have for my child and it shows in the pictures I take. The pictures that have  do not have a filter or lighting change. The ones that show those very large blue under eye circles that could be covered with makeup or a photo filter. Those under eye circles remind me of the role I now have. And you know what, I have slowly accepted them.

Does that mean I do not respect myself enough to look more rested or put together? Or not care enough for my husband who would like to see me in jeans and hair that is not a ball of knots? No, it just means that I do not stress about it and live in the moment with my baby if I am not able to get my self care done.

Many of us feel we need to rush and move forward into making our life feel normal again. But when you take home that new baby for the first time, your life is not ever going to be normal again. It is a whole new normal that creates so much joy, love, anxiety, fears, happiness, and chaos. I feel like if you cannot find the energy or motivation to get yourself ready for the day in the very beginning that should be okay, because you are learning to take care of another small person. You do not have the experience to find balance right away. Slow down and find that natural flow with your baby and soon the balance of self care and baby care will happen! Everyone has their own pace.

Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Comparing yourself or looking up to someone are two different things. If you compare, you tend to self hate. If you look up to someone, you feel inspired. Find that inspiration. Once you master that balance, you will feel at peace. But I encourage you to find the peace in any stage you are in.

A mother’s self imagine is not define by the foundation you wear, but by the love you share. You can wear all the foundation you want and not feel happy with yourself. Share all that love you can with that new bundle of joy.

Slow down.