It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut. It’s so easy to let fear of the unknown of what the next step will look like that keeps us doing what we do every day, even if it means sleeping in 2-hour fragments. After all, sometimes working on your baby’s sleep is like blindfolding yourself and walking down 50 stories of steps.
When big changes in our house happen, I can bank on my sons’ sleep being affected. I could probably go to Vegas and, if they’d give me odds, I could win some money, even. When my son was a baby, a routine change would set us back a week, MINIMUM.
This week a big change in our life is happening. The boys had a nanny and now it’s time to move onto school. It is a big transition, especially for my youngest. It was not a decision taken lightly and I knew there would be adjustments…for all of us. We will miss her dearly and hope she finds another family quickly. God bless her that she’s helping us transition the boys slowly, so we can ease them in. If anyone needs a nanny, I’d gladly refer her.
On top of this big change, *I* need a change. I sit at my computer no less than 10-12 hours a day. I don’t get enough exercise and my once ultra-healthy diet has turned into semi-healthy, sometimes. I don’t weigh too much more than pre-kids, but it’s what’s IN my body I don’t like. I need exercise, but where to find the time?
So, I made this nifty, nerdy calendar using Google Calendar that makes it easy for me to see a whole week at-a-glance and color-code it into family, work, “me” time, exercise, cleaning, etc. Yes, it’s a little crazy, but I’m visual and needed to “see” where I could fit in the time. My husband laughed at me, but hey, I need to do what I need to do, right? Know what time I found to exercise? 5:30-6 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday plus a class I’m taking with my friend on Sundays 2-3 p.m.
Last night, both boys woke up in the middle of the night, one with a nightmare (which isn’t too uncommon even on a normal day) and one, twice, just because. I KNEW it would come this week. After all, I logged my sons’ sleep for months. I know them. And if you think getting up with one is hard, it is. Getting up with two is downright brutal! But, being the great mom that I am, I cuddled each of them knowing a) that this is a phase, a big transition going to school (yesterday was their first day) and b) I have learned well how to avoid making this into a long-term habit (since I’ve been through these things so many times now): Be loving and encouraging, but draw the line somewhere. Oh, and try not to co-sleep, unless I want to do it every night.
When my alarm went off at 5:25 a.m., I hit snooze. Then, I opened my eyes. I got up. I tried to talk myself OUT of exercising. I put on my exercise clothes and told myself “Just do 10 minutes.”
I walk down the stairs and I hear chirping. Are those the baby birds we’ve been watching for the last couple of weeks outside our bathroom window? Today was the first day I heard them chirp (they just opened their eyes a day or two ago). I peek out and I see the mommy bird feeding them worms and the whole family looked so happy. It melted my heart. If mommy bird can fly around at the crack of dawn to find worms for her babies, then I can exercise! And, just like that I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, thought of this article and typed it up, all before 6:30 a.m.
So, this message is for you to go out and find YOUR motivation today to tackle your baby’s sleep (or make any change in your life you’ve been putting off). It might not be the 12 hours a night you’re looking for, but start with 10 minutes. You might surprise yourself and get the 12 hours anyway.