Do Sleep Consultant’s Kids Sleep Well?
The short answer is likely NOT. For at least one of our children we likely really struggled with sleep.
Especially for the world of truly gentle sleep support like mine, no one gets what you are going through more than us.
It was our daughter who had me scour the earth for gentle sleep support. Before finding any (it is hard to come by) I wrote this blog post on Evolutionary Parenting’s site about all the many things I tried to support her sleep.
One might come to the conclusion then “how could you possibly help someone with something that you can’t even master yourself?!?!” and this thought makes me smile.
I smile because if someone had it easy with sleep, or was able to master it/beat it/perfect it/meet some sort of predetermined criteria of sucess for it…
They wouldn’t have really been able to help me with my hard sleep days.
They wouldn’t have really understood me.
Their suggestions wouldn’t have met me where I was.
Their beliefs may even be that I caused the hard sleep and can equally un-cause it by being stronger and just following their simple one size fits all plan.
By being here with you, I get you, I understand your struggles, I come with zero judgment, I can validate you, and I come with zero guarantees!
Odd eh, a business plan with zero guarantees.
But that is just it, those I work with aren’t looking for the 3 or even 10 day fix.
Rather, I offer the often earth shatteringly relieving news that what you are going through is normal and you haven’t messed up your child; ideas and strategies for gentle nudging of sleep; a safe space to air grievances and difficulties and your honest current state; and support from such an earnest place of solidarity.
One might look at me entering homes and hearing peoples struggles and helping them come up with strategies that work for their family and say “oh wow her kids must sleep great!”.
This post is to break that myth, to let you into my home, into my impossibly unposed and unframed photos I snapped a half an hour ago sparking me to jot this blog down. In fact, I realized once I sat up to write this that my breast was still out from nursing and I had to zoom in to the photos to make sure it was not evident!
This is the uncensored inside life of a gentle sleep consultant, my friends.
For those who follow my blog you will know that I am a fairly sporadic writer. I don’t do well with writing for the sake of writing just to get content out there. You will see a few posts and then a good lull and then something will pop into my head like tonight.
I almost titled this post: “So I owe you a Sleep Strategy?”
As in fact I have one due tonight by the time I lay my head down to sleep.
Our son (who we bedshare with) is usually a great evening sleeper (which is wonderful and completely the opposite of my daughter at this age) and rarely do I hear from him until I crawl in with him, unless, wait for it… I have a Sleep Strategy to write up. It is like some cosmic hilarious joke the universe plays on us: his sleep support needs are heightened in the moments I am supporting other families with their sleep woes. I find so many meanings in it:
- reminding me what it is all about
- allowing me to really truly be in my client’s shoes
- helping me practice balance, being present, and being in the moment
So it dawned on me tonight, why not let you in on it. Why not show you that I am right here with you, and I asked my husband to snap a grainy picture.
Now I know, I know, “but Julia said that screens and lights are detrimental to the babies (and our) sleep!!” Ideally you aren’t working beside your babe in bed every night. I have the lights and my computer as dim as absolutely possible. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow as right now, he prefers to feel my presence and that is what is keeping him asleep as I write this post AND finish my client’s Sleep Strategy. For some reason tonight (he felt slightly warm so we shall see!) my absence was more detrimental to his sleep than my screen and light-ladened presence.
So, with this I welcome you into my home. To see my messy floor bed, to witness my unhooked nursing bra, and to meet my little man in his blueberry stained pyjamas.
When you are next struggling to get anything done, feel stuck under a baby, and don’t see an end in sight, message me.
When we are discussing your current struggles you can know that you are in good company as you will know about my son who keeps me on my toes even now while I work with you, and also about my daughter who was one of most demanding high needs sleepers of my career thus far, and who now sleeps soundly without us and who is practically all grown up (having just turned four but going on fourteen) and who amazes us every day.
I will never stop telling you that following your intuition is the way to go and pays off dividends!!
Sleep tight tonight,
Signed a now very tired Julia and a happy-sleeper-as-long-as-mummy-is-in-bed Avery <3