It’s one in the afternoon and I’m sitting here holding my toddler while he naps. I’m sitting here holding him like I do almost every day so he will nap and so I can have a little downtime. If I don’t hold him he won’t sleep. If I lay him down he wakes up and won’t go back to sleep. This has been something I have dealt with since he was very little. Now before some of you reading this message me all your ideas on sleep training or things that help them sleep I can guarantee you that I have more than likely tried them all. I bought thing after thing, read lots of books, did different methods of sleep training, and the list goes on.
The good news is after 15 months of this same cycle and it happening at night as well, he sleeps in his own bed most nights now. It took a lot of time, and a lot of sleepless nights to get to a place of improvement, but we are now there. He still doesn’t sleep through the night most nights, but that’s ok. Would I like him to, well of course? We will get there in time!
So why am I telling you all of this? It’s because I know there are so many mamas out there struggling. Praying for just one full night of sleep. Praying your little one will let you put them down so you can have some down time, take a shower, or get things done around the house. I know that feeling. There are many times I do the same thing. I still hopefully try and lay him down at nap time each day hoping that today will be my lucky day. If this is happening to you it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with your baby. It doesn’t mean that you are missing something as a Mama. It means you are doing the best that you can. That’s ALL that matters.
Here are a few things that really helped me get to a better place when dealing with this.
Every day no matter how busy things are I know I have my few hours of literal downtime in the afternoon. I’ll be sitting in a rocker in the nursery, or laying on the couch holding my now 22-month-old. I had to figure out how to make that time feel like my time where I was still being productive. Let’s first be honest, there are days that I napped too especially during the newborn stage. Sometimes I watch a movie or tv show, but I knew there were important moments in time I was missing out on by often times wasting my time on things that weren’t meaningful. Note I AM NOT saying that about sleep. Sleep is SO important for Mamas whenever you can rest. Just don’t lose yourself by your days being a constant back and forth of you checking off all your boxes on your to-do list.
A few things I do are take time to pray and give thanks not only over the precious little one I’m holding but over other things and people I need to have time to pray over. I have a list of people that have specifically asked for prayer about certain things and I write down their name and prayer request. When I tell someone I will pray for them I don’t want it to just be a thought or thing I say to be nice. I want to put action behind it. I want to pray for their miracle harder than I am praying for my own. I listen to podcasts or sermons to help continually fill my mind with truth. I read and study the word. I ask the Lord to specifically show me stories, people, or passages he wants me to study and I dive into them by reading about it in multiple different translations. I take time to read books. I love to read and this is something I find relaxing. I take that time to find something that fills my tank.
Instead of dreading those times let’s cherish them. They won’t always be little. They won’t always need you to hold them. So right now in this time even though it can be trying let’s take the time to cherish every moment. Let’s take those times to find things that help fill our tank back up. It will get better Mama! Hang in there!