I love doing workshops – it’s a chance to share some knowledge to lots of people, much like facebook, but a lot more personal, don’t you think?
Anyway, at the most recent one I did here in West London, a few of the Mum’s were surprised when I said ‘if it works for you, why change it’. I think they had automatically assumed that I would have my own agenda and would stipulate to my clients what their new ‘normal’ was going to look like. But actually, it’s far from it.
As parents, especially as our kids get older, we can start to become concerned about our children succumbing to peer-pressure. But, what about us as parents? How many times have you changed the way you do something for your child because someone commented on the way you were doing it? ‘That’s not how we did it when you were a baby’ or ‘O! You do it like that do you?’ etc etc. I’m sure we’ve all heard those or similar phrases multiple times from (usually) well meaning friends or relatives. And although you’re pretty confident in your ability and think you’re doing the right thing, because you’re so tired you perhaps start doing things ‘their’ way, because they must know what they’re talking about, right? I’d like to say, wrong!
Parents know their children like no-one else. And I think I can probably safely say you’re doing a great job – after all, you’ve noticed there might be a problem with your little one’s sleep, and you’ve pro-actively found my blogs and are even reading them! 😉
The choice is yours
I could use this blog as a platform to tell you all about what babies and children ‘should’ be doing sleep-wise, and how they ‘should’ be getting to sleep etc etc, but actually, I think that’s a decision that should be left to you. Of course, I’m happy to share my knowledge with you so that decision is an informed one, especially if we work together, but I’m not going to force you into doing anything you’re not comfortable with.
OK, so far, we’ve established that it’s you and me against the world, championing that you are going to do what you think is best for your child (as long as it’s safe and legal, obvs!) and to heck with all the nay-sayers and pessimists. But what about if we invite one more person to the party?…how about we get your partner onboard too?
I obviously can’t comment on how you share your childcare (and neither would I want to), but in my experience, sleeplessness can often be slightly more of an issue for one parent than the other. Maybe that’s because you’re the one who’s having to sit with them while they twiddle your hair to go to sleep, or maybe it’s more often than not you that has to go to them in the night, or maybe it’s your partner that deals with your child, but you’re still being disturbed and then finding it hard to concentrate the next day at work?
And this can have major repercussions within your relationship (more on that in my blog next week). I’m by no means a relationship counsellor, but I do think that finding the time to sit down and talk to your partner about it can often really help. Sometimes, we just presume that our other half knows what’s going on, but actually, none of us are telepathic (unfortunately). Just putting it into words can be really beneficial, and knowing that even just cognitively you’re sharing the load can help. Try to work out between you what your goal is. Once you have that agreed upon endpoint to work towards, then, work out between you how you think you can manage to get to that end point, using strategies that you’re both comfortable with, not just because you think you should.
Whatever works for you
Maybe that will be by working with someone like me, or maybe you decide to go it alone with information you’ve got from books or the internet. Whatever you decide, go for it! Give it a go! After all, you won’t know if you don’t try.
However you decide to do it, you know where I am if you need me!