Time for bed – part two.

Ten weeks ago I posted ‘Time for bed‘. I have just re-read it and cried. It was the post that made my friends text me to check I was ok. It was the post that made me realise just how badly Charlotte’s lack of sleep was affecting my whole life. It was the post (and the discussions afterward) that made me follow a few sleep consultants on Facebook.

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It was also the post I shared with Jennie Harrison when one of her Facebook updates sounded like she had been in the room with me that evening whilst I was trying to get Charlotte to sleep. She said she could help me and after reading her website I already felt a little sense of relief…someone had been through this stuff as well. Is wasn’t just me. Others had issues with getting their child to sleep too. Jennie pointed me in the direction of her Ultimate Toddler Sleep Programme and it sounded like exactly what Charlotte and I needed.

I had no idea what to expect with our first module ‘Calm Mum, Calm Toddler’ but from then on it all started to slot into place. I was definitely not calm when dealing with bedtime then and, although it seemed impossible I started to get there. I took some time for myself – whether I thought I had any available or not. I started doing my yoga again. I started to look at how my life was organised (or wasn’t!) and I started to change little things. Only little things to me or anyone else but those little things had a massive impact on how I could then cope with bedtime and life in general.

The Ultimate Toddler Sleep Programme has helped Charlotte go from not sleeping until 10.30-11pm most nights with a battle every single night, to generally being asleep by 7.30pm having completed a mutually calm bedtime. She used to wake when I went to bed if not before, and want to stay up and she would usually wake again at least once through the night for water or similar. Now, using techniques Jennie has taught us she usually sleeps through. She used to scream if I even suggested sleeping in her own bed, she now tells me that she is going to sleep in her bed and I am going to sleep in mine. Sometimes she stays there, sometimes she doesn’t but it’s a work in progress and I know we will get there. Hopefully the new Frozen duvet cover will I give her a bit more of an incentive!

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Throughout our time on the programme there has been no crying it out, no instructions on how you must do things but there has been an overwhelming amount of support available. We have had few late nights and a few nights that have gone awry but, because I know why it’s happened, I can keep calm and counteract that reason as soon as possible and get back on track. We have also worked on her nap transition (from one to none – eeek!) and how she copes with nursery. All of the above means I have a happier, more lovely daughter who is just gushing with affection and I feel the same way. I am still working full time and Charlotte is still at nursery full time but rather than me dreading picking her up because of the mood she’ll be in, we both enjoy our time together much more and there is so much less shouting.

I would say I’m an optimistic person but I think over time I’d lost some of my positivity. Something I used to pride myself on. Working with Jennie and having an amazing group of ladies in the Facebook group for the programme has given me that back. So many great things have happened since I started my eight week programme, it can’t all be a coincidence. Yes I think I deserved some good things to happen, but maybe I was the one who was blocking it, or maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

One of the things all the amazing mums in the group have said was that we wish we knew about Jennie sooner. We’d all been battling sleep deprivation for years not just months. Which is why I was so excited to hear that Jennie is just starting a new Blissful Baby Sleep programme. I think I know what I’ll be getting for any of my friends who are pregnant!!

Jennie has a Sleep Deprived Mums Club which I have signed up to, so I don’t feel too bereft after finishing the programme. Here you can get access to so many of the amazing resources I have had. She is also hosting a FREE sleep class next week so sign up now! You won’t regret it.

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The power of the mind.

IMG_0329.JPGThe sleep programme is now three weeks in and I’m amazed how much difference it has already made. The even better thing is that I don’t feel like I’m actually doing loads different so far. I’m not tied to a strict routine, I have not been told what to do. I know this – dare I say it – Gina Ford approach wouldn’t and doesn’t work for me and Charlotte and I’m so glad I’ve found Jennie who approaches toddlers sleep issues by trying to work out the cause and dealing with that, rather than actually trying to implement any ‘one size fits all’ sleep techniques.

I am also realising that I am open to using alternative remedies and the power of the mind. How my mind is affecting my mood, how my mind is affecting Charlotte’s mood, how Charlotte’s mind is affecting her own sleep and how other people’s moods and minds are affecting both of us.

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I wouldn’t put myself down as a particularly spiritual person…I don’t practice any religion and not sure I believe in a higher being deciding all our moves for us but I do believe in energy and positive thoughts and how much having those can affect your mood and mindset. Despite the huge list of crap that has rained down on me and my family over the past 10 years I have generally been optimistic that things will get better. I’m not sure I believe the old adage ‘things can only get better’ because I have seen evidence that, unless you put in the effort, things just get worse and worse. My ex was (still is) a lifelong pessimist and is still wallowing in a dark depression because he is not willing to put the effort in that’s needed to get better. This was the main reason we split and is still a cause of massive frustration to me as it means he is not playing the role of a dad to the full extent and because he doesn’t or can’t we a need or reason to want to move onwards and upwards, he is stalling signing divorce papers.

Jennie is teaching us techniques to deal with the daily stresses and negativity that both me and Charlotte face on a daily basis so, not only will we both come out of this with a lot better sleep but I honestly believe our relationship with each other will be better and we will have more tools to fight the crap times together. We still have homework, house moves, potential new men on the scene who potentially might have children themselves, school, teenager-hood, boyfriends (or girlfriends), and break ups to go through so we need all the help we can get!!

Hope you all have a great week. This week is my first week back to full time so any good energy you can send my way would be very helpful!!