Contributor: Mollie Player
I have a confession to make: Sometimes, when something in my life hasn’t been exactly perfect for a long enough time, I do something stupid, something that upon realizing my mistake I want to kick myself for, namely: I forget to solve the problem.
In other words: I forget to say an affirmation.
Here’s one example of what I’m talking about: After my baby Claus was born, bad sleep was not an immediate concern; unlike with many new mothers the sleep deprivation didn’t start in until over a month later. And it didn’t happen overnight; instead, it sort of crept up on me unexpectedly. Eventually, I found myself saying more and more often to friends who asked how I felt, “I’m tired today, yes, but I’m usually fine; we just had a bad night.” But it wasn’t until about the fifth month that I was nearly limping with tiredness all weekend while trying to enjoy some time with houseguests that it finally hit me: The baby and I are no longer sleeping like we used to.
Maybe it was the fact that we are co-sleeping and I didn’t want to admit it wasn’t always the easiest decision, but it wasn’t until quite a few weeks later that I finally started saying affirmations about the problem. And, to make matters worse, after I finally started I was so entirely stressed and worried about the whole thing that they really didn’t work–okay, maybe they did a little, but certainly not as well as I had hoped.
Then, finally, a change. About a month ago, David and I decided to spend a weekend with some (childless) friends in another state. We knew that by agreeing to take advantage of their hospitality we’d need to keep the baby’s crying under control, so we did the only thing we absolutely knew would work: We let him nurse.
All. Night. Long.
That was about three months ago now, and I have used the same technique ever since.
I still don’t sleep perfectly every night, of course; there’s only so many hours one can spend on their side before the neck pain starts in. But I have worked out most of the kinks (literally and figuratively), and now, as long as I get to bed on time, I sleep nearly as good as I did pre-baby.
I guess the lesson for me in this was about staying calm and keeping my mind at peace. Of course, that’s a whole lot easier now that my body gets its share of peace as well.
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