(After a discussion with my husband about our journey to sleep early on, we had a discussion about how passionate he was about how other spouses should consider getting their spouses the sleep expertise they need. This is a letter he wrote to 'other fathers/caregivers."...)
If you're reading this, you probably just welcomed a new bundle of joy into the world are strapped into the emotion rollercoaster that’s called "being a new parent". Whether this is your first ride, or you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie and have decided to do this ride multiple times for some reason, you're probably now well aware that this roller coaster definitely has a lot of ups, downs, jarring sideways turns, head rattling loop di loops and some really fun and rewarding stretches as well. I personally have only been on the ride twice, and I may even still be on the ride, I'm not 100% sure, but all that to say I am definitely not an expert by any means on riding this roller coaster. In fact I still find my self loosing my mind at times when I hit a big drop; even though I know its coming… because I've ridden the ride before.
That said, when it comes to figuring out how to better navigate all the thrills that come with being on this rollercoaster, I am all for finding an expert that knows when the stressful parts are coming and having them tell us how to handle them. I can say for me personally, one of the biggest and most stressful drops this ride provides is figuring out how to get these cute little humans to sleep on their own and sleeping through the night.
Again, if you're reading this, you know exactly what I'm talking about. That is why we hired a sleep consultant and my wife became one herself shortly after...to help us sleep train our precious little freeloaders
In the moment, could my wife done it herself? Sure. Could she have figured it out eventually? Sure. And she did end up being a pretty bad @$$ sleep coach after hundreds of families and countless training, but in the beginning, I gladly supported the decision to find an expert.
I like being married and want to stay married. Now I'm assuming if you're in this position you and your spouse probably decided it was time to take the next step and start a family. And I'm sure along the way you received all the standard unsolicited advice about what to prepare for, and what to do and not do and have probably heard "get ready to never sleep again", about 20,000 times. Well I'm here to tell you what usually isn't included in all of that unsolicited advice is that you're loving wife and baby mama is about to experience a whole new level of crazy that most of us guys aren't prepared for. Not only did your number one just move her organs around for the last 9 months so she could grow a tiny freaking human inside of her, and then go through excruciating pain to push that tiny human out of a hole that really shouldn’t ever experience that magnitude of passage, but then they decide to send you home; unsupervised, to keep this human alive and feed it every two hours. And its all your fault. Yes, you did that to her. Now fast forward a few months and add countless sleepless nights, crying, bouncing on those stupid yoga balls, more crying, a lost sense of self worth, sleep deprivation and more crying. Are you following me? This is a recipe that has the potential turn this crazy into a laurena bobit type of situation and we all know how that ended. What I found to be the most effective cure for this is to address the number one cause which just happens to be the sleep deprivation. When we embarked on our journey to sleep train our littles, it was a game changing in how it helped restore a semblance of sanity in the house and made it seem like we could actually do this thing. Once the baby was sleeping on their own, there was less crying (from the baby and us), everyone was sleeping more so there was less delirium and more purpose to the days and my beautiful wife and mother to my new born child stop looking at me like she wanted to cut me. In all seriousness, being a new parent is hard and there's a lot of stuff they don’t tell you before diving in. And if YOU think in it's hard, multiple it by 100 for your wife. Getting sleep back is crucial to showing up the best you can each day and taking on those challenges as a united front with your ride or die. Sleep training is a gift so give it to your self. Your relationship and your marriage will thank you.
I like positive ROI. If you're anything like me, and you look back at the first 3 - 6 months of being a new parent, you're probably wondering the same thing I did when I was in the thick of the fog…why would anyone do this? And why do people do it more than once? You'll hear all the time as your little bundle of joy grows not so little anymore to "not wish these moments away" And that you'll "miss the newborn stage once its gone". Don’t listen to those people, they're crazier then the crazy I explain in the paragraph above. As you're well aware by now, the first three months are a complete cluster of constantly feeding, changing and trying to get your little one to "just take the nap" so you have a moment to take a shower and change your clothes…or if you're lucky even get a little shut eye yourself. Everything is communicated with a cry or a scream, because they cant just ask for a little side of boob, and after they get what they want they just unappreciatively pass out or start crying again because they won't pass out. When they aren't crying and you hold that sweet little body up at times it feels like they are looking at you but they're not, they're looking through you because they can't see anything. And then they smile and you think they're smiling at you, but they're not, they just farted and are appreciating the relief. Everything at this stage is take, take, take and there is very little ROI for the time, energy, loss of sleep and sanity that you're investing. And the crazy part is, new borns are supposed to get XX hours of sleep per day and when they don’t, they get overtired and it actually prevents them from being able to sleep. So the more and more that they don’t sleep, the fussier and fussier they get, the harder they are to handle and the lower and lower your ROI gets. Again sleep training gets to be the superhero here because it taught us how to read sleep cues for our little people and develop a plan that helped them get the right amount of sleep they needed to be happy. Again, the more they slept the less they cried and the easier they were to handle. They actually smiled at us and they were a pleasure to be around because they were getting the sleep they needed. We started getting the sleep we needed and we were happy again. Our ROI immediately took a turn for the positive and I started to realize why people do this and why they do it more than once. There are so many wonderful things about being a parent and watching your littles grow, but there is definitely an upfront investment that will put most people to the test. Sleep training lets that investment turn into profits sooner rather than later so just ask yourself, do you want to be ROI positive in 18 months or would you rather get there in 5?
I like to feel like a contributing member of society. It was difficult to function. Either I was tired, or my wife was tired. Both scenarios weren't enjoyable at all, and I was really not going to wish upon either of us, more days than we needed to endure. As a dual income household, it was important we could both be functioning adults and QUICKLY, none of quick could be possible if we just didn't get the expert help we needed.
I like to know that I'm doing everything in my power to give my kids the best opportunity possible. And while we could have 'figured things out,' why delay it? Why, if someone could turn things around for us in a matter of days or a couple weeks would we just not invest in the sanity. Honestly, there's no price on sleep, because it's not sleep alone...it's your relationship, the ability to not have a frustrated or irritated wife in the kitchen during dinner, or the sound of constant whining because your child is overtired, undertired, or can't sleep.
The bottom line is, life/adulting/parenting is hard enough as it is. Why try to take it on in an incapacitated metal and emotional state when you don’t have to?
Get her that sleep she needs. Get you the sleep you need. You won't regret it.
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