Wondering where all the sparkle of motherhood went, and when you’re supposed to take a shower?
You don’t even remember what it feels like to be well-rested, and you’ve kind of *gulp* come to accept that exhaustion is the new reality.
Every night before you go to bed, your mind briefly wanders to all the un-done chores, and then freezes, as it prays that, perhaps!, tonight will be a little better… but what will you do if it isn’t?!
Coffee or chocolate cake (or both!) get you through the day, though you can’t claim that you’re not a walking “mombie.”
You’ve been trying EVERYTHING for weeks, months, or even years, and you don’t know if it’s even possible for this kid to sleep.
You’re not able to be the mother you always dreamed of.
You’re not enjoying your marriage.
You’re not performing properly at work.
You’re not feeling the way you want to.
This is not how it was supposed to be.
No, I’m not reading your mind. I’m just reading mine.
Because this was me two years ago.
They love their babies, but they feel frustrated they can’t get anything done because everything revolves around their babies’ unpredictable sleep. I help them get their babies falling asleep quickly and easily so that they can have a predictable routine and get the sleep they need
I always wanted to be a mother. A hands-on, love-every-moment kind of mother.
I wanted to be the one who helped my children reach all their milestones, who sat and played with them on the floor, who prepared fresh foods, who cuddled and hugged them, who laughed and read to them.
And, of course, I knew just how to do everything that had to be done – after all, I did have 6 younger siblings. Clothing? Bathing? Changing diapers? I got it. I’d been doing it for years.
I watched my own siblings, watched other kids – you know, a normal high-school and middle school kid. In seminary, I “adopted” my eim bayit’s baby. I was the only one he’d come to from his mother, the only one who could calm him down.
And I was so excited to be “that one” for one of my own.
So I was ecstatic to learn, not long after my chasunah, that I was expecting.
But when I went to my OB for a routine ultrasound, I had what was probably the biggest shock of my life.
“So you’re having twins,” she casually told me. “They’re fraternal.”
I think my heart stopped beating for a second.
All I could choke out was, “But it’s not in my family!” as my brain tried to wrap itself around this enormous, life-changing piece of information.
I’d never wanted twins – not that I passively didn’t want them, but I’d just told my husband a few short days earlier that I would never want to have twins.
I knew it was a bracha, but it was something I would have to grow to accept.
When we left the building, I felt as though my life had turned on its head. Slowly, I came to terms with my new reality (I was wearing maternity just shy of 3 months, at the doctor all the time, constantly worrying about pre-term labor), settled into the new normal of a multiples pregnancy, and learned to love my unborn babies – twins though they were.
It never occurred to me to do any kind of preparation other than birth classes. I strolled casually into motherhood, certain that I knew all there was to know.
So I was surprised to discover that, when my twins were born at 37.5 weeks, I was clueless about the things that were the hardest. And my husband was clueless. And my adorable little twins were clueless, too.
It was a recipe for disaster.
It wasn’t very long before I found myself in a bottomless whirlpool of BABY. Of laundry and nursing and pumping and diapers and bathing and crying and crying and crying. Me and them. I’d turn to my husband, he’d turn to me, and neither of us had the faintest idea what was wrong with them and why they wouldn’t just SLEEP.
And it didn’t take me long to learn that when you’re clueless about the really hard stuff, it’s not just really hard, it’s excruciatingly hard. Like we’re-stuck-in-this-situation-and-don’t-know-how-to-get-out-of-it hard.
When nighttime wakings didn’t just mean wake, feed, put back to sleep, but randomly crying (when I KNEW there was NO way they were hungry) and then stopping after only 2 or 3 minutes.
Or that time that I was in dire need of a shower, hadn’t changed out of my pjs in days, but one simply wouldn’t stop crying, so I ended up taking her with me into the shower.
When they’d just be awake for hours on end, kvetchy and crying, and nothing would soothe them.
When naps were unpredictable at best, and non-existent at worst.
When we wondered why no one ever invented a contraption to strap their pacifiers to their faces so they’d stay in and keep our kids “plugged” the whole night.
It was like a game of whack-a-mole; as soon as we got one down, the other one was up, and we were lucky if we snatched 15 minutes of sleep in between.
When I woke up from one of them in the middle of the night, I’d just keep my eyes squeezed shut, pretending to still be asleep, hoping, praying that my husband would take them for this shift. I flinched at the slightest noise, afraid that even a squeak was the onset of a wail.
Every night I went to bed praying that TONIGHT would be different… but was too afraid of waking up to even fall asleep.
I was a quintessential Mombie. After a couple fragmented minutes of sleep at night, I’d drag myself through the day, eyes always on the lookout for somewhere horizontal that I could lay down and close my eyes – even if only for a minute.
When they slept, the whole house was silent, lest any noise dare wake them.
And boy was I miserable.
What happened to loving my babies and playing with them? I wondered. What’s wrong with me?
What’s wrong with them?
After way too many nights laying awake in bed, I knew there had to be a different way to make this work.
I knew there had to be a way that we could all enjoy our time together.
So I started researching. I read blogs and books and articles. I Googled and Googled and Googled combinations of words, trying to find just the right answers. I spoke to my mom, my friends, any mom of twins I could lay my hands on, and anyone I could get to talk to me in my half-crazed state.
And then I had to make sense of it all – because most of them were as clueless as me, and most of the advice contradicted something that someone else said.
So I pieced it together, and made my own sleep plan, which we had to revise and revamp and totally make up as we went along. Because, really, we were still kinda clueless.
Now, looking back, there was a lot I could have done differently to make it easier on myself.
But I did it. It worked.
My girls were sleeping. I was sleeping. And I was so much happier.
I was able to wake up and WANT to take them out of their cribs.
I was able to enjoy playing with them and reading them — and I realized that I actually liked being a mother.
And that was huge for me.
It was like a dream come true – except it was reality.
And that was when I turned to my husband and said, “I want to help other mothers do this, too!”
So I did.
By the time my next baby was born, 21 months after my twins, I was a Certified Sleep Sense Consultant, Certified Lactation Counselor and had already helped mothers around the world.
Now my life is not perfect, and the hard days definitely come, but they’re not the status quo.
I know I can expect to sleep through the night, because my children do. And that means that bedtime is a special time of day, not a nightmare; and when they’re up, I’m not spending my time worrying about how I’ll get them to sleep – I’m actually able to enjoy them.
And I love being able to help other mothers too.
Whether they have a newborn that’s keeping them up day and night, or a toddler who won’t give them a moment’s rest, I love working together with mothers to help them be able to get the sleep they need to be the mothers they want to be.
You want to be able to enjoy every waking second of your precious children’s lives – and hey, I don’t blame you. I’m totally with you on that one.
And you want to wake in the morning with a clear mind, no exhaustion fuzzing things up to make everything seem worse than it is.
I’m here to tell you that this can happen.
It’s like a dream come true.
I call it reality.
You ready to get started?