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 fall asleep, you tiredly go through all the things that… well, didn’t happen today, and daven that (maybe!) tonight you’ll actually sleep well enough to have energy to do things tomorrow
Coffee or chocolate cake (or both!) get you through the day, though you can’t claim that you’re not a walking “mombie.”
You can’t believe how old your oldest has been, and love every single one of your children to bits – but wish that you knew how to make things a little bit… less chaotic? more restful?
Honestly, at this point, you’re not 100% sure what’s going on and what you need, but one thing you do know: a good night of sleep would be amazing.
You’re not able to be the mother you always dreamed of.
You’re not being as present as you want to be in your marriage.
You’re not being the mother you want to be for your kids.
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 don’t have cameras installed in your house.
But I can tell you I totally get what that feels like..
They feel frustrated and overwhelmed by their unpredictable schedules and that nothing seems to be working, but they’re just too exhausted to even figure out what to do next.
Together, we build a custom plan that works for them and their children so they can feel confident that they’ll have the predictability and sleep they need to love motherhood as much as they love their kids.
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 even had my fair share of parenting experience, and was probably more well-read than most non-parents out there.
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.
Much as I loved my babies — and while I definitely the idea of my kids was positively charming — I found myself just getting so frustrated with them, not having patience for them in real life.
What happened to playing with my babies and enjoying them? I wondered. Who gets frustrated and upset by a teeny baby?
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 could like 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.
And I’d worked with enough clients to know that sleep wasn’t all there was to it.
Much as my clients were struggling with their babies’ sleep, there were so many other things bubbling beneath the surface.
Adjusting to life with a new baby in the house.
Another – older! – kid who’s not sleeping well.
Sometimes my clients themselves weren’t able to get the sleep they needed.
Tools for the next baby.
A kid acting out or misbehaving
And sometimes my clients just weren’t sure about what to do in those situations – the other things that got so neglected while they were busy grappling with this kid’s sleeplessness.
And once we started tackling those issues, too — it was such a huge transformation – for them, for their families, for their children.
Now, life isn’t “perfect” (whatever that means, anyway), but overall, the status quo has me set up for success.
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 do what needs to get done when I’m running my house – and I’m able to enjoy my kids
And I love being able to help other mothers too.
Whether they want to get the best start with a new baby on the way, have a newborn that’s making them tear their sheitel hairs out, 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 tools and knowledge (and 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?