Before I became a Certified Sleep Consultant. Before I created transformative Mindful Parenting classes. Before I got the help I needed. Before I learned to really care for myself and my family, I felt broken.
I was carrying the weight of my exhaustion and other people’s expectations – they were SO heavy! I felt overwhelmed by all my obligations as a parent, partner, daughter, teacher and friend. I yelled, punished my kids with time-outs and harsh words that never seemed to help.
After teaching Social Studies in the public schools for 10 years I moved to New York City where I began teaching Yoga to kids and adults. Soon, I became certified to teach Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga and received my DONA Birth Doula certification. I loved that I could support families in so many areas of their journey: pregnancy, birth, healing your post-baby body, and then teaching children themselves. Mindfulness, relaxation and support was a key part of all these benchmarks.
Then, I became a parent myself.
And it was HARD. I found pregnancy limiting, uncomfortable, and anxiety provoking. I had an empowering home birth and then I spent five months in a state of crisis as I attempted to function on very little sleep with none of the coping skills I had before. I was eager to get back to my work supporting families, but I was too tired to do it. As my child became more independent, her sleep became increasingly dependent, interrupted and off balance. We were ALL exhausted, confused, and desperate. No matter where I looked for advice and information I could not implement it successfully Finally, at 11 months someone pointed me to a Sleep Sense Sleep Consultant who turned our lives around in a matter of days.
As it turns out, my child is an expert sleeper – she went from sleeping 9 random hours a day to a solid routine of 15 hours a day. Parenting is much easier to problem solve when the whole family is getting the sleep they need.
Cue the mealtime meltdowns, diaper changing tantrums, car seat protests and just yelling “Noooo!” in my face. I found myself yelling, using time-outs, threats, and getting so angry that I would slam doors. This was NOT the vision of the parent I would be – I was triggered by my child’s normal actions, I took it personally, and even though I desperately wanted to change, I found myself in the same cycle day after day.
It took years of work: classes, reading stacks of books, therapy, coaching and practicing in real time to get to a place where I can calmly weather the “big emotions”without reacting. In my work with toddlers I kept hearing that other families could use the same resources, so I began building classes and offering coaching that could help them do the work I’ve done.
In just 30 minutes we can better understand the root cause of your parenting challenges and create a plan to address them.