Are you smack dab in the middle of toddler sleep battles? Maybe your little one has previously been a rock-star sleeper and recently started having trouble falling and staying asleep. Or, if you’re like me, sleep has always been a bone of contention with your child. I’ve been there. I empathize with the exhaustion, the “why me” questions, the end-of-your rope feeling. I know.
The thing is, I read all those helpful articles about creating the best sleep for your toddler. I even wrote one of my own! I followed the advice. I mustered up all the consistency I had in me. It worked for a while, but once again we are in the thick of it.
Maybe it’s just my kid? He’s 100% shot-out-of-the-cannon all day long. And I love it! I wouldn’t change one thing about him. But for my son, sleep doesn’t come easy. He had trouble sleeping as a baby, so we eventually did some sleep training, which (eventually) worked. Right now though, we’re in the middle of the two-year-old sleep regression. And it’s a big one.
The blogger in me would give anything to claim victory over the sleep issues we’ve faced with our son. The mama in me knows we are still deep in the trenches. So, you’ll excuse me if I write this post partly for myself.
These are three secrets that transform my outlook on this epic toddler vs. sleep battle. I hope and pray they help you too!
You are not alone.
I’m a sucker for a good statistic. Really, I love ’em. Here’s one for you: 33% of children up to age four continue to wake during the night and need parental assistance to get back to sleep. (source) What does this mean for you? You’re not alone. At least one out of three of those “put-together mamas” at the park is dealing with the same thing you’re battling with. Strike up a conversation!
As moms, we tend to only put the positive aspects of our parenting journey out there for the world to see. It’s part of our social media-driven culture, for starters. But, if you want to find a buddy to encourage you through this, you’ll have to start by being honest. I think you’ll find that there is another mom out there waiting for someone to walk her through this difficult stage, too.
You are the boss.
Oh, this is a good one. I whisper this to myself throughout the day, more than I’d like to admit. Any toddler, but especially a strong-willed, devoutly anti-sleep toddler, is on a quest to be The Boss. Sadly for him, he’ll have to wait quite a few years before he’s the boss-man over his own schedule. Tough luck, little dude. I recently wrote about rocking the benevolent boss attitude as a parent. It’s really a decisive way to look at all parenting battles, but especially those sleep-related conflicts.
Proverbs 13: 24 says, “…the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” I love the word careful in this verse. It’s not about showing out, getting mad, or losing your temper. A good boss is fair and even-tempered, yet expects his employees to live up to a certain standard. You’re the boss of your house. Even when you don’t feel in control, know that God has placed you over your little ones, and he’ll equip you with the patience to do the job.
You are a good mom.
There is this nagging thought that hovers around most of us at some point in time. You’re not a good mom. If you were a good mom, your child would be sleeping so much better. If you were really a good mom, your child would… fill in the blank… Stop. Right now, I want you to speak life into yourself. I am a good mom. I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect myself to be. Still, I am a GOOD mom.
In spite of your child’s sleep battles, regardless of whether he wakes up at midnight or sleeps though, it’s not on you. Even the best mamas can’t physically close a toddler’s eyelids at night. (Believe me, I’ve almost tried!) Good moms consistently show love, discipline, and grace to their kids. That’s all. So, what if your toddler continues to struggle with sleep? Be content in this: You are a good mom.
Are you with me? Maybe tonight will be the night you win bedtime battles for good. Maybe not. The key is in transforming your outlook, changing your perspective: You are not alone. You are the boss. And most importantly, you are a GOOD mom.
For more encouragement on toddler sleep issues, check out my recommended resources below!