Fourth trimester · motherhood · parenting · postpartum · sleep training

Tiny House Nursery Tour ~ because everyone needs their sleep…

Slowly but surely I am capturing the different corners of our tiny home and want to introduce them to you here. While I blog about sleep training, Ill show you Valentine’s neck of the woods.

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Blogging about sleep training is probably one of the hardest blogs that I’ve had to write because I know that parenting is something so deeply personal and unique to every family and even child. None of this is said in judgement to those who parenting differently, this is just what worked for us… incredibly well!

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We entered the parenting journey having a fairly confident idea that we were going to sleep train.  There were several reasons for this, one of them being that we wanted our little edition to add to the family, joining into the already formed ‘Shearer unit’ rather than having to change our lives dramatically to fit around his needs. Don’t get me wrong, life does change with a child, and for the better, but we can do just about everything we did prior having Valley and he just comes along for the show.

Another reason, I am a big believer in sleep equals good health. Literally, when I am tired I become irritable and more prone to sickness. This is why, for the sake of loving my child, I wanted to train him into sleeping well. I’m very confident as a mother believing that, just like adults, if a child has enough sleep then they are happier and healthier. In the sleep training guide we used it stated (based on research) that humans are naturally creatures of habit whether there baby or not.  No matter what behaviour (sleeping through or waking often) Valley was doing, would be creating a habit and we decided to help support our child to create healthy habits.

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More than that though, I’ve always been someone who is need a lot of sleep and function poorly on low sleep. This is why at five months of age we decided to train Valley to sleep through the night. I needed this for my sanity. I needed it to be a better mother. I didn’t see this selfish either because I believe happy mum equals a happy home.

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I definitely have value some old school principal that come from my upbringing however I really disagree with the concept of leaving a child cried out. From working in the Child Protection field before I became a mother, I learnt enough and  I didn’t want to have Valley feeling abandoned or emotionally abused. So rather we sleep trained gently, consistently and we have beautiful bedtime routines that we have created together to prepare for bedtime. Its always a very special time of the day for me.

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The most important principle was teaching him to fall asleep on his own rather than using a prop such as myself or the car. The only sleep proper use with the Lulla doll as it didn’t require my attention every time he woke up. We we did this from a very early age so that there were some nights where I was feeding him in the middle of the night and had a wet cloth to wipe gently on his feet so that you stay awake in order that when he was put down, he fell sleep on his own.

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At five months old, I decided to stop feeding him through the night, feeling (and knowing from research) that he had enough strength and to not need to be fed through the night. I would’ve done this earlier if we weren’t moving houses and having so many visitors between 3-5 months old. It was just the right timing for the season our family were going through. Then rather than feeding him when he cried and I would going and sit with him and pat him until he was calm, and supported him to learn to fall asleep on his own. I was super blessed that this only took one night and he was trained. From then on, only on the rare occasion we may wake up through the night but I can very happily tell you that I am no longer a sleep deprived mother. 

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I also find that sleeplessness creates sleeplessness, so for my little lad, since he started sleeping through the night he is a much happier camper in the day. I have the sleep training program on a PDF ebook so if you want to check it out yourself and modified to fit your family definitely comment of shoot me an email and I will send it to.

Body image · Fourth trimester · motherhood · postpartum

Societies unrealistic expectations on mothers ~

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With the raging rise of social media it has put a unprecedented pressure on the expectation of self-image. I’m the first to promote a active and healthy life but have myself been sucked down the vortex of expecting a myself to look a certain way especially in light of ‘bouncing back’ after childbirth.
Because of being fit before pregnancy I have had a number of people tell me how quickly I’ll bounce back. That I’ll be in a bikini in no time. That by the time Valley is 12 weeks and I got to the Whitsundays for a wedding I’ll be bikini ready.
I have loved getting my blood moving and being active again with my new found postpartum energy BUT I want to say a few things:
1. ladies, as hard as it is, do not listen to the voices of those who put pressure on you. And don’t beat yourself up over comparing yourself to other mothers postpartum because like my picture above, it may not be realistic. I encourage you to overcome the expectation that you need to be different than you are. You are beautiful. You just created a human. You’re pretty much a superhero.
2. To those who intend to be “encouraging” or just have an opinion about someone body, don’t say “oh you still look thick around your waist”, “you’ll loose it all soon enough”, “you’ll be like before in no time”. It’s unrealistic to think that women who have birthed a human will ever be free from the marks of childbirth.

In fact, society should celebrate these marks rather then wish them away as it’s make feeling confident far easier. Which brings me to my final point.
3. Society as a whole need to rethink how we view mothers. Mothers shouldn’t HAVE to justify why they look different, why they struggle to look like they did beforehand and how much time it takes to look ‘socially acceptable’.
Mothers are incredible.

Oh and the background and dirty mirror is just another beautiful reflection of motherhood where a child is put first before presenting a perfect household.

And that too, is perfectly ok.