As a Sleep Consultant, my job is to encourage and guide a family to sleep success. This is great! Until the Type A Mom I’m working with begins to feel in bondage to sleep rules and schedules. That is never what we want! Sleep brings freedom! And what I’ve realized is that our dear Type A Moms have a tendency to wrap up their worth in their child’s sleep. And let me be the first to tell you— that. is. not. true! Your worth is not linked to a short nap. That’s what these letters are all about. You will have off days, you will bend the rules. And that’s okay.
It may surprise you that this girl, me, Becca Campbell, a pediatric sleep consultant, is not a type A person. I know! I am somebody whose literal job is to help you get on a schedule and abide by these certain guidelines so that you can do this sleep plan. But the heartbeat of why I love my job, the heartbeat of Little Z’s is that you can have freedom and you can live so much happier because you have a child who sleeps. And I want you to know that sleep really is a thing. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in sleep training and take it to the extreme. And so today, I want have a heart-to-heart with my type A moms.
This episode is a little different. I want you to listen through some of these letters. They’ll apply to you and some of them may not. And that’s okay. I want you to pick up what works for you and leave what doesn’t. And forward this to a friend who you know needs these encouraging messages today.
Dear Type A Mom,
It’s okay to have an off day.
It’s okay that today is a little bit different than yesterday. It’s okay that your child woke up a little bit early from that second nap when you were counting on them to wake up to the minute when they normally do.
It’s okay to have an off day because you know that today is not the indicator of how good of a parent you are.
It’s okay that today was an off day because it’s not an indicator of your child’s future.
It’s okay that today was an off day because it just was.
Remember that your child is not a robot. You are not a robot.
The beauty of being a parent is that every day you have an expectation, but you really wake up not even wondering what the day might bring sometimes. You don’t know what your child will say. You don’t know what will the day bring. And it’s okay to have an off day.
Dear Type A Mom,
It’s okay that eat, play, sleep doesn’t work all the time.
You have researched and you have strived every day to make sure that eat, play, sleep is your newborn’s daily routine that you live and breathe by…
But you’re feeling frazzled and scattered and in bondage to this eat, play, sleep idea.
This was supposed to be the E.A.S.Y Schedule -Eat-Activity-Sleep-You time.
It doesn’t feel E.A.S.Y and that’s okay because eat, play, sleep may not be the right fit for you.
While it is something that you can strive towards and you can remember, don’t put it on a pedestal as if you can achieve an eat, play, sleep schedule every single day, or that somehow your baby will love you more or will be happier.
Because for some reason, it’s just not working for you.
And while everything in your type A-ness enjoys and thrives off of schedules, it’s okay that this particular schedule isn’t quite cutting it for you and your baby.
It’s okay to let go of it so you can enjoy your baby again.
Dear Type A Mom,
It’s okay if your little one is off of their nap schedule.
It’s okay that you decided to stay at the playground longer and hang out with your friend because you finally got to have some adult conversation and oops, you stayed too long and your little one fell asleep on the way home instead of falling asleep for their nap.
Because you know why that’s okay? In all seriousness, you matter the most when it comes to maternal mental health and happiness.
You make sure your child has the best and can be the best and can eat the best and can enjoy the best, but today, you needed that conversation and you needed to be out of the house instead of being tied down to having nap time in that crib.
It’s okay to drive around and grab some coffee or turn on a podcast or turn on some music that you actually enjoy listening to while your toddler naps in the back.
It’s okay to be off of your nap schedule today, because tonight, you can simply put them to bed early and also enjoy some more you time, knowing that tomorrow, you’ll hop right back on your schedule.
It’s not a big deal because today, you honored what you needed in your own heart and you are returning home, perhaps, with the cranky and little tired toddler, but your returning filled after having a conversation with a friend that was long overdue.
Dear Type A Mom,
It’s okay that you decided to grab your child and throw them into your bed while you were in a hotel room or on vacation.
It’s okay. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. And in the 2:00 a.m. hour, there is nothing you want more than just to close your eyes and get some rest.
That decision is not going to impact the rest of your child’s sleep future.
It is not going to mean that one time you put them in your bed, they will always want to be in your bed. It was a survival mechanism and I don’t blame you one bit for that. It’s okay to make that decision because it’s what’s best for your mental sanity.
You know you have that foundation to come back to the next night and get them to bed and their space.
It’s okay to bend the rules.
Dear Type A Mom,
It’s okay if your partner does things a little bit differently than you.
You may have a meticulous setup with how to get the bottle warmed and ready and into your child’s mouth and your partner may do it completely opposite from you.
But if the end goal is to give your child the bottle, and that goal has been fulfilled, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
It’s okay that the bedtime routine maybe takes longer and has more splashes, and you’re cleaning up the floor afterward.
It’s okay, because if that means that you got a blissful 10 to 15 minutes of sitting in a chair, doing whatever you wanted, scrolling your phone or sitting there in silence, whatever you wanted to do.
If your partner did bedtime routine differently than you but you had the opportunity to have some time to yourself, it’s okay that it was different. Because the beauty in being parents is that you have this team surrounding your child.
And it doesn’t matter that your partner does things slightly different or completely opposite from you.
What matters here is that your child knows that the two of you together are a team, with the end goal, all the same, to love, to cherish, and to get that kid to sleep. It’s okay.
Dear type A Mom,
It’s okay that as you listen to these podcasts or YouTubes, you recognize that I teach one way but you don’t do it that way, and you’re feeling like maybe you do it wrong.
I am just a person. I am just a mom. I am just someone who loves sleep and loves to educate about it, but I am not for everyone.
And I want you to know that if you have ever felt judged or if you’ve ever felt like you’re doing something wrong, that is not ever the heart behind what we do here. Dear Type A mom, this is a space for you to get help and encouragement.
Pick what works for you and drop what doesn’t, because you, at the end of that day, are the one who matters most in your family.
You’re the one who makes these driving decisions for your children and I want you to feel supported in however you need.
No one ever has the right to come into your home and tell you what to do, most of all, me. And I want you to know that the routines, the expectations, and the path that you’ve decided to go down in parenting, wherever you have decided to go and that’s what works for you, that’s what we support most of all.
Dear type A mom, you are the exact right mom for your family and I am so glad that that is the case.
The Type B Mom who is a Type A Mom Ring-Leader…
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