30 Jul Crib Chronicles- The parallel between sleeping training and exercise routines
Building habits are just like building a muscle. It takes work, patience and time. Breaking habits don’t. Breaking habits is actually incredibly easy and sometimes happens without intention. Like this summer, I have totally gotten out of the habit of regularly brushing my hair. I didn’t mean to, I just sometimes forget that under my summer version of mom bun, I forgot to. In terms of the habits my kids have/had, my youngest son is a bit of a bit of a prodigy in our house…and by prodigy I mean sleep prodigy. It took four children, but we finally had one that went to sleep on his own, in his own bed and stayed there until the morning. It was really quite incredible. I can say with all honesty that there has never been a night since I became a mother in 2009 where one of our children didn’t get up through the night. We are closing in to a decade of having an extra body in our bed so to say we weren’t elated to have a sleeper was an understatement.
Enter summer vacation 2018. Two weeks of sleeping in different beds, different locations and often with one of his parents has taken its toll on the dream sleeper. When we returned home after holidays I thought I would attempt a return to regular sleep routine and placed him in his crib, awake, for his nap time. What happened after that….well the word ballistic doesn’t seem to do it justice. You know when kids are about to start screaming but it takes a few seconds for the sound to come out because they are about to hugely lose it…..well I think it was the longest silent scream I ever heard. Then he let it go and within moments I heard a loud thump. I sprinted to his room only to find he had jumped the crib rails in a state of outrage like some kind of cougar/lion mix and was now screaming on all fours on the floor (not injured thank God). Ok then……
So here I am, a week later, laying in his crib, holding his hand while I wait for him to fall asleep. Yes, you read that right, in his crib. Sneaking out of your kids room once they have fallen asleep is one thing, sneaking out of your kids crib is a whole other ball game. There is no such thing as a “creak free” mattress. So yes-we have regressed to bad habits, without meaning to and am not sure how to get back to our old ways. Well I do know how, I just also know that it’s going to take ALOT of work, patience and time. Those three habit forming characteristics again..
As I’m lying in between the four walls of his tiny bed, I couldn’t help but make the connection between sleep training and exercise habits. When you lose your routine in either of the above, it is a process to get it back. Its not going to come “overnight” (pun intended) and it’s going to take changing your mindset to make it stick. For me to get my sleeper back, I need to be ready for the process. (Ugh). To get back into your exercise routine, you have to do the same. Remember- it’s much harder to get back into the routine game then it is to keep it going. Discipline is the stage before habit kicks in. Remind yourself that it will get easier and that habits usually take a minimum of three weeks to form and sometimes up to 2 months. In the beginning- its willpower. As time goes, your mindset muscle will get stronger, your routine will get easier and it won’t require as much mental toughness.
Although I’m not sure how to keep my child from scaling the walls of his crib, I know when I’m ready to get him back to his routine, meaning mentally ready- I can do it. The first few days might be a nightmare, but it will get easier….it always does.
When you are getting back into an exercise routine, make your goals realistic and easily attainable. Start out with 2-3 times a week instead of putting the pressure of 5 or more on yourself. When you hit your goals, you will feel good and be that much more motivated to continue. #youvegotthis #Ivegotthis #nowtogetoutofthecrib