In order to help the four-year-old (remember her) fall asleep I have either held her hand or layed down with her. This has occurred for the last FOUR and a HALF years. Yes count them folks. That’s approximately 1,642 days or over 39,000 hours of sitting in the dark anxiously anticipating that moment where she drifts off into wonderland. Well, about 4 weeks ago, my husband and I decided this was going to stop. Sure, there is a part of me that quite likes the cuddle but it would be nice to have some me time … we all know how therapeutic that is!
So I have started moving away from her at sleep time…one space at a time. It’s been a long and arduous journey. This week I’ve made it to the door. I’m looking forward to sitting outside the room and actually shutting the door. I will probably break open a glass of champagne and celebrate the moment…of course I will probably wake her and have to start the whole process again.
The moral of my story dear orangepeel readers, is not that change is a wonderful thing and you should embrace it. No, it has been bloody emotionally challenging and tiring. The point is this… if you know in your heart that something is right for your little person, no matter how big or small the change is….do it and trust yourself and your child.
A psychology lecturer was overseeing me coach someone once. At the end of the session he leant over to me and said ‘Laura, in coaching, you have to go to the tension. Sit with it. See what unfolds.’ I love this concept and use it a lot in coaching. It also comes in handy with kids.
Go to the tension. Sit with it. I promise there are lessons to be learnt. I have literally sat by my daughter as she has screamed at me for the past 4 weeks. While a big part of me has wanted to run to her, in my heart I know I am honoring all of us by giving her the opportunity to fall asleep on her own. I have been sitting with the tension for four weeks. We are still getting there but the gift has been quite profound for me. I think I have been secretly scared of her emotional unleashing (i.e. tantrums) and I am finding that its ok….the storm passes and a peace and understanding between us is unveiled.
Whatever is going on for you and your little person, don’t try to stop the tension, just sit with it. As those great Liverpoodlians once said ‘Let it be.’