Our daughter is a great sleeper. I know I’m really lucky and I’m grateful every day she sleeps through the night and takes long naps. The thing is, she is a great sleeper IF the set up is right. She does not fall asleep in the carseat or stroller. The times she occasionally, does, she cannot transfer and we lose the nap entirely. She doesn’t sleep on planes. She doesn’t like to sleep in our bed or even in our room. She likes a big crib, her own room, her stuffed animals, her own music maker, the right amount of light, little noise and her blankets just right. If those things are in place, we are all set.
We have learned how to travel so that we can maximize the possibility of her sleeping. We arrived in Denver late last night and started setting everything up. I felt great knowing that we had everything we needed and things were in in line for a great week of sleeping. Then we discovered we couldn’t use the room we thought we could for her crib. I literally stopped in my tracks and froze. It sounds ridiculous, but if you are a parent, you know what I mean. You will do ANYTHING to get your baby to sleep, and this one little issue was just giving me total anxiety. I kind of wear my heart on my sleeve, so while I was saying “Oh it will be fine” I’m sure everyone could tell I meant “I’m having a slight breakdown.” My husband looked at me lovingly and said gently, “It will be great.”
I probably don’t need to tell you that he was right, and it was great. Everyone slept well and I’m writing this while my daughter is napping soundly. My anxiety could have been avoided by two simple things, and hopefully they can help you as well:
1) Tell people what you expect. We wanted another bedroom next to ours for our daughter to sleep. There is a spare bedroom in the house we are staying in so I completely assumed we could use it (you know what they say about assuming.) If I had simply told them what we might need a month prior it all could have been avoided. They would have been HAPPY to accommodate, but I didn’t give them a chance to do it. I didn’t even think about it, and that’s my fault completely. If you have expectations you would like met, you need to voice them.
2) Let go of expectations. Once you have voiced the expectations you have that you really feel are important, let the others go. Completely free yourself of the bondage of expectations. I really think that’s what they are for me – chains. They chain me to a vision of the future I feel NEEDS to happen for me to be happy. Because of this, I’m not FREE to really enjoy the present when it happens because I’m constantly comparing it to my expectations. Let yourself be delighted by surprises and unexpected occurrences. Hold tight to hope, and let go of your expectations.
Last night was a great lesson for me, and I know I’ll personally be using it as a reminder of letting go of expectations in the future. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season free of expectations and full of love, laughter and happiness!