I've been home for two and a half weeks from the hospital with two beautiful girls. Life hasn't been easy, but it is definitely worth it! My smallest one is a night owl... she wakes in the middle of the night and doesn't fall back to sleep for a couple of hours, at least. My two year old had sudden changes as soon as the new baby and I walked through the door; she began whining and crying about everything, things that she had never been sensitive about, suddenly became tough and hard to deal with and tears always seem to follow.
I was giving into the negative reactions, reacting back, which I've never done before. It took me nearly two weeks to figure out what I had been doing differently from before so instead of reacting to my daughter's bad actions rather quickly, I have been able to stop, take a moment and realize the bigger picture than what is happening in the moment that it is happening. I have realized that my reinforcement of good had vanished when my daughter began consistently throwing tantrums and that I had lost the gift of being a comforting mother because I had forgotten. As soon as I remembered what it took for my daughter to feel important in hard moments such as wining and crying over nothing, I began comforting her; getting down at her level, speaking to her as I would an adult and respecting her position as the big sister and pointing out her beauty and strengths rather than her weaknesses. This one act alone has changed everything in our household, she instantly became my big girl who always acts helpful and respectful.
Realizing the changes that needed to be made; something had to be done about bedtime!!! She started sleeping our room when baby came home just after we had got our bed back a couple of months prior and believe me, it's a whole lot better not having your little one sleep with you. If your kids sleep with you, I feel for you, not only is it probably taking over your love life, but it's probably not good for their independence either. I, out of all people understand and realize how fast our little ones grow up and before you know it, they're moving out and you see them once a year, but them sleeping with is not quality time anyway. Help them to become great people that can stand on their own two feet, that they can be alone physically and know that they always have family there for them mentally and physically when needed; by helping them sleep alone, you are helping develop in a vital part of life. All you have to do is take the time for them; most of the time, we are watching television before bed, this makes them think at night, doesn't relax them enough to have a good nights sleep. Yes, sometimes our little one would fall asleep in the middle of a show or movie, but would wake up and come in our room in the middle of the night. You should try what I did, I'm not saying it's going to work for everyone, but it's time well spent and can develop a bond with your children that you haven't ever had before and possibly could work for you as well. What I suggest is taking them to their bed, hand in hand, not carried and taking the time to rub their back until they fall asleep, you can sing or hum or talk story as you do, but make sure that they are completely relaxed (don't ask them questions or anything that they have to think about), make sure you are doing all the work. It has been three straight nights that she has stayed in her bed and slept throughout the entire night... which is a first!
I will tell you, I'm not an expert at parenting, just learning from all my experiences in life. I have done every job that a person can without an education could possibly imagine and used to be a nanny; I do have a gift with people and children, they are what I love and appreciate about life. Just remember to do things out of Love, not spite and certainly not to make them feel something negative from you, that decimates the relationship between any two people faster than anything; husband and wife, co-workers and especially you and your children. Your family is worth taking the time to do things right. Stop and think about how you would want someone to speak and treat you when you mess up or do something great; that is how you should treat all others, especially the one's you love... friends come and go, but family always stays family.