Going Deep with Teresa and Sarah on bullies, crib to bed transition, finance, sleep, and balance.
We’re back with another installation of Going Deep! This month the ladies answer some pressing questions about handling bullying, transitioning little ones from the crib to bed, reconciling financial uncertainty with the desire to start a family, sleep training a still-nursing baby, and balancing work and family. We couldn’t do this series without your thoughtful questions, so please keep sending them our way!
How would you react if one of your kids would come home and experienced being bullied?
TP: I recently had this experience with Bodhi, although it’s been a couple of separate incidents, not one kid picking on him, per se. Recently, a boy pushed a meat hot dog into Bodhis eye at school during lunch. Bodhi was so upset that he had to dig meat out of his eye. He is a passionate vegan (much more so than any of us) and he kept talking about it being a part of a pig. I immediately tensed up and felt my emotions running high. I felt like crying for him.
I took a breath and calmed myself first and checked in with him “how did that make you feel?” He paused and said he felt sorry for the pig! I can tell his feelings had been hurt but it wasn’t affecting him in a way that was too traumatic. I told him that if something like this happened again he needed to use his words, tell the child that he doesn’t like that and go and tell his safe adult what has happened. Whether this happens with us at the park, at school or with my mum at the playground, it’s important for him to know not to take it personally, it doesn’t say anything about him. I’d want him to know that this kind of behavior isn’t okay and can be unsafe, that’s why he needs to share what’s happening with a responsible adult. I also mentioned it to his teacher. I want Bodhi to understand that he is not alone. Sometimes when children have really big feelings they don’t know how to react and they can make hurtful choices. We’ve been talking about this a lot. I feel as though he is equipped enough now to know how to deal with it if it happens again.
For me the most important things are;
The child feeling empowered to say STOP, I don’t like that.
The child feeling confident enough to share the incident with their safe adult (family, teacher, babysitter, carer etc.)
The child understanding that it’s not something they should take personally, it’s about the other child’s big feelings and that an adult can help work through those big feelings with that child. (Ensuring your child’s self esteem isn’t affected is KEY)
I hope thats helpful!
SWO: Great question. It really depends on the situation. Hypothetically, if my son came home saying that a child had repeatedly been putting sand in his hair and it made him upset, I would ask him what happened when the child did that? I would ask if my son said anything to the other kid. I would communicate and try to empower my child to say “I don’t like it when you put sand on me.” If this step was communicated, I would see if my son had spoken to his teachers and if not, I would tell him we should let them know what has been happening. I know it is important to teach our children to advocate for themselves. I want my son to feel strong enough to say to another kid that its not okay for them to do that. If he doesn’t have the capacity to do that at 5 years old, I would help by going with my child to talk to his teacher and let him communicate what happened.
I am trying to give a hypothetical situation but before it becomes too convoluted I want to make the point that my son is 5 and my daughter is 2, and at this point I am trying to teach them how to advocate for themselves and communicate with others on how they feel. This doesn’t necessarily stop a bully so next steps would be to communicate with the teacher and with (me) to help come up with a plan that makes my child feel safe and heard. Then following up with the teacher, the school, and my kids to make sure that this does not continue.
My question is in regards to transitioning our 2 year old from his crib to a toddler bed. We are trying to wait it out until he is older, but he's getting a lot taller and we are nervous that he will topple over the side of his crib... What are your experiences with this kind of transition? Should I expect a cute little toddler coming to our bed once he realizes he's not trapped in a crib? And if so, how do we help him transition better and more smoothly? Thank you!
SWO: If you want to hear more on this, I told this story in our Fall Vlog ep. 2. We brought up the idea of “floor bed” to my son when we were transitioning him from crib to toddler bed. We talked about getting him a floor bed for a certain birthday (I think it was his 3rd, but age doesn’t matter and it’s different with every child) We started off trying it out during naps and it was like a novelty for him to sleep in floor bed. We said we would try it out for naps and if he was able to fall asleep in floor bed a few days in a row we would try it out for nighttime. We discussed how fun floor bed was but if he got out of it he would have to get back in crib bed. We had a few nights of testing this situation, but eventually our little guy was sleeping in his floor bed without getting up. He is 5 now and comes and gets in bed with me between 3 and 6am. This is only because I told him when he gets up to potty at night he could come get in bed and snuggle if he wanted to. Its my favorite thing.
Hope this helps!
TP: This one might be better answered by Sarah since we co-slept and never used a crib with our boys. I will say, however, to expect all transitions to have an adjustment period. Do you see him trying to climb out of the crib? If so now might be a good time to make the change. You can also make a big deal about the new bed and perhaps think about purchasing a sleep clock too that changes colour when he is able to come out of his room.
Editor’s Note: I wanted to just add one more thing that can be really helpful. The transition from crib to bed can be really challenging because now they are MOBILE. First, you can wait to transition them until they are interested in climbing out of their crib. When they start to get into that danger zone, it is time for the move but this can happen anywhere between 18 months and 5 yrs, depending on your kid.
Something that can really help your child with this transition is using a light or clock that is programmable and changes color when it is okay for them to wake up. Hatch rest is a great one and also works as a sound machine. Other companies make different clocks that actually tell the time and change color too, so whatever gets your kiddo excited. Also, rewards are sometimes helpful and can aid in solidifying a new routine. Legos anyone? xx
What advice do you have to a couple that worry about the financial strain of having a baby? I'm kind of a "life happens and you make it work and if you build it they will come" type person and my husband stresses more easily. He's more practical and I'm a bit more of a romantic, overly emotional fairy when it comes to numbers. We are both actors, so we never know when that next check or job is going to come. I also think life is short and don't want to put off doing what we want because of that. (I also struggle with fearing what a baby would do to my career momentum but I also believe love makes room for more love so it would be all good things). So when do you know? Are you ever ready? Is there a magic number of savings you should have? How do you balance trust in the universe with the hard realities of the world?!
SWO: It’s really hard to choose a perfect time to have a baby. Even when you “think” it’s a perfect time, your body may not be ready. I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my son I had just been offered an amazing role on a cable network that felt like a career changing moment for me. I had to pull out of this job as it would have shot when I was 8 months pregnant. It was an odd out of my control feeling but I knew that life and building my family was more important to me. 10 months after I had my son, I booked a series followed by a very prominent film and I look back at that moment that I lost this “magical” job and think how absolutely incredible life can work out. I think you just figure it out. There is no perfect moment to start a family, no magic number. You sometimes have to embrace the unknown.
TP: Beautiful question. For my husband and I, we just went with it. I was still renting a house and we had really only just met. It felt right though and luckily we are both romantics and has the perspective of “things will come to us in abundance if lead with our heart” and it’s absolutely true. It probably didn’t look like perfect timing to other people but for us we just followed our feelings. I secured a beauty contract right at that time which gave us financial freedom, my career opportunities opened up even more because I wasn’t so fixated on the outcome of auditions, I had a beautiful little new baby to fall in love with. Everything really fell into place, I believe that it’s because we just put our trust in our decision and believed it to be the right one and let me assure you there is no “perfect time” to have a baby, there will always be something that you can name as an excuse to wait. You will figure it all out, check in with your intuition and your heart and let that guide your way.
All the very best of luck.
My son is now 19 months and he still wakes several times a night for nursing. I’m just not sure if he still needs it or whether it’s just for comfort and what he’s used to. We live in a one bedroom apartment, and it’s hard to just ignore him when he wakes up. But the sleeplessness after 19 months is really becoming a problem and feel like so much of our day is wasted because I’m just so tired to “get moving”. I don’t like the “cry it out” method that every one seems to suggests but I don’t know what else to try. Any advice or thoughts on night nursing, how long to keep going, and when/how to wean?
TP: Hi! I just night weaned my 21 month old. We talked about how “the boobies go to sleep when the sun goes down and they wake up when the sun comes out again,” and it has really worked for us. Forest has really wonderful language and communication for his age, so this was the best time for us, he is also toilet training and will be out of diapers in the next month or so, it just felt like these two transitions could go hand in hand, I can connect the two of them too (also night weaning means less wet nappies at night). With us, Forest would wake around 4am to nurse and I’d remind him that it was still dark and to close his eyes. He would initially grizzle but then would be happy to wrap his arms around me and snuggle in back to sleep. He’s been sleeping without nursing for about a month now, everyone is getting more sleep!
Is your son communicating well? If so, it will make the process a lot easier, if not consider waiting a little longer until his language has developed further. You could always check out the Sleep Easy Solution by Jennifer Waldburger & Jill Spivack which I know helped a bunch of my friends during the night weaning period.
Best of luck to you
SWO: I love Teresa’s answer for this and want to take her advice myself. My daughter is 26 months and still night nursing only for comfort and waking a lot lately with the recent molars coming in. I remember when I night weaned my son I did it the exact way Teresa is talking about and it worked really well. You just have to be on board with having some very tiring nights. I gave in a couple times out of exhaustion and this delayed my progress. I LOVED the sleep easy solution and found lots of tips in there to help me as well the first time around. I think you and I will be night weaning at the same time! Good luck and let us know how you progress! xo
So for the moment, I am a stay home mom and full-time fantasy writer. I’ve had such a hard time lately, seeking a proper balance between doing the work that I love (obsessively love, sometimes) with my home life. I am closing in with deadlines, and lately I’ve felt so burnt out that sometimes, I feel my time spent with my husband and toddler son is not that of quality substance. How do you do it?
SWO: The mom guilt is something we all feel. It is really hard to find a balance that feels healthy on both sides. I love hearing that you LOVE what you do. It’s incredible that you have a job that you love so much and that feeds a very important part of your life and is a passion. I will give you the same advice I give myself and my friends. You have to make time for that. It just so happens that your passion is also your job. Do you have help? A family member to help with the kids? I’m curious what your day looks like and how you are able to write? Do you write during your little ones naps? Or in the morning before they awake? If you can find a way to get a system down of dedicated writing time and dedicated family time you will feel more organized and less burnt out. If you don’t have a way of getting help, maybe you make a plan with your husband for a couple nights a week. Like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during crunch times the moment he is home, he is with the kids and you go work for a couple hours. The other nights are dedicated to family? I hope this helps and you are able to organize some time that feels good for both. All the best!
TP: I think it’s important during crunch times to reach out for more help. When I’m filming and Mark or my Mum is unavailable our assistant will step in and help out with the kids. When I’m not filming, I’m a stay at home mum and we have no help. It can be hard sometimes when I’m trying to write an article for YZM or wanting to get something done and there’s no one around. My husband is usually working in the office. I had a period of time a few months back where I was pitching shows to networks. I couldn’t bring the kids with me and I really needed to focus so I had my mum fly out to cover me for those 3 weeks. Do you have family that can step in during this crucial period? Can you communicate your frustrations with your husband and come up with a plan that works for both of you? What about hiring someone 3 times a week for 5 hours a day to get things done? None of this has to be permanent, but it will help you be the best person you can be and cultivate both self care as well as giving you more energy, excitement and passion to be with your husband and son.