Hugs needed all around!
Let me just say that the power of a true embrace from a close friend, relative or someone who is genuinely interested in your well being cannot be replicated nor it's power be diminished...But a snuggle with my WEIGHTED blanket sure comes darn close in my eyes. Just the thought of it as I write this post makes me want to crawl up under that 20lb all encompassing cocoon and just Be. To say the least, I have become quite endeared to my weighted blanket. It has become an important part of my self-care and meditation practice. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with decision-making, processing other's emotions and all the noise around me I need to quickly turn it off and that blanket has become my go to for a quick reset. The Weighted blanket however has its limitations and I quickly learned that once I ordered one for my 7 year old.
Racing thoughts, nightmares and just shear FOMO (fear of missing out) plagues my second born and and I have been trying mindfulness techniques in order to help her fall asleep and develop some pretty sound self-care routines around her sleep health. Counting breaths is one of the first techniques I taught her when she was around 4 or 5. Then we introduced Mind bubbles where I have her observe her thoughts. Not try to change them or wish them away. Just notice them and recognize them as JUST thoughts. Then I have her put them in bubbles, big or Small depending on how complex the thought. Sometimes a stream of little bubbles are required and sometimes just a slow creation of a long warping bubble just like the ones you made as a kid with the huge majestic wand captures them in a moment until they float away. We were grooving with the whole Mind bubbles technique and bedtime was smooth as rain. Then the COVID-19 pandemic changed all of our lives and the Mind bubbles alone just wasn't cutting it for her and when her sleep is jacked up so is Mine. Can all the mamas say AMEN?! Her sleep routine involved a primary Tuck-in, Two hugs, lights out, a 10 min gap, post tuck-in visit to my room, and an existential conversation about the world and God on the trip back to her bed. Then rinse and repeat as often as it takes until she is finally down for good. After about a week of this I was fully done and a thought came to me, Can the power of the weighted blanket save the day? Could it somehow be used to interrupt this vicious cycle I was caught in?
Three days later a package arrived at my door and a pint sized 5lb weighted blanket was there waiting to be united with its new owner. I was literally more excited then she was but she was pretty excited too. Since she was well aware of her Mom's love affair with her own weighted blanket, she was sold on the possibility of hers also being a cherished companion. I had dreams of grandeur involving a new life where only the Primary tuck in was required with no follow up encounters. That blanket was going to change her life and my sleep was going to return to some degree of normalcy. But alas...It was not to be. Her weighted blanket did not augment the sleep routine by much at all, although during the day she uses it and it seems to be able to help her focus more on her computer work. So I shifted and decided to take the long view approach. She will not be 7 forever. These days are truly fleeting. I have definitely been more sleep deprived during my 4 tenures as mom to newborns and just like then, this too shall pass. Being fully present and accepting of this phase has truly been my saving grace. It is transformative to resist the urge to fix everything and make a decision to let something run its course and have the faith that it will. Soon I realized that maybe being in the moment, fully present, breath by breath is the secret power of the Weighted blanket and to dealing with the changing stages motherhood. If I can bring that mindset of calmness, turning off all the mind chatter, and truly just Being without physically being under my cocoon, night after night, tuck-in after tuck-in then I will be able to endure and look back years from now and truly appreciate how it felt to be needed for multiple tuck-ins, deep nighttime conversations and Hugs x2 from one of my favorite people.