An open letter to the commenters on the NZ Herald FB page

An open letter to the commenters on the NZ Herald FB page

An open letter to the commenters on the NZ Herald FB page

An open letter to the people who read the NZ Herald article

We were recently interviewed for the NZ Herald article on sleep consultants, what a pleasure to offer up information on something we are so passionate about.

Not surprisingly there has been a fierce debate on the NZ Herald Face Book page about sleep consultants and what we do.

This letter is to you.

To the women who wrote

Sleepless nights are part of being a parent. Deal with it. Don’t like lack of sleep? Don’t have kids.”

I challenge you to answer my phone for a day, listen to the crying and sometimes desperate mothers. The mothers who worked with IVF to have these precious children you are telling them they don’t deserve to have. The mothers who have been surviving for months and months on end with 2-4 hours of broken sleep a night, their own immune systems sometimes shutting down as illness creeps in. The exhaustion causing rifts in their previous rock solid marriage, the tears of failure they cry night after night, as they try rocking, holding, bouncing, feeding to sleep, only to give up exhausted or repeat the process a few hours later.

To the women who wrote:

“Boohoo your child didn’t sleep through till 12 moths old, so what neither did mine and I had 5 of them.”

I’m sorry your 5 children didn’t sleep well and you feel its ok to say to mothers reading on a public forum “boohoo”. Try saying that when I walk through the door to a family of 3 whose mother has been hospitalized with exhaustion, and whose 3 children don’t settle to sleep before 10pm every night. Her husband works away 5 days out of 7, she sounds slightly intoxicated her words slurring, this is the sleep deprivation. She cries when I tell her things will get better and we can help, she cries as she tells me she felt like she was in a big black hole and was resenting her children. You come and say that to my next client if you feel it’s so right to say in public.

To the women who wrote:

“This is the wrong kind of support. Paid by parents? This is again lazy parenting. Putting the blame on something, someone else to shoulder. As bad as forgotten baby “syndrome”. So exactly how many other things did you try before you simply forked out money and avoided being a parent?”

I can reassure you our clients are far from lazy. But I will tell my client whose baby had such severe disruptive sleep apnea she needed to hold her upright to sleep for all sleeps until she could have surgery, that you think she is lazy. I will tell the mum who walked for every nap for 3 days to help set up a good routine and avoid excessive crying that you think she is lazy. I will tell the mums who we encourage to cook nutritious homemade meals, and read our 25 page plan, and write sleep logs for us, and check and console and check and console, and tweak their day to put their babies sleep needs first, that you think they are lazy.

I will tell my clients with post-natal depression under maternal mental health’s care that you think because they asked us for help with sleep to save their own mental health that you think they are avoiding being a parent.

To the women who wrote:

“Do it yourselves, parents. It’s your responsibility. If you have a child whose sleep pattern is different from everyone else’s just put up with that.”

I wish you could be a fly on my wall when I see a mother who is so tired and broken by her child’s endless hours of crying that she won’t even look at her baby or pick her up. She has longed for this baby for 9 months, put up with the endless crying and broken sleep to the point that she has clearly sacrificed her own bonding with the baby.

She is a shell of a person, but you tell her to just put up with it.

Our children are our responsibility and part of that responsibility is ensuring they have adequate sleep, and sometimes people ask for help to achieve that. It is NOT your place to tell them to “just put up with it”. Another part of that responsibility is ensuring that these babies and toddlers have loving kind nurturing parents, I have lost count of the number of clients who have confessed to me, they still love their children but they are so tired and resentful they don’t like being around them.

I applaud the families who come to us for help for their raw honesty, they are often at their most vulnerable. You open your homes to us and invite us into your lives for a week or two, we love helping you, we love working with you, we do not think you are lazy, we do not think you are bad parents and we do respect your parenting style, not all sleep training is about CIO.

To the parents out their frustrated with their sleeping situation, it’s ok to be frustrated, and it’s also ok to ask for help. Sometimes we don’t even need to sleep train just looking at your children’s routines and diet and sleep environment can make enormous changed to their sleep.

To the women who wrote:

“Another example of our screwed up our society is becoming. These parents should be take a long hard look at themselves and be ashamed.”

You should be ashamed of the judgement you have so carelessly expressed all over a public forum.

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge them like this.

To the families who come to us for help:

You have nothing to be ashamed of, you are loving committed parents. Often extremely sleep deprived, exhausted and emotional. You are not lazy, bad parents and we admire the effort you put into solving your children’s sleep problems. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether its from us, or plunket or a Dr. Parenting is hard yakka and the more we stick together to form that village around our children, the happier we will all be as parents.

Thanks for reading!


We would love to help you and your family achieve better sleep!



Leave a comment

* Required fields

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.