Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

When I was pregnant, I was open-minded about all the big decisions. Breastfeed or bottlefeed? Whichever worked. Epidural? Sure, why not. “Birth plan?” Nah, let’s wing it and see what happens. But on one aspect of parenting, I wasn’t going to budge. My mind was already made up.

I was never going to be one of those awful moms who lets their baby cry-it-out to get them to sleep through the night. 

I thought, like so many mamas, that “Cry-It-Out” was a four letter word.

I mean, seriously–what kind of mom could let their precious baby cry in their crib and NOT go in to comfort them?

Well, I’ll tell you what kind would, because as it turned out, I WAS one of those moms. A Zombie Mom. A worn-out mom whose darling baby DID NOT sleep through the nighteven after 18 months–even though She. Had. Tried. Everything.

A Zombie Mom who hadn’t slept more than a few hours at a stretch in TWO FULL YEARS; thanks to pregnancy, round-the-clock nursing, and bad sleep habits we didn’t realize were bad sleep habits. 

Rocking the baby to sleep? Tried it. Have daddy put him down? Tried it. Adjust bedtime? Tried it. Lovies in the crib? Tried it. Enya playlist? Tried it. Sleep sack? Tried several. Sneak out like a ninja? MASTERED IT.


Literally, nothing we tried helped. Our toddler simply decided at 18 months old, that he was officially uninterested in a) going to sleep, and b) staying asleep. It didn’t matter if he was in the crib or snuggled up on our laps in the rocker. If we could somehow miraculously get him to sleep in the crib, we were guaranteed at least 3 or 4 screaming, crying wake-ups throughout the night, and it would start all over.

There was not enough coffee in the world.

Being the “good mom” who always soothed the fussy baby was turning me into a bad mom! All those late night “snuggle sessions” started to wear on me, and took a toll on my daytime attitude as well. I had never felt more frustrated as a parent.

Moms should just know how to help their babies sleep well. Shouldn’t they? Obviously there was something wrong with me!

Finally, out of sheer desperation, I did something I never thought I would do. I ate a little crow and looked into sleep training, after all. I had to try something. . .anything! I saw on social media that a dear friend from school had recently gotten certified as a Sleep Consultant. (AKA: Miracle Worker.) I swallowed my pride and sent her a message.

And you know what? Contacting her was THE single best parenting decision my husband and I have ever made.

In less than one week, our toddler was getting tucked-in wide awake, going to sleep within minutes without crying, and sleeping through the night. 


And the best part? He didn’t hate me! He wasn’t scarred or emotionally damaged–on the contrary–he was healthier! He was rested. He was happy. He had energy. He wasn’t crabby.

And he even started napping better, too.

My son only “cried-it-out” for a total of about 40 minutes (in all) the first night, and although it tore me up inside, he cried less and less each night. He slept through the night (with no crying at all) on night FIVE. So that meant his daddy and I did, too.

The week that I sleep trained my son was literally life-changing. I can’t even fathom how I was getting through life on such little sleep, before we taught him how to sleep. 

I had convinced myself I was doing the right thing, pulling him out of the crib whenever he woke up crying in the night. I now know that I was actually interfering with his sleep! I was the one keeping him from getting a full night’s rest, and ALL of us were suffering because of it. I thought he would learn on his own, eventually, but it just never happened. Once I learned how to teach him, he started to sleep like a pro!

Mamas–if you have a baby or toddler who isn’t sleeping well, I hope you can learn from my hard lesson. My biggest regret is the fact that I waited 18 long months before finally getting help, when I had already run myself ragged. Don’t become a chronic Zombie Mom, like I did, because you think sleep training is “cruel” or “insensitive.” 

What it really is, is MAGIC!

Sleep training your baby does not make you a bad mom. It makes you a rested mom, which in my opinion, is the only kind of mom to be. 

I thank God everyday that I swallowed my pride and asked for help. Some kids are great sleepers on their own, but I learned firsthand that some of them just aren’t. If your child has trouble sleeping, there are experts out there who can help you teach them how to be a great sleeper. 

So do yourselves a favor, tired mamas: find a sleep plan that works for your family, and give it a try. You won’t believe how much better you can “mom” after a good night’s sleep! 

After all–parenting is hard enough when you are rested and healthy. Why parent in Zombie-Mode, when there is such an easy fix? 

Now pour yourself that third cup of coffee–and then go find yourself a sleep consultant! 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Erika Wilson

Erika Wilson is a writer, artist, and author/illustrator of children's books living in Big Sky country, Montana. The only "she" in a family of six, she is never without inspiration for her writing or her artwork! You can find all of Erika's work and her blog at her website ErikaWilsonBooks.com.

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love is the Best Medicine

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child lying on couch under blankets, color photo

When my kids are sick, I watch them sleep and see every age they have ever been at once. The sleepless nights with a fussy toddler, the too-hot cheeks of a baby against my own skin, the clean-up duty with my husband at 3 a.m., every restless moment floods my thoughts. I can almost feel the rocking—so much rocking—and hear myself singing the same lullaby until my voice became nothing but a whisper. I can still smell the pink antibiotics in a tiny syringe. Although my babies are now six and nine years old, the minute that fever spikes, they...

Keep Reading

Right Now I’m a Mom Who’s Not Ready to Let Go

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging, color photo

We’re doing it. We’re applying, touring, and submitting pre-school applications. It feels a lot like my college application days, and there’s this image in my mind of how fast that day will come with my sweet girl once she enters the school doors. It’s a bizarre place to be because if I’m honest, I know it’s time to let her go, but my heart is screaming, “I’m not ready yet!” She’s four now though. Four years have flown by, and I don’t know how it happened. She can put her own clothes on and take herself to the bathroom. She...

Keep Reading

Each Child You Raise is Unique

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three little boys under a blanket, black-and-white photo

The hardest part about raising children? Well, there’s a lot, but to me, one major thing is that they are all completely different than one another. Nothing is the same. Like anything. Ever. Your first comes and you basically grow up with them, you learn through your mistakes as well as your triumphs. They go to all the parties with you, restaurants, sporting events, traveling—they just fit into your life. You learn the dos and don’ts, but your life doesn’t change as much as you thought. You start to think Wow! This was easy, let’s have another. RELATED: Isn’t Parenting...

Keep Reading

Our Kids Need Us as Much as We Need Them

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sitting on bench with dog nearby, color photo

During a moment of sadness last week, my lively and joyful toddler voluntarily sat with me on the couch, holding hands and snuggling for a good hour. This brought comfort and happiness to the situation. At that moment, I realized sometimes our kids need us, sometimes we need them, and sometimes we need each other at the same time. Kids need us. From the moment they enter the world, infants express their needs through tiny (or loud) cries. Toddlers need lots of cuddling as their brains try to comprehend black, white, and all the colors of the expanding world around...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Don’t Need More Things, They Need More You

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young girl smiling together at home

He reached for my hand and then looked up. His sweet smile and lingering gaze flooded my weary heart with much-needed peace. “Thank you for taking me to the library, Mommy! It’s like we’re on a date! I like it when it’s just the two of us.” We entered the library, hand in hand, and headed toward the LEGO table. As I began gathering books nearby, I was surprised to feel my son’s arms around me. He gave me a quick squeeze and a kiss with an “I love you, Mommy” before returning to his LEGO—three separate times. My typically...

Keep Reading

This Time In the Passenger Seat is Precious

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Teen driver with parent in passenger seat

When you’re parenting preteens and teens, it sometimes feels like you are an unpaid Uber driver. It can be a thankless job. During busy seasons, I spend 80 percent of my evenings driving, parking, dropping off, picking up, sitting in traffic, running errands, waiting in drive-thru lines. I say things like buckle your seat belt, turn that music down a little bit, take your trash inside, stop yelling—we are in the car, keep your hands to yourself, don’t make me turn this car around, get your feet off the back of the seat, this car is not a trash can,...

Keep Reading

So God Made My Daughter a Wrestler

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young female wrestler wearing mouth guard and wrestling singlet

God made my girl a wrestler. Gosh, those are words I would never have thought I would say or be so insanely proud to share with you. But I am. I know with 100 percent certainty and overwhelming pride that God made my girl a wrestler. But it’s been a journey. Probably one that started in the spring of 2010 when I was pregnant with my first baby and having the 20-week anatomy ultrasound. I remember hearing the word “girl” and squealing. I was over the moon excited—all I could think about were hair bows and cute outfits. And so...

Keep Reading

A Big Family Can Mean Big Feelings

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Family with many kids holding hands on beach

I’m a mother of six. Some are biological, and some are adopted. I homeschool most of them. I’m a “trauma momma” with my own mental health struggles. My husband and I together are raising children who have their own mental illnesses and special needs. Not all of them, but many of them. I battle thoughts of anxiety and OCD daily. I exercise, eat decently, take meds and supplements, yet I still have to go to battle. The new year has started slow and steady. Our younger kids who are going to public school are doing great in their classes and...

Keep Reading

You May Be a Big Brother, but You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with young son, color photo

It seems like yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital. Back then, we were new parents, clueless but full of love—a love that words can hardly explain. I can vividly recall holding you in my arms, rocking you in the cutest nursery, and singing sweet lullabies, just like yesterday. I can picture those times when you were teeny-tiny, doing tummy time, and how proud I was of you for lifting your head. And oh, the happiness on your face when “Baby Shark” played over and over—that song always made you smile! We made sure to capture your growth...

Keep Reading