It was while I was quite literally running through a parking lot at 5:15 p.m. one day – because running, rather than walking, would gain me perhaps one or two more minutes with my child that evening – that it hit me:
This was not going to work. I could not continue to do this. “This” being a rigid 9-5 schedule that saw me reporting to someone who indirectly enforced when I could and could not spend time with my child. I couldn’t keep this up until my daughter was… was what? No longer attending a daycare centre that closed at 5:30pm? Nine years old and able to get off the bus by herself? Thirteen, and really couldn’t care less if I’m around in the evenings?
I’d been contemplating entrepreneurship for years, never fully convinced that I was a corporate-world lifer. Particularly after my daughter joined our family, I knew I needed to make a switch. I also knew I still wanted to earn an income and pursue new challenges, but that Priority # 1 would be a flexible schedule to allow more time with my family. And, if I was still going to work and spend time away from my little girl, I had certainly better be doing something that was meaningful to me, that helped others, and that made me feel like I was contributing to something important.
And so I thought: what am I both passionate and already quite knowledgeable about? My family. Health. My daughter. My daughter’s sleep… Bingo.
Enter WeeSleep. When my daughter was seven months old, my husband and I finally admitted we couldn’t figure out this baby sleep thing on our own. With our little angel only ever taking 30-45 minute naps and still waking multiple times each night, we were sleep deprived and looking for help. I thought: It’s 2012 (at the time). I am sure a profession exists that involves someone helping parents teach their babies proper sleep skills, without the dreaded cry-it-out method. And, guess what: I was right.
In a nutshell, within two days of working with our consultant, Janey Reilly (Certified Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant, and President of WeeSleep… also referred to as “miracle worker” in our home), our kiddo was sleeping 11-12 hours straight each night, and within 10 days she was taking proper naps. Most importantly to us, our baby was waking up happy, an act that we didn’t realize was possible until after she started getting proper sleep. And, we were all happier throughout the day.
So, when an opportunity arose to train with WeeSleep at the exact same time I was doing the daily parking-lot sprint, nothing could have made more sense to me.
Since then, I have trained and certified as an Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant with WeeSleep, launched WeeSleep Ottawa, and have been rewarded every day by helping countless sleep-deprived families get their lives back, and their baby’s essential, healthy sleep on track.
I am thrilled to be providing a regular blog post on Kallababy’s fantastic new website. In future posts, I will focus on all things baby-and-toddler sleep, from crib jumping to night wakes, from sleep props to early morning risers. But, for now, I wanted to introduce myself and let you know exactly where I’m coming from – as a mom, as a sleep consultant, and as someone who’s been there.
Erin is now an independent certified infant & toddler sleep consultant with her own company
THE HAPPY SLEEP COMPANY
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