KAREN SHERLOCK – AUSTRALIA – CERTIFIED MARCH 2018
Karen Sherlock loves her dream job!
Being a middle age mother of two, I have had many years of experience in industries that involve working with children and helping families. My degree in Early Childhood teaching, working as a Childcare Director, nanny, family support co-ordinator for a children’s charity and as an Infant Massage Instructor have all been things I have loved doing, and have naturally been drawn to. So, when I saw the opportunity to complete the Baby Sleep Consultant Training Program I knew it would be something that would complement my skills and experience and also be something that I would love doing.
Well, I wasn’t wrong! The course was fantastic and I learnt so much about the science behind sleep. Every aspect of the course was amazing from the well-researched required readings and informative lectures, to the hands-on volunteer clients and incredible mentor support. It really was a comprehensive course that has given me some amazing skills and knowledge. I am so pleased I made the decision to become an Infant and Child Sleep Consultant working with families, helping them get some much-needed sleep and essentially get their lives back.
I like that every family is unique and presents a new challenge. I have met some amazing parents who are so dedicated and motivating. Of course, there can be difficult moments but I absolutely love it when working as a team with the parents we are able to find solutions to those challenges and come out with some amazing and life-changing results.
I also love that I have worked with families from all over the world. I am based in Sydney and have worked with families both locally and from other states in Australia as well as from overseas including, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. Distance is certainly no object!
I find this role so rewarding when I get feedback from families with statements like “she’s never slept like that before in her life, she actually woke up singing”, “working with you has been life changing!” “Thanks to you, I now have the confidence to carry on and do this on my own”.
“We now have a baby who is happy and smiling, not grumpy and irritable all the time” and many more amazing statements that are just so rewarding to hear.
One great story was of a couple who although they loved their four-month-old daughter very much, they just weren’t able to enjoy her. She was constantly overtired and grumpy and rarely seemed happy. She was having a couple of 30-minute catnaps during the day and was waking every two hours overnight. Mum and dad were exhausted and neither was enjoying their experience of being a parent for the first time. However, both these parents were very committed to change and were amazing to work with. Now it wasn’t all easy, we certainly had our challenges. We started with a Facetime call, which is always nice as you get to see each other and “meet” even on the other side of the world. After our initial chat and filling out an intake form I wrote up the plan and guidelines on our chosen settling technique. With daily emails the communication was great. I would wake up to an email from Mum on how their day and previous night had gone and would then help them adjust and give advice on what to do next. Together we worked through each step of getting their daughter into a new routine and introducing a new settling technique. We adjusted her feeds, tweaking things each day till we got it right. The result was a baby who was now happy and smiling and a joy to be around, she was no longer overtired and cranky. Mum and dad were amazed that it all happened within a week and have been eternally grateful that I was able to help them. The happy smiling, family was a great result.
I just love getting updates and hearing how my client’s children are all going, getting sent pictures of the children either sleeping or smiling in the following months and seeing them develop and grow.
Being passionate is easy, as I truly believe in what I do; I know that sleep is vital to healthy growth and development for all children and also essential for exhausted parents. I don’t believe anyone should have to just put up with sleep deprivation, day after day, or night after night. Everyone needs support and there are things that can be done to help every family, whether it’s just a small change in their routine or some big changes, which may take time, effort and consistency. Yes, being a parent is hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help or that you are just expected to know how to deal with every challenge that may arise.
I love that I can offer that help and support and work together with families to achieve their goals.
I’m super excited to continue growing my business and look forward to helping lots of families get some much-needed sleep. My next goal is mastering live videos and helping parents with live Q & A’s, as well as trying to fit in some time to write some articles and blogs. It is great networking with other professionals and always learning and developing and of course, meeting new people is always fun. Talk about a dream job, this is certainly mine.
With so much information out there today, it can be very overwhelming so one piece of advice I would give to all the exhausted parents is to find someone you have a connection with and feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and know that you deserve to be happy, healthy and as well rested as possible.
Wishing you lots of lovely sleep and pleasant dreams.
KAREN SHERLOCK – May 2018