So, what is the meaning behind “Sleepytime Support”?
Well, in my sector, using the word “sleep” is obvious. Obvious and common, very common. Perhaps a little too common.
“Sleepytime” just stands out to me. It rolls off the tongue. It’s not “bedtime”, not “naptime”… but “Sleepytime.”
To me, there is a little sweetness and innocence to it, just how childhood should be.
Although I really love the word “sleepytime”, my kiddos may not agree. I’m sure my neighbors can attest that on occasion “noooooo sleepytime!!!” can be heard from my house!
However, the word “Support,” is where my name, and my service, gets specific and unique. “Support” is key. That’s what I am here to do. If I had to describe my service with one word, this would be it: Support.
I learned about support from my time working as a nanny (approximately. 8 years). I worked for many families, all different dynamics, different sizes, and in different locations. They were all so different, but one thing that was the same was that there were either two siblings or twins. Families of twins were always especially appreciative of the help and support I could provide (now I can really see why!!)
One thing that I quickly learned (and I learned it the hard way of course) was to start every job with a clean slate. If the family asked me for advice or ideas, I would, of course, be happy to share. Otherwise, I learned to follow their way, their rules, their parenting styles, etc.
What works for one family just may not work for another. That was not something that I could really learn in my studies. This lesson served me well when I expanded my services and started working as a Postpartum Doula.
Many moms felt a little intimidated that the stranger in their home knew a lot more about babies than they did. And while true to a certain extent… I do know a lot about babies, it wasn’t my book learning that mattered the most. What was most important was the baby that I was caring for at that time. Who was this baby? What were their likes and dislikes? What did they need?
Surprise surprise…it is the mom that knows this baby better than anyone. She just might not realize how much she knows!!
Likewise, each mom had different needs and it was my job to figure them out. What, exactly, did she need? Advice, or to be heard? Someone to show her, or someone to talk with her? Reassurances, or a list of tips and pointers? A demonstration, or a nursery organized? That is where I found the real meaning of support. It is different for each family, but once I understood what they needed, I was able to provide it. The key was: different support for different families.
Coming to the end of a contract with a family was always bittersweet. It’s sad to move on, but it was always so great to see the parents doing well and feeling like they can spread their wings. Knowing that I had provided them enough support that they could move forward on their parenting journey, is a wonderful feeling.
So, let’s break down what “support” really means to me in terms of how I help my clients.
S Solving current sleep issues
P Problem solving
P Practical plan
O Offer doable options
R Realistic goals and expectations
T Tips and tricks to help your child
My goal for clients is that they feel supported. (That’s the doula in me talking.)
I want them to feel like it is their plan that is put into action. I’m just here to help them iron out a few creases.
Parenting is hard, and if sleep deprivation is an aspect, everything gets harder. Supporting families means listening to families. As we all know, talking about our problems can help us get clarification with things that may otherwise seem muddy, especially when we are sleep deprived. Having someone help us create our “to do’s” and get them down in black and white can be a huge help in actually getting things done. Parents need support, and that is what I do.
I may not be physically by your side when you’re helping your child learn their new skills, but I am only a phone call/text/email away! Just as the parent offers the child support and gradually tapers when the child is able to do the rest on their own, I do the very same with my clients. My goal is to provide support so that parents can feel empowered and competent in their parenting plans.
My goal is to support.