Welcome to my first blog post!
My name is Aurielle Martin and I sort of “fell into” becoming a sleep consultant, so I thought I would share my story here.
My education and training was originally as a physician assistant (PA). I worked full time as a PA in family practice for almost 5 years before my husband and I were blessed with our sweet daughter, Meredith. Time with my family is everything so it was time for a change. After having her, I switched to part time work in family practice and maternal fetal medicine.
Fast forward a few months: my daughter was the worst sleeper at about 6 months old! She was generally a very happy baby during the day: playful, smily, loved to laugh. And I loved being a mom – I still do!
But I dreaded naptime and bedtime because my sweet, happy baby girl became a sad, overtired baby and I had no idea how to help her. She screamed when we walked down the hallway towards her room. She screamed when we sat in or stood near a rocking chair. I remember crying on Easter Sunday because I just wanted one day of no meltdowns and it wasn’t happening.
Over and over again I reminded myself that I’m a medical professional and I see babies all day long in practice, so I should be able to help my own daughter sleep – but why couldn’t I? I felt a lot of guilt.
The truth is that they don’t teach this stuff in PA school or medical school. They teach that it’s okay for a child to cry, and that it’s safe to try the “cry it out” method (also called “extinction”) with an otherwise healthy child if parents are interested/willing, but they really don’t teach you how to support parents and children through learning independent sleep skills.
Let’s not forget that these are skills children can carry with them into adulthood! What an incredible gift we can give our children – if only we have the right tools.
This is where a dear friend, Katie, comes into the story!
Katie sleep trained her own daughter with the help of a sleep consultant. I didn’t even know sleep consultants existed. She had an amazing experience! My sweet friend jumped in and started researching sleep on her own. She found ways to help Meredith sleep and I couldn’t be more grateful.
My daughter started taking consistent naps without any struggle and sleeping for 12 hours straight each night. She started to LOVE her crib! My husband and I suddenly had more time together in the evenings and we were more productive at home. My house even became easier to keep clean! Who knew a few simple tools and techniques would change everything for us?!
That’s when I started looking into becoming a sleep consultant (thanks, Katie!).
I took a pediatric sleep management certification course that emphasized safe sleep – my first and greatest priority – and then covered the science of sleep as well as numerous sleep training techniques that fit different ages, developmental stages, and parenting styles. How great is it that we have so many options to fit so many families?!
I wanted to soak up everything I could about pediatric sleep so I could help my future children, nieces/nephews, and my tiny patients get the sleep they need. I honestly didn’t plan on doing this as a separate career at all until the course laid out every step of launching a business and I realized how many parents really need this service. I could relate to those parents and I couldn’t bear the thought of them feeling as alone as I once felt as a new, sleep-deprived mom.
Now it’s my mission to spread the good news that you don’t have be exhausted just because you’re a parent, and babies/toddlers don’t have to be up all night. Yes, adults and children alike all wake up in the middle of the night at times, but it’s the skill of falling asleep and then back to sleep independently that can be so powerful for families.
I’m still a PA, and I love it, but now I can work fewer hours in the office and more hours at home. There aren’t many careers that allow you to spend so much time with your family while also becoming successful as an entrepreneur – and I never saw myself as a business owner! – but becoming a sleep consultant allowed me to do just that. I’m here for every milestone and every adorable moment with my daughter, and I plan to be here for every moment of all of my children’s lives if the good Lord blesses us with more children.
I even wrote this entire blog post during naptime!
This is my why. What’s your why?
If you’re interested in learning more about how I did this or about how YOU can start a new adventure becoming a sleep consultant, let me know on the contact form on my site or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to chat with you!