For this month’s Mom Crush Monday, we had the pleasure of chatting with Melissa Brown, an infant sleep guru with some seriously amazing tricks up her sleeve. Thanks to years of professional study and personal experience, this inspiring mama of five has made it her mission to help other families find peace and joy in a usually chaotic time. Intrigued? Read on for more!
First of all, you’re one of SIX children! How did growing up with so many siblings shape what you do today?
I think it made me appreciate the chaos. You realize that so many things are out of your control and you have to be able to just go with it. I also learned that you can cut down on the chaos, and I think that’s what I try to encourage families to do – to make sure all the baby’s needs are met before chaos ensues.
You started off working with families in a hospital setting. Can you tell us a little about what you did and how that inspired you to do what you do today?
Before I started SleepShop I worked as a Hospital Chaplain, which was hands down the most incredible job I ever had because I learned to work with people through all different walks of life. I take the same approach as I meet with different families today, helping them find a rhythm that works for them while also staying true to what they value most.
What’s your favorite part about being a mom?
The laughter the random things they say, the embarrassing things that they do, the unabashed way they love, the ridiculous conversations they have with each other. I want to remember all the weird and funny things because it truly is my favorite part.
You have extensive training helping parents and children get a good night’s rest.
Do your teachings change based on the family you’re working with at the time, or are they pretty much consistent? The end result is usually the same but the journey is always different. I want to incorporate their individual parenting style into the process. If they don’t believe in it, they won’t stay with it and it’s important that they feel good about every choice they make for their baby!
What inspires you?
Family. I truly love the family I was born into and the one God has so graciously blessed me with, and I love being around other families too. I think kids build their inner confidence starting from their home, and I believe when they get that from their own family, they are able to share it with all other future relationships.
Sleep issues are a huge worry for new parents. How do you help them ease into trusting you?
I try and be as up-front as possible from the beginning. I am clear about what my suggestions will probably be, but also share with them ways we can do things a little differently so they are comfortable with the plan. I want things done with as little tears as possible (from everyone!), which is why I take the extra time to walk families through each step, explaining the reasoning behind it.
How do you balance work with family?
Boundaries. I try to only take on a certain amount of clients at a time and that helps a lot so I can manage my time better. I give myself a lot of grace, and I ask for help when I need it. Honestly, I would be lost without my husband and my nanny!
How do you like to relax?
WINE. And Netflix. :)
What’s your favorite local family activity?
We love having people over and letting the kids all hang together. I would love to do more physical activities with the kids once they are older, but right now the easiest place to let them run wild is at our house.
What’s your favorite family vacation spot?
Anywhere that’s in the sun by a beach or a pool!