Reflecting on 2021

With the year about to draw to a close at the end of this week...I thought it was a timely reminder to take a look at the past 12 months and all it's brought with it. This post is a little more personal and is quite transparent. I'm sharing things about my life personally but also about Let's Sleep.

This year, I've gone from working part time as a Maternal and Child Health Nurse and part time as an Infant and Child Sleep Consultant with Let's Sleep to FULL TIME Let's Sleep. This was a decision I didn't make lightly but felt it was what was required to best support the families that book in for sleep support with me. I am about to pick back up doing some casual Midwifery shifts in the new year which I'm very excited for.

It's been a big year. We decided to sell our home earlier this year and in 6 weeks we totally transformed our huge backyard like an episode of backyard blitz (honestly it was so hectic) - for 6 weeks straight we would get Hazel into bed at 6.30pm, grab paint brushes, mulch, plants, the hose and get outside - working through until 9.30-10pm most nights. We sold our house (thankfully after just 1 open for inspection) and bought another house in the same week. We moved house - we pulled Hazel out of childcare and started Nanny Share with another family (actually a beautiful past Let's Sleep family that live local to me!). I quit my role as a MCHN in the middle of year which was a big adjustment but I haven't looked back.

The home we moved into is in a more isolated area than our previous home. It's a much smaller community where we live now and i've made more of an effort to meet local families and network. This has led to some awesome friendships forming that I feel so lucky to have.

So here is a bit of a summary of the year....

Things that worked well:

  • Being able to continue to support families around Australia with sleep and settling with The Let's Sleep Package despite being in lockdown for what felt like the whole of 2021!

  • Hazel napping predictably during the day and going to bed at a pretty set time - allowed me to schedule in phone and zoom consultations with families around her sleep.

  • I LOVE being there in person with families, coaching and supporting you through sleep and settling with your little ones. In-home support is exactly what some families need in that moment. It's been such a blessing to get back to supporting families in this way.

  • Completed a half marathon training program with the Her Trails community - smashed my half marathon PB by 15 minutes and most important of all - had so much fun along the way.

  • Launched Let's Parent The Podcast and have been so fortunate to connect with amazing people in the parenting and health community as a result.

  • Getting Hazel into nanny share with the amazing Maddy's Babysitting! If you're local to the Mornington Peninsula - highly recommend checking them out!

Things that didn't work well:

  • Focussing on work too much at times which meant that self care and exercise fell off the wagon a few times.

  • Released The First Year eCoaching Course which was slower with bookings than I expected however I received such awesome feedback from those who have booked in so far and i'm grateful the course is benefiting the families who access it.

  • Hazel being in childcare during covid-19 lockdowns and needing to be covid tested for the slightest runny nose before being able to go back to childcare again (seriously hard to get back into the groove with work when I needed 2-3 weeks off every time she got sick).

  • Being home full time with Hazel for a month or so once we pulled her out of childcare. This made me realise I need a couple of days a week to work, use my brain in a different way and focus on my professional passions.

What I learnt:

  • One of my favourite podcasts is Seize The Yay with Sarah Davidson and in an episode she recorded with Colleen Callander - Colleen shares per philosophy of having 'balance' in an 80:20 ratio. 80% of the time it's realistic to have the balance right in life but 20% of the time we may need to 'push' or have the balance out of whack. It's the 20% that allows us to really focus on our goals and priorities and then we can settle back into the 80:20 balance again afterwards. The point of this is that we cannot truly have the balance right 100% of the time and cutting ourselves some slack is key. It's okay to have short periods of time where we aren't in balance - e.g focussing more on our social lives, or work. However it isn't sustainable to do this all the time and can inevitably lead to burnout.

  • I love working 1:1 with families. I love having daily contact with families and holding their hands through the process of supporting their little ones to sleep and develop more predictable day routines. Of course I do have eBooks available on the website and the eCoaching course is available too - however the main part of my business is supporting families 1:1 either in home or virtually with sleep and settling.

  • It's okay to say no. Whether it be a social event or professional endeavour. We can do it all - just not all at once. Protect your energy, fit it more of the stuff that makes you feel calm and happy and shake off some of the stuff you don't like or that doesn't serve you. Since becoming a Mum, I am absolutely more aware of what I actually want to do and what I will enjoy. I'm just far more likely to say no to stuff I would have previously said yes to - and man does it feel good!!

  • Cherish the small things and the good in your life. We lost our beautiful 8 year old Burmese cat Alfie suddenly in the past week from a suspected snake bite. Finding him and saying goodbye was one of the hardest things i've had to do so far in my life (he was just like a family member for us). It's been a real eye opener for me to appreciate the things in life that I often take for granted. Sitting for 5 minutes each day to just think and reflect on the good stuff we are grateful for is a practice we can all benefit from.

So that's a wrap - 2021 in review.

Let's hope 2022 is far less of life in lockdown and far more adventure and fun. I know that so many things I learnt this year during lockdown - I intend to carry well into next year and the years to come. As annoying as lockdown was, it taught us some valuable lessons and really made me prioritise what I want in life and what makes me happy.

Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year to you all!



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