Being part of Families in the Loop has lots of perks. At the top of the list is the incredible group of Chicago professionals and business owners I’ve come to know over the past year. Each day they’re hard at work, achieving excellence in their industries and inspiring dreamy entrepreneurs like me to keep going. So this month I’m dedicating the Families in the Loop blog to these Chicago superstars. And since it’s the month of love, I’ve added a twist. I have asked these experts to share how love has factored into their career choice. Was it love at first sight? How about a breakup? Find out here, all throughout the month of February. Parents, it’s time to recharge our career batteries with FITL’s “Live It - Love It” career series.
A Swell Night's Sleep
By Janeen Hayward, Owner, swellbeing
It was August 2004, a year after my husband and I were married. I knew I wanted to help parents make the transition from coupledom to family, but I wasn’t really sure how to do this professionally. Then, I began working at a parenting center.
A few sessions into facilitating my first new mothers group, I realized that many new parents were consumed with the idea of sleep — specifically, how to get more for their babies and themselves. Through my training and studies, I came to understand the tremendous power sleep exerts on a parent’s mental health and well-being as well as how crucial it is to a developing child’s brain. This obsession with sleep, it turns out, is totally justified! After my first successful sleep consultation with new parents of a wide-eyed night owl of a four-month-old son, I knew I’d found true love.
Fast forward to December 2006, when I became a mother to my first daughter, Scarlett. The early weeks at home were so tough, and I was particularly frustrated by our breastfeeding challenges. My husband and I quickly reached out to a lactation consultant and the experience was transformational. Her empathic and practical advice was incredibly empowering, and made me realize I’d like to do the same for other new parents, in areas such as sleep, discipline, potty training, and sibling preparation.
In those sleep-deprived weeks after Scarlett came home, I launched my business, swellbeing. Now, when I talk with families, I do so with the intention to empower and support. As a mom and a consultant to moms and dads, I love how we are able to take our experiences and “pay it forward.” Every day, I connect with families in Chicago and beyond (even Vietnam!) and listen to their stories, fears, and triumphs. The moment I live for is when parents tell me that they finally feel like themselves again or that their child has launched a healthy new beginning. It energizes me and deepens my love for what I get to do every day.
More About Janeen Hayward
After giving birth to her first daughter in 2006, Janeen Hayward founded swellbeing, a parenting consultancy that helps new parents navigate the difficult terrain around raising and rearing happy, healthy children. As a child development expert with a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology,Janeen offers support and advice for popular concerns, including healthy sleep habits, toilet training, discipline issues and sibling preparation. Janeen provides private consultations to families in Chicago and New York City. For those outside the areas, she offers phone or Skype services, and frequently hosts webinars on a range of topics.
The adorable pic comes from here!
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