I am nearing the end of my four-month course to become a pediatric sleep consultant and I'm so excited! I'm studying with the Family Sleep Institute and it's no small project to get certified. But it's so exciting to be learning something new, complementary but different than what I used to do, after thirteen years in my old job as a school based pediatric nurse practitioner.
It also feels very strange to be a newbie again.
I have to do three case studies, helping families with children of varying ages. But I ended up accepting four families so that I could get as much experience as I could. I created a Google form -- I never knew such a thing existed -- and got eight responses from families interested in a pro-bono sleep consultation. I completed my first intake nine days ago, my only in-person one (required by the program to do at least one in person). I can see now that I did so many things wrong. I got way too bogged down in the nitty gritty and didn't do enough motivational interviewing, getting the family psyched up.
Yet to my amazement, this 2y11m old child is night-weaned and on her way to sleeping in her own bed all night long! I feel like I got very lucky with this first case but it has built my confidence tremendously and now I've intentionally picked a particularly challenging case to work on while I still have lots of support from classmates and instructors.
I'm hoping to finish my case studies before we leave Mexico for the States in late June though it's not due until mid July. But I feel like it will be too hard to be consistently productive while we are on the road.
Realistically, I doubt I'll do much with it over the summer unless folks initiate contact with me, but as soon as the girls go back to school at the end of August, I plan to throw myself into learning all the aspects of running my own business. Including marketing myself. Gulp. I hope to especially target sleep deprived SMCs because I know what it's like to be doing this alone, without family help, and how frustrating it is to be advised to "hand the baby to Dad and go to bed early!"
In an ideal world, I would love to combine this work with a couple of days, or even half days, of clinical work, keeping my hand in the water with pediatrics too, just in case. But working in Mexico is tricky, where nurse practitioner licenses aren't recognized. I have a lead on a job but I'm just not sure I want to pursue it. Or if I should prioritize this business.
But it's exciting to feel busier and more focused!