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Intro: Welcome to Becoming a Sleep Consultant! I’m your host Jayne Havens, a certified sleep consultant and founder of both Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. On this podcast, I’ll be discussing the business side of sleep consulting. You’ll have an insider’s view on launching, growing, and even scaling a sleep consulting business. This is not a podcast about sleep training. This is a podcast about business building and entrepreneurship.
Jayne Havens: Jenèt is a certified postpartum doula, pediatric sleep consultant, and lactation educator. She’s also a wife and mom to seven children. She is passionate about supporting families with young children, especially new mothers. Jenèt believes that when a mother is well-rested and cared for, the entire family benefits. Through her business, ‘The Night Mommy,’ Jenèt provides daytime and overnight postpartum support, sleep consulting, and lactation education. Jenèt, I’m so excited to have you on the podcast today.
Jenèt Morrison: I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.
Jayne Havens: Of course. I just have to start this conversation by telling everyone that’s listening that, I guess, what I always say to you, I truly think that you are a total star. I don’t mean to make you blush, but it’s true. I knew it from the second we Zoomed together, I just had to have you enrolled in CPSM. When we first met, I feel like you told me you were booked out, like solid. You had only been a postpartum doula for, I think, about a year at that point. I guess for those listening and trying to figure out how to get their businesses off the ground—whether it be a doula business, or a sleep consulting business, or maybe both—what would you say has been the secret to your success, especially in the early months?
Jenèt Morrison: I just think I have such a passion as a mom. I’ve experienced postpartum seven times myself. I also was that mom who tried to do everything myself. I didn’t really accept help when I had my own babies. Becoming a postpartum doula and getting to give support to new moms, and to let them know that it’s actually, really, I think, brave to ask for help and to accept support, it really has just changed my life. I’ve been very fortunate that, in the beginning, I had some clients that were just telling their friends, like, “You have to get her.” They were referring friends. It made those clients really easy, because their friends that they trusted were giving them high recommendations about me.
Jayne Havens: I think that that really stems from truly loving what you do. I wrote down the three words ‘passion driven success.’ When I think of you, I think of passion driven success. You are just so passionate about the work that you do. You pour your heart, your soul, your blood, sweat, and tears into your work. That shows through. I love that you are getting referrals right away, because that is the sort of the business model that I teach, as well. It’s like show up, do a good job, support your clients at the highest level possible, and those families will refer you to their friends. I love that that’s what happened to you as well.
Jenèt Morrison: Yes, thank you so much.
Jayne Havens: It’s really the best feeling. It really helps you to get momentum. I would imagine, I think this happened for you. It’s really like a snowball effect, where one client turns into three or four if they have friends, and they’re sharing your name with all of their friends.
Jenèt Morrison: Yes. Actually, I have a few clients. They joke with me that when they get pregnant for the second time around, I’m going to be the first call that they make, not their OB. Because they’re like, “I want to make sure that I book you in plenty of time when baby number two comes.” So, it’s an honor.
Jayne Havens: I love that. I guess, my next question is, with a full book of business as a postpartum doula, why did you decide to add sleep consulting into the mix? Was it that your clients were craving this type of support? Did you see it as a way to level up your already successful business, or maybe it was a little bit of both?
Jenèt Morrison: Yes, I would say it was a little bit of both. I found myself working as many overnights because I mainly do overnight support. I was working pretty much as many as I could and booked out pretty far in advance. I realized that I’m only one person, and so I wanted to be able to grow my business, be able to support more families at a time. I knew that I could do that virtually. Also, once I started working with a lot of clients, I found that sleep and lactation were the two areas that kept coming up commonly for my clients where they needed extra support. So, I actually got certified as a lactation educator first. Then I knew that sleep was the next certification to add to my resume.
Jayne Havens: Sure. As a doula and a sleep consultant, what is the sleep consulting piece look like for you? I think you’re doing both in-home and virtual sleep consulting. Is that right? If so, do you prefer the in-home work? Do you prefer the virtual work? Do you love it all?
Jenèt Morrison: I love it all, I have to say. To be honest, my very first in-home sleep consulting client, it was so much harder than I thought it was going to be. Like I said, I mostly do overnight support with my postpartum clients. I thought, “Oh, I can do this. I know how to do this.” It was a whole different ballgame. It was a family with a five-month-old. It’s such a different approach when you’re doing sleep training as opposed to supporting a family with a newborn.
I’m going to be honest that after the first night, it was so hard that the second night when it was time for me to go, I cried to my husband. I was like, “This is so hard.” But the second night was so much better. The parents were so grateful. By the third night, we were seeing a huge improvement. It was really, really rewarding. The family, just by the end of it, they were so grateful. We got their five-month-old that had been breastfed to sleep her whole life and just was waking up every hour and a half to two hours all night, we got her going down to bed at the same time every night and sleeping, only waking up for one feed. Her mom and dad thought it wouldn’t be possible. I love the in-person. As a parent myself, I get the gift of sleep. So, it’s really rewarding to be able to do that.
Jayne Havens: Also, probably, that gift of support, right?
Jenèt Morrison: Yes.
Jayne Havens: Even though it was hard on you, too, as a first timer, the way that you were able to reflect on that and see afterwards, like, wow. Like, “I was really instrumental in helping this family to achieve their goals.” I think it’s really worth pointing out that this little breastfed baby was still eating in the middle of the night. Because I can’t stand when the sleep training haters come out to say that sleep training ruins the breastfeeding relationship, and the baby won’t eat in the middle of the night once they are sleep trained. That is just flat out not true. I see it every day in my business. I work with breastfed babies all the time. They still wake up to eat in the middle of the night if they’re hungry, and parents still feed them if they want to. I’m glad that that was your story. I’m glad that you were able to support them. I wonder if virtual support would have been enough for that family. If it was really tough, I wonder if virtual support would have been enough. Maybe it would. We’ll never know. But I love that you were there and got them over the hump.
Jenèt Morrison: Yeah, and I think it has given me a new appreciation for my clients that I do support virtually before that. It was so easy to write the sleep plan and tell them, “Well, this is what you’re going to do,” be their cheerleader and encourage them. But it was a whole other thing to actually, physically, be there and see how challenging it was, those first two nights. I feel like after that experience, I’ve been able to be a little more gentle with some of my clients that have come to me since then. It has helped me support them better.
Jayne Havens: I always say when I have a tough situation that happens in my family — it could be anything. It could be sleep related. My son right now is having a hard time at sleepaway camp. It’s breaking my heart that he was having a hard time there, and I’m not there to cuddle him and provide that support right there in that moment for him. It always adds a layer of empathy. It helps me to get back to basics and be really present and empathetic for what my clients are going through. I think it’s so important. When one of my kids wakes up in the middle of the night, sick, they’re screaming and crying, and they have a fever, and then I’m wrecked the next day because I just had to be up once with them for 45 minutes until the Advil kicked in — I am destroyed. Then I have to remember some of my clients have been sleep deprived for months or years waking up every hour and a half. It sort of puts you in that place, being better positioned to help your clients when you’re faced with it.
Jenèt Morrison: Yes.
Jayne Havens: What about virtual support? Are you supporting families virtually while you were also taking on in-home overnight jobs? Is that right?
Jenèt Morrison: Yes, that’s correct. Yes.
Jayne Havens: What does that look like for you? Tell us about your virtual support. I think it looks a little different for everybody. How does it look for you to support your clients virtually?
Jenèt Morrison: I usually will chat with the parents and get a feel for what’s going on, what their struggles are surrounding sleep. Then we’d have our Zoom call and see what their goals are. I write up a sleep plan for them that I feel is most appropriate for the baby’s age and parent’s comfort level. Then I am supporting them for two weeks at a time. They can text me, which they do. I check in with them every single day. Usually, at the end of the two weeks, we do another Zoom call. They can ask me any other questions that they have for the next phase that they’re getting ready to go into.
It’s been really great. I’ve found that a lot of my postpartum doula clients, I’m typically with them anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. I talk about the fact that I’m a sleep consultant from the very beginning. With a lot of them, they know that they want to utilize those services. So, some of them will book it at the time that I’m finishing supporting them as a doula. It makes it so easy, because we already have that comfort level. They trust me, and I’m familiar with their setup at home, their baby’s temperament, and their parenting style. So, it’s really been a great addition to my postpartum doula business.
Jayne Havens: That makes me so happy. You’re truly doing exactly what I tell other doulas who want to become sleep consultants. That’s exactly what I tell them to do. Doulas always ask me, like, “How am I going to get clients as a sleep consultant?” I’m like, “Well, you’re going to do a really good job as a doula. Then after about 12 weeks, you’re going to go on to your next job. Your first job is going to know that you’re also a sleep consultant. Then when they’re ready to work on establishing those independent sleep skills, if you haven’t already done that during the time that you’re there or if the baby is not fully ready yet, then they’re going to call you back. They’re going to hire you as their sleep consultant.” I know you’re in California. Maybe one of your clients has a college roommate living in Colorado, who has a six-month-old that’s struggling with sleep. Maybe they’re on the phone with their college roommate bragging about how amazing their postpartum doula is. She also happens to be a sleep consultant. The college roommate is like, “My six-month-old is up every 45 minutes. Can you send her number?” It sounds like that’s exactly what you’re doing. I love that.
Jenèt Morrison: Thank you.
Jayne Havens: You’ve always sort of struck me as a very competent entrepreneur. Frankly, people say this about me, too. I know that even when you seem confident, there have to be times when you doubt or question your decisions, right? Because I do that, too. I guess, I’m going to ask you, did you have any objections to adding sleep consulting to your doula business? What was holding you back? How did you get through that?
Jenèt Morrison: I think one of the main things was that, to be honest, out of my seven babies, a lot of them were not great sleepers. There was that obstacle where I felt like, am I a qualified person to help other parents with independent sleep? The other one was just the fact that my business name was — my name with postpartum doula service is attached to it. I thought, is this going to be a separate business? How am I going to add this to my already existing business? Ultimately, I did end up changing my business name altogether and just putting them both under the same umbrella, same website, et cetera. I think also just figuring out how it was going to add sleep consulting to an already very busy schedule. I know you say this a lot, too. It’s awesome. You can really do it from anywhere. I mean, I can be at the pool with my kids and texting with clients, checking in on them. It has worked for for me.
Jayne Havens: Actually, your previous concerns are super normal. Actually, a lot of the women who end up enrolling in CPSM also have children who would be described as not great sleepers. One thing parents often say to me is, like, “I want to take this course and learn it, so that I can help my own kids,” and then feel empowered to help others. You would not be the only one in that category. I also think it’s interesting that you felt boxed in by your business name. I think that that is something that could really make a very timid, green entrepreneur feel very, very stuck. It’s such a silly thing. Because when you look back on it, it’s no big deal that you changed your business name. I’m sure you put a lot of thought into it, because you and I discussed it. At the time, I’m sure you felt very, very boxed in. That is just a limitation that you were placing on yourself, right? Nobody was placing that limitation on you. Once you decided, okay, this business name is not the be all, end all, then you were sort of free. I love that.
Jenèt Morrison: And realizing like I’m the boss. I get to make those decisions. I’m not working for somebody else. It’s my business. So, yeah, it was really empowering to take that leap, revamp my website, and change the name and branding. It was a good lesson for me, that even though it was a little bit scary, it has worked out really well.
Jayne Havens: Going back to those three words, passion driven success, I think, ultimately, you chose to lead with your passion. You were really driven to be successful, even if that meant to take on something that felt hard, and like a squiggly line instead of taking the hypotenuse, right? You’re like, “I’m going to figure out a way to make this work for my business.” Frankly, honestly, I think if you had even kept your business name the same, that would have been fine, too. But you were feeling that wasn’t aligned. In order for you to feel better about the direction that you are going into, you needed to change that for yourself. I’m glad you did.
Jenèt Morrison: Yes, me too.
Jayne Havens: What are your goals for the next few years? What do you have coming down the pipeline? What sort of things do you want to be doing in your business?
Jenèt Morrison: Well, I’m really excited. I have a few people that are actually in the process of getting certified as postpartum doulas. I’m planning to expand and have a team, so I’ll be able to help more families. At this point, I’m booked until March for in-person support. I continue to get inquiries from people that were referred to me or that have just found me and are looking for support. I have to sometimes turn them away, obviously, if I’m already booked with another client.
I’m really excited about adding some consultants to my team and being able to serve more families. Again, it’s scary. Because I feel like I’ve spent this time building my brand and my business, and then to let other people represent your business is a little bit scary. But again, I’m excited about it. I feel like if you’re not a little bit scared, you’re not growing. I don’t ever want to just stay stuck or stay in my comfort zone. I love to challenge myself. I feel like on the other side of those scary feelings is always growth and the next level that you want to be at.
Jayne Havens: I totally agree. I just totally agree. I knew that. I loved you from the start. The first time we spoke, I’m like me, her.
Jenèt Morrison: The feeling is mutual, for sure.
Jayne Havens: In my community. I just feel like you get it. You’ve always got it. Everything you do is just spot on. What about family life? How do you manage your seven kids and your big happy family, and then also your successful career? Because I think that that is something that most moms really struggle with. I feel that way, sometimes. I only have two kids. I feel like I can either mom really well, or I can work really well. It feels really hard to do both of those things really well, at the same time, sometimes. How do you handle that?
Jenèt Morrison: It’s really been teaching me lessons about myself that I didn’t really know before. I didn’t realize how much of a control freak I was when it came to my kids. Honestly, when you have seven and you have a business, too, it’s like, another baby. I had to really let go of some of that control and look at, okay, what are my priorities that I want to be able to continue to do myself, for my family? Then what are the things that I can get help doing?
Jayne Havens: Outsource, yeah.
Jenèt Morrison: Exactly. Like for the first time in the 24 years that I’ve been married and have been a mom. Just two months ago, I hired someone to come and clean our house a couple times a month. That was something that I always felt like I needed to do and put that pressure on myself. Now it’s like, “Why didn’t I do this sooner? It’s the best thing ever.” Also, I really love to make dinner for my kids. Some days, I’m busy working from home. If I have to go and do an overnight and I’m trying to rest, I can’t get to the store, make dinner, get my rest time in before I go work in overnight. I’ve had to figure that out, too. I use Instacart so much more now. Because going to the grocery store before used to be like my time away from my kids and my break. Now it’s like, well, I need to use that time doing other things at home. So, I get my groceries delivered. But then, I’m able to still make dinner for my kids, which is important to me, for my family. Also, my husband has really, I have to say, stepped up as a dad since I’ve started my business. I definitely don’t do it all myself. I have help.
Jayne Havens: I think beyond the logistics of managing a household with seven kids, a business, and your marriage, I also think there’s a big mindset piece that comes into play, where it’s not just the logistics of making the home life and the work life all happen but the mindset work that comes along with—just like you said—letting go of some of the control that you used to hold so tightly, too.
I’ve had to make peace. I was just having a conversation with my daughter about school next year. I’m going to put my kids into aftercare one day a week, like one day a week. After school, they’re going to stay at school. Actually, the way I look at it is like my kid’s school has all of these after school programs. They’re not just going to be running around in a cafeteria. They’re going to get to do a cooking class, or robotics, or STEM. They actually are going to have a really great program.
Jenèt Morrison: Yeah, they’ll probably ask you for another day.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think so, too. My daughter was laying on the guilt so thick, like, “I’m going to have to be a kid that goes to aftercare. You’re going to leave me? I want to spend time with you in the afternoons,” laying it on. From a mindset perspective, I needed to get to a place where I recognize. I understand that she’s disappointed, because I’m always that mom that’s first in line in carpool line, first to pick up the kids. I’m always there every afternoon to unpack their backpacks and get an early dinner on the table. As my business grows, things need to change. It’s not necessarily going to be a bad thing. It’s just a change. I actually think think they’re going to thrive one day a week in aftercare. I don’t think this is going to be a negative for them. I think the mindset work that goes into getting yourself to a place where you can make those decisions, that look different than what you’re used to, for me, is the hardest part.
Jenèt Morrison: I feel like I completely agree with you. It’s sort of like a practice what I preach. Because I go into these new moms’ homes. I’m telling them it’s okay to ask for the help that you need and that you don’t have to do it all. I want to be accountable and have that conversation with myself periodically and realize like, okay, what balls am I dropping? What can I do to not be beating myself up for it? Also, to give myself grace as a mom. I think, honestly, it has made me a better mom to have this business that I am so passionate about. That is so, so, so rewarding. A happier mom is a win for my kids. It’s not taking something away from them. It’s making their home life better, I believe.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I completely agree. Just the way that you’ve made a career out of supporting other moms, other parents, you deserve that same support, right? You’re a mom, too. Once you’re out there supporting moms — I’ve noticed this with myself. I am more apt now to line up support for myself, because I spend all day supporting other parents. So, I recognize that value. I see what a transformation it gives to my clients to have that support. I say to myself I’m going to do this for myself. Because my clients are out there doing things for themselves. I’m going to do it for myself, too. You’re right. I do think that that leads to just an overall happier family and just a happier life, right?
Jenèt Morrison: Yes.
Jayne Havens: Before we wrap up, I wanted to give you the opportunity to share a little bit about everything you offer in your Etsy shop. Because I just think all the other stuff that you do is so cool — your book, your boxes. Tell us about it. Then tell everybody where they can find you on social media.
Jenèt Morrison: Oh, thank you. I have my Etsy shop. I sell my book that I wrote inspired by my work as a postpartum doula, specifically, overnight. It’s a gift that I give to my clients when we’re wrapping up. It’s sort of like a message from me to the baby about the time that we spent together. It’s been really awesome. I’ve had so many other postpartum doulas from all over the world buy it and give it as gifts to their clients, and send me messages about how touching it was and how they always we’re looking for something like it. These babies are so tiny when we work with them, that they’re not going to remember us, but we always remember them.
I also have Postpartum Support Boxes for new moms. I just think a lot of times what happens is, women get so much attention while they’re pregnant. Then the minute the baby is born, it’s like it’s all about the baby. People are bringing gifts that are usually baby clothes and more baby clothes. Mom is over here, like, “Hello, I just went through this really crazy experience of giving birth to this baby. I’m now taking care of it.” I put this box, together with some of my favorite products, that I think make a new mom feel loved and cared for herself and give her that permission to just take the time that she needs to let herself heal and get to know her baby. I have a large one, and then I also have a smaller one. I also have postpartum positive affirmations for new moms. They’re just some cards that are a fun gift to give to a new mom. On those hard days, she can look at one, read an affirmation to herself, and remind herself how she’s not alone, that this, too, will pass basically, and remind her that she is everything that her baby needs.
Jayne Havens: If all of this isn’t passion driven success, then I don’t know what else it would be. All of this, I just love it. For what it’s worth, I have Jenèt’s book. I have had it in my four-year-old. Well, now she’s six. My daughter was four when I bought it. We read it all the time. She loves it, one of her favorite bedtime books.
Jenèt Morrison: That makes me so happy.
Jayne Havens: It’s just really a sweet book. Before we wrap up, tell everybody where they can find you on social media so they can reach out if they want to learn more about your services or just follow you for inspiration.
Jenèt Morrison: Sure. I am on Facebook and Instagram, The Night Mommy. I’m also on TikTok, which is very new, so I don’t have a lot of content on there. But definitely, I am on Facebook and Instagram. I’m pretty active on both of those — The Night Mommy.
Jayne Havens: Perfect. Thank you so much for chatting with me today, and congratulations on all of your success.
Jenèt Morrison: Thank you, Jayne.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, it would mean so much to me if you would rate, review, and subscribe. When you rate, review, and subscribe, this helps the podcast reach a greater audience. I am so grateful for your support. If you would like to learn more about how you can become a certified sleep consultant, head over to my Facebook Group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant or to my website thecpsm.com. Thanks so much, and I hope you will tune in for the next episode.