How many kids do you have and what are their age(s)?
I have one son, a sweet little almost 2-year-old son named Julian.
When and why did you move to Stamford?
My husband and I lived in NYC for a few years, moved to DC, and then he got a job in the city again. We loved NYC but with a baby we knew we wanted somewhere a little calmer, quieter, and with more space than what the city could offer us. We looked all over and loved Connecticut as soon as we saw it. I grew up in Cincinnati, so living near a beach is probably the most exciting part!
What’s your favorite family activity in Stamford?
I love going to the Stamford Nature Center! My husband and I will take our toddler to visit the animals at the farm, take nature walks on the hiking trails, and play on the playground. I love watching my little one connect with nature. Bonus: the fresh air and activity is the perfect recipe for a long nap!
What are your diaper bag must haves when you leave the house?
Snacks, a change of clothes, and I should probably add Band-Aids to the list! He’s almost two and experiencing summer for all that it has to offer. That means never letting a puddle, sand box, or mud pit go untouched.
What’s been your favorite “mommy moment” so far?
There are so many good ones, but his hugs and kisses are hard to beat. The last step in his bedtime routine is hugs and kisses. Lately he likes to give kisses through the crib rails. He will give kisses to me, then my husband, then lay down and say, “I love you” before we turn out the lights. My heart melts every night!
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
I take special care to plan some me time during his naps a couple of days a week. It is so hard for moms to do, but when I am in the routine of it I feel so much better. Usually I make myself tea, read a book or watch a TV show, and if I really want to pamper myself I’ll put on a face mask. Also, running any errand by myself feels pretty luxurious these days.
Tell us about your career.
I really think I have found the best job in the world! I am an infant and child sleep consultant, the owner of Hillary Catherine LLC. I work with families all over whose babies or children are struggling with sleep. I believe a well-rested child is more curious and ready to take on challenges, and a well-rested parent is more present and can be the kind of parent they really want to be. I struggled with my son’s sleep for 9 months before hiring a sleep consultant. The change I saw in my baby, and in myself was life changing! So, I learned everything I could about infant and child sleep, got certified, and opened my own business. I have never looked back!
What do you love about your job?
We all know a good night’s sleep is the foundation for a good day. I love that I get to help parents teach their children skills that will last a lifetime. They sleep better, which makes the whole family happier, but it also means the child is more able to engage, play, learn, and build skills while they are awake. Nothing makes me happier than getting on the phone with a parent whose child just slept through the night for the first time and hearing them say, “She is just so happy!”
How do you balance career & mommyhood?
Like self-care, this is something I have to be very conscientious of. I utilize my planner and decide what I am going to do at what time. When it is mom time I do my best to put work out of mind and focus entirely on my family. Then, when I sit down at my desk, I have a list of tasks to help me maximize my time.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
To take the advice that works for you and your baby and leave the rest behind. My mom gave me this advice. I think it today’s world, with the internet constantly telling moms different things about what to do, how to do it, and passing judgements it can be hard to feel like you are ever doing it right. Mom guilt is real, and it isn’t productive for anyone. The truth, of course, is that every baby and every family is different. You know your baby best. Find what makes you and your baby happy and healthy, then trust that it is right. My mom also liked to point out that when something isn’t working anymore you can change your mind, but you just don’t have to change because someone else tells you to.