With a passion for holistic, gentle parenting, Lyndell Finlayson uses both her professional and lived experiences to support families on their parenting journey, helping them to feel supported, validated, cared for and heard. She created Parenting with Peace to encourage and empower parents, by providing truly gentle and responsive techniques to support feeding, sleep and relationships, as well as tips on how parents can look after themselves while riding the parenting rollercoaster. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about what inspired her to start her business, the challenges she has overcome along the way, and her plans for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I have always dreamt of establishing a business that supports families in their gentle parenting journey. Having worked in perinatal mental health for many years, I saw the absolute need for early intervention and support, particularly in the postnatal period. Parents do not receive the support and care they need and deserve. So much focus is put into the preparation for labour and delivery, not on the days, weeks, months and years that follow. Which is funny isn’t it? Often the labour and the delivery turns out to be the easy part! It lasts for a few days at most! But then we take this tiny helpless newborn home who we are responsible for, for 18 years and beyond! I’ll never forget taking my daughter home and literally not knowing what to do with her, not to mention breastfeeding challenges and a baby who would not sleep and cried almost all night long unless being held upright! We felt so helpless when we couldn’t settle her. Why hadn’t we been taught about all of these challenges?
The transition to parenting is such an exciting time yet also terrifying! It’s a time where most parents seek out education, support and reassurance. The problem is, that parents can become even more overwhelmed with the myriad of advice out there that is conflicting! (Just in case they weren’t overwhelmed enough already!). This happens particularly when it comes to our children’s sleep! Infant and child sleep, or lack thereof, is a significant physical and psychological adjustment for parents to have to make. It’s hard! I had no idea what had hit me when I became a mum and had a baby who just would not sleep! It was so exhausting and I felt so worried that she wouldn’t grow and develop as she wasn’t sleeping like ‘the books’ and others said she ‘should’ be! I wondered what I was doing wrong.
So I wanted to use my own personal experience as well as my professional experience to support other families. I have a passion for holistic, gentle parenting and I am currently completing my Masters of Health in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health. My early parenting experience led me to specialise in perinatal and infant mental health nursing. Working in infant and child mental health and the Parent Infant Unit for many years, as well as training as a Holistic Sleep Coach and breastfeeding counsellor, has provided me with a comprehensive insight into the world of parenting and sleep!
I love supporting and empowering parents by providing them with truly gentle and responsive strategies to support their baby to sleep. The techniques I use protect the parent-infant attachment and bonding so will never involve leaving babies to cry. Parental mental health and the baby’s mental health are always at the forefront of the work I do.
I often say, “If only I knew then what I do now” in regards to my own parenting journey – I certainly would have done some things differently. I can share my experience and help families get the support, reassurance and sleep they desperately need and deserve. I’m flexible and understand that we as parents are all individuals, and our babies are all individuals – one treatment or technique won’t work for everyone. Where there is an ability, there is a responsibility. I have the education, qualifications, tools and the lived experience to support individuals in their parenting journey. I want them to feel supported, empowered, validated, cared for and heard.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Parenting with Peace only launched two months ago so we are in the beginning still! A lot of work has gone into establishing the business prior to opening though. I dedicated five months to completing my training to be a certified holistic sleep coach and have been completing my Masters of Health along with becoming a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor with the ABA. I was so lucky to come across a business course the incredible Pinky McKay was running called Boobie Business Bootcamp, at the perfect time. I signed up the night before the course was launching and it was the best decision! Pinky has been an amazing mentor and I have learnt so much from her and her course. It’s really exciting to feel like all of my hard work has been worth it as I begin my business.