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Meet A Houston Mom: Meet Caroline Pavlinik of Bedtime Boss

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?

I grew up in Boise, Idaho, went to college in Southern California, moved to Austin in 2012 and closed on our home in Houston in 2017 – two weeks prior to Harvey!

Child(ren) and Age(s)?

I have one daughter, Savannah Grace – 18 months.

One thing people would be surprised to know about you…

I was never one of those girls who grew up always wanting to be a mom; in fact, I didn’t think I wanted children until I was in my early 30’s. Before I got married and had my daughter, my heart (and home) was occupied by my “four legged kids” – my own two dogs and a rotating stream of foster pups. I knew my husband was “The One” when, on our third date, he stopped by specifically to help me coralle two puppies who had escaped from their crate and were stubbornly camping out under my bed. We succeeded at getting the pups out, and today he still politely tolerates a puppy (or two, or three) who finds its way into our home for fostering. Fortunately my daughter loves dogs – she is definitely following in her Mama’s footsteps.

Favorite local activities to do in Houston?

My husband and I fancy ourselves as foodies so we enjoy the restaurant scene in Houston tremendously. We also live close to the Height’s bike trail so we look forward to this time of year when we can get outside more frequently. We bought our daughter a front mount bike seat when she was about 10 months old and bike rides have quickly become a favorite family activity.

Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?

As we all know, going out to eat with a toddler can be a challenge, so we enjoy places with al fresco dining and outdoor space to run around. We are particularly enjoying the new Heights Water Works development and love Hop Doddy for families. There are so many families with young children there, I joked to the developer that he needed to install an entire stroller parking
section.

What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?

One of my favorite hidden gems in our area is a rum tiki bar called Lei Low. The façade is very unassuming, but as soon as you enter your senses are delightfully bombarded with authentic Polynesian décor and imaginative craft cocktails.

While my husband and I were dating long distance between Austin and Houston, this is where I politely told him, fueled partly by liquid courage, that while I enjoyed our relationship, I was doubtful of its long term potential since I would never leave my beloved Austin for Houston! Ha! Little did I know I’d be living a mile away from Lei Low a few short years later.

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share! 

I recently left 15 years in corporate America to start my own business, and I am loving every second of entrepreneur life!

When I returned to work after maternity leave, I wasn’t getting any sleep. I invested in a baby sleep coaching program and it saved my job, my marriage and my sanity! Months later I realized I could actually help other moms in the same situation, and make a living doing so. That’s how Bedtime Boss was born! I am a certified baby and toddler sleep consultant – coaching parents to help their little ones (age 3 months to 5 years) learn how to sleep through the night and take age appropriate naps

I also serve as President Elect for the Houston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Delta Delta – one of the nation’s largest fraternity alumnae chapters. Through an annual two-day, boutique shopping event called the SALE, our organization has donated over a Million dollars in the last five years to fund pediatric cancer research here in Houston.

Another organization where I volunteer is Rescued Pet Movement. Every week they transport 100+ dogs at risk for euthanasia in Houston’s city animal shelter to reputable animal rescue groups in the Western U.S. Fostering for RPM is an easier commitment for people who want to help animals but have limited time and resources. You only are required to foster for one to three weeks before the dog or cat is transported, and you sign an agreement acknowledging you cannot adopt the animal. If you are a parent with young children and can’t commit to a full time pet, I highly recommend fostering for RPM as a way to get that short term puppy fix!

How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?

I have been so heartened by the kindness and giving spirit of the Houston community. I have come across so many entrepreneurs in the mom and baby space who have all have been so supportive and encouraging of my new venture. Although I’m still fairly new to Houston, I can see how the strong feeling of community and connection is a reason why people choose to live here.

What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?

Childcare. Once I started working for myself, I soon realized that there was no way I could make this work and be a stay at home mom. It’s just not possible to get everything accomplished for my business and household during nap time or after bed time. I was very fortunate that my daughter was able to enroll in a three day a week Moms Day Out program near our home.

She’s loving the time with other children and I value the uninterrupted time for my business. I also am a firm believer in setting boundaries. I have “business hours” while my daughter is in daycare that cannot be interrupted by social engagements, housework or errands. Similarly, during time with my daughter, I try really hard to put away my phone and focus on her 100%.
It’s been a process figuring out what works best for our situation, but we’re learning our new
groove together.

What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?

I was on the fence for the longest time about having a child. On the one hand, I didn’t want to give up freedom and spontaneity. On the other hand, I didn’t want to miss out on what for many is life’s greatest adventure.

I would tell my former self to relax and not stress out. Everything will be okay. The joy that will come from being a mom (to a two legged person) is worth it. It is hands down worth the sacrifice!

Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?

White noise machine! I recommend them to all my clients for their baby’s nursery, but they also work wonders for adults. I recently started using one next to my bed. It completely drowns out by husband’s 6am alarm, household noise, and even his snoring! It’s been a game changer for my sleep- and I need eight hours thank you very much. : )

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