They say mothers can do anything, and so it proved for Raglan’s own baby whisperer on a whirlwind trip to Auckland last week.
Sharlene Poole – now a mother of two – pulled off two television appearances and a livestreamed Facebook interview in a single day to launch her latest book ‘Toddler Whispering’.
“I am better under pressure,” an exhausted but relieved Sharlene told the Chronicle.
Starting out with an interview on TVNZ 1’s ‘Breakfast’ show, she then progressed to a live ‘OH Baby’ magazine chat on Facebook less than two hours later, having breastfed nine-month-old Tia in between.
To cap off a busy day she was then a guest on Three’s ‘The Project’ that evening.
Sharlene’s no newcomer to the studio setting: she once regularly shared her baby whispering techniques on TV ONE’s ‘Good Morning’ programme. Even so she was “ridiculously” nervous about appearing on ‘The Project’ in case she missed one of the quick-fire jokes.
But host Jesse Mulligan put Sharlene at ease when she was getting her hair and make-up done by asking for some tips on dealing with his 10 month old, and that got her mind in work mode.
“The whole atmosphere was very friendly despite (my) earlier nerves,” she says.
‘Toddler Whispering’ is a companion guide to Sharlene’s successful ‘Baby Whispering’ book – published by Penguin in 2012 – which covered the first year of a baby’s life. Her new book covers the following four years, divided into two main age groups (1-2 and 2-5) looking at commonly asked questions from parents, plus material on everything from routines to behaviour management.
Another local, Lotte Hedley, was contracted by Penguin to do the photography which includes the cover shot of Sharlene with toddler George on her shoulders at the beach in Raglan.
The 43 year old has found it a challenge juggling her baby whispering business and writing a book with the demands of motherhood over the past few years.
“It’s definitely hard,” she reckons. “If the job was just phone consults and no travel it would be fine.”
But Sharlene needs to do a couple of seminars in Auckland as guest speaker for the Parenting Place every (school) term to keep her profile with the new generation of mums who might’ve missed out back in 2012 when she started up.
“It’s really good for business,” she insists.
She still does a few private home visits around Raglan, averaging one to two clients each month. But she’s given her trademark overnight stays, which involve settling newborns and getting them into routines, a miss until Tia’s weaned.
Apart from that, her over-the-phone consults and Little Miracles online presence – the website, baby blogs, Facebook and Instagram – keep business booming.
The one-time preschool teacher is arguably the country’s leading baby expert with many seminars, instructional DVDs, television appearances and now two parenting guides to her credit.