In this blog I want to talk about something important. It’s about my “purpose”. Actually, it probably should have a capital “P” because I really feel something enormous about my Purpose.
I was recently talking with a mum on the phone. She was struggling with a toddler and was seeking advice. Her toddler started to tantrum as we spoke. I asked this mum to repeat the words I said, and assured her that her little one would be calm. Sentence by sentence, this good mum repeated my words. And within 20 seconds her toddler was on her lap and peaceful.
I make family relationships better. I make families happy. This is my Purpose. It is why I started Happy Families.
To achieve that purpose, I occasionally enter into commercial arrangements with various organisations. Over the course of the last few years, I have been approached by dozens of commercial partners (I never approach them). They’ve asked if I’ll work with them to help them achieve their purpose. I say yes when I can, but only when I can also achieve my Purpose. It has to be a win/win. In fact, it has to be a win/win/win. You see, I only say yes if I feel like my audience, you guys, are going to get value from this partnership too.
All of the partnerships I have are valuable. They enable me to share useful messages to inspire families, and I insist that they all bring something to you, which is why I work hard to form partnerships that I believe in and see as helpful to you. It works. I get to help a client. I get to share content without charging you for it (while still earning an income to pay staff etc), and I get to help you.
Ok. That’s the background. Where is this going?
Well, I have a new partnership that I’m excited to share. I’m making a formal announcement because it’s a long-term commitment with a partner that shares my Purpose. I’m partnering with Nutricia, a company that produces food and nutrition for adulthood and early life – yes, this includes formula.
I know there are strong opinions out there. Believe me, I’ve heard them. Hence the blog.
Some of you have shared your opinions strenuously. So I’ve listened, and I’ve discussed these opinions with other experts in this field. I’ve also done my own thorough research and I’ve developed my opinions based on all of this. I’ll go into more detail on this later.
This partnership has been two years in the making. We are partnering to support parents and provide useful resources to help build resilience and wellbeing in our little ones. Right now, our goal (and my job) is to provide advice and to help manage stress and anxiety, deal with confinement and find power in solidarity within our homes and communities as we navigate this new reality.
This brings up some important questions, which I believe is important to answer honestly and transparently.
What is this partnership going to look like?
This partnership is with Nutricia as a company, however throughout the year I will be producing content that is sponsored by some of their specific brands. I will be completely transparent about who is sponsoring the content I am creating, as I always am, but it all rests on the backbone of this overarching partnership with Nutricia.
I want to be up front and clear, the science is indisputable. Breastfeeding is best. I am not a dietitian or medical specialist, so I can’t give advice around breastfeeding or nutrition. However, I will always advocate for breastfeeding and will remain consistent on this. But, having seen challenges with this in my own home, I’ll always support parents who can’t or choose not to for their own personal reasons.
What do I get out of this?
It’s essential that I am clear about this: this partnership is not about selling products or making a profit. That’s why I will never be advertising or talking about products.
With Nutricia supporting me to have a platform and contribute meaningfully to parents around Australia (and the world), this is all about rising to the challenge of the way our lives have been uprooted and come out the other side stronger and more connected as a family than ever.
The partnership with Nutricia is about supporting parents in this time of need – whatever the need is. Throughout the year, I’ll be given the platform to share my advice and ideas around how we can better connect with our children, how we can help them become resilient, and how we can have confidence our children will thrive in a constantly changing and challenging world.
What do you, an audience, get out of a partnership like this?
Value. Pure and simple. Because of the support I receive through this partnership, I am able to provide free advice, and in some cases I literally give away all of my materials – my partners fund me to give you free information.
Normally I’d write a book or host a webinar and charge you so I could derive an income from those in order to keep giving you advice. Because of partners, I am able to have an income while providing that information to you for free.
There are some people who strongly criticise the formula industry. Why am I choosing to partner with Nutricia?
- I’ll only ever partner with a brand I’m comfortable with. I have been having many discussions with friends, colleagues, midwives, and dieticians about this partnership. I’ve been doing my own research, had lengthy briefings to truly understand the brand and the products, and formed my own view from this. I am confident in Nutricia as a company and the plans we have set in motion to truly provide value to you and families across Australia.
- Parents should stop being shamed. Full stop. If you are unable to breastfeed, you should never be shamed. Parents need more support and fewer critics.
- Nutricia has always advocated the importance of safe and adequate nutrition for infants and toddlers by supporting and encouraging breastfeeding as the best start in life, and as voluntary signatories of the MAIF agreement they have promised to uphold this.
So, this blog is about being honest and transparent. I’m acknowledging that some people have strong opinions. I respect that. But here’s the thing: Nutricia is supporting me to give you, and parents all around Australia advice on how we can adjust to the new normal. How we can thrive. I’ll be talking to parents with children of all ages, but really focusing in on our little ones. This is a GOOD thing.
There are big plans for 2020. This is a long-term partnership, which means we can work together to create content and tools that genuinely help parents in a constantly changing environment. I want to help give you what you need, when you need it.
For now, I’ve created a series of videos and articles that help parents address some of the biggest issues they’re facing at the moment, from how to talk to your kids about COVID-19, to balancing working from home, being a mum and having your own time. I’m excited to share this with you soon.
Over the coming weeks and months, I will be bringing you my perspectives on what we can rediscover within ourselves and our family that we never had time for in the past. Most importantly, how we build the foundations of a resilient child and create the best possible environment to enable our children to cope with the challenges that life throws at all of us.
Nutricia are helping me with my Purpose: To help you make your families happier. I’m grateful for their support. And I’m grateful for yours.