So here we go... the uncensored truth about why I run Mum and Baby Classes and why they mean so much more than a daily activity.
I started out this journey running classes with 3 Mums and 1 Dad in a little church hall in our village. Yes I instantly fell in love... but I do love babies. After having 2 of my own and still having that yearning for another child it filled that little hole deep inside me that I was trying to suppress! Their lovely squidgy faces, watching them change week by week and listening to the parents.
As much as I loved the babies and still do, it was the parents that drew me in. The diversity of every mum and dads situation, the instant relief I saw on their faces when they entered a room full of other adults in a similar situation to them. It dawned on me THAT WAS ME 9 years previously!
When I had my first daughter I was 22. I had been working as a freelance fitness teacher after moving back to the UK from Greece. Before my European adventure I was at university and had moved back to a local village around the corner from my home town in Yorkshire. As it was years since I had lived there I found that I didn't know anyone anymore. During the initial few weeks of having our baby home we were inundated with visitors; family and friends who had travelled across the country. Once this hype had died down the reality of being at home with a newborn became apparent. I had no friends locally, I had family and they were amazing at coming to see us and offering support. My mum would rush over on her lunch hour and bring much needed relief. This support got me through the first few months but to me it was so apparent that the whole world was at work and I was at home on my own with this tiny, beautiful girl.
I felt isolated and if I am honest with myself I was lonely.
I got to a point where walking around Asda for the 3rd time in a week just wasn't cutting it anymore, I needed interaction with people. I'm not a shy person, I will happily walk into a room and chat to people but I also wasn't the same person. It took me a while but I decided to join a local Baby Yoga class. Coming from a fitness background I really had the vision of me and my little bundle doing warrior pose together and downward dog.
On that first day I rocked up in my lycra leggings, sports bra and towel super hyped and ready. Boy how wrong I was, the class was lovely, it just wasn't what I expected. There was 6 of us in a little room and we sang a bit and we did some massage... but where was the Yoga? Where was the friendly chat I had been so hoping to have? The other 5 mums were from an NCT group and were all breastfeeding, something I had longed to do, and when we struggled I had massively beaten myself up about. These mums were nice, they weren't rude, they weren't nasty, they were just in their group and at no point did we become part of the chat. I persevered for the remaining 5 weeks and left early in the final class claiming my daughter was 'tired after her injections at the beginning of the week'. Really I left because in the final week there was biscuits and tea after the session and I really couldn't bear being there.
This is no sob story, I tried again and joined a local baby group at what was then a Sure Start Centre.... what a fantastic place! I will never forget the woman who ran it, she was the most welcoming and lovely lady. The first week I went in and she talked to me about my daughter and how I was. I made some fantastic friends at that group and still to this day, 9 years on, hold the 2 ladies who became my lifeline dear to my heart. Their friendship was what I needed!
That is what I saw in the women and men who entered my classes, I wanted no one to be sat on their own and not speak or be spoken to. I made it my mission in every single class and still do to this day. If someone comes alone they get introduced, I make a conscious effort to speak to each mum before and after class and recognise their child. This is brain training at its best, and my memory is shocking but I can now remember a class full of names in a week or 2!
Speaking to parents daily and really listening to them I am more than just their BabyBeats teacher, I listen to their problems, their rants about partners, their funny stories, I have laughed and I have cried with them. I have made lasting friendships with them and want every parent whether that be Mother or Father to know they can enter my class and it be a safe space for them.
Yes we run Mum and Baby classes, Yes we teach actual Yoga in our classes but we are also here for You, the parents.
This is what I strive for, this isn't just a job, this a passion and I LOVE IT!
Enjoying some play time together as Toddlers with some much needed Coffee and Cake and for us Mums!
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