I didn’t know you did that

So it has come to my attention I am not good at marketing what I do! I have posted and shared and created a website and thought I was doing a great job at letting people know what I do and what it can help with. But it seems I am not doing that great a job when I find friends are not aware of different aspects of my business.

I find it quite hard to chat about what I do (and get paid for i – but that’s a different story.) For a long while I was just a Babywearing Consultant, but before that I was a Daisy Birthing teacher, Daisy Baby Yoga and Massage teacher and a Toddler Yoga Teacher. Then I was for a brief period a BraLady specialising in maternity and breastfeeding bras. I have done training with La Leche League to become a leader but needed to let that slide right at the end when Bryn was born as there just wasn’t time and things changed. Then through a sudden burst of activity when Bryn died I have trained with 2 different people to offer Rebozo massage for pregnancy and labour, attended a Spinning Babies workshop. A Birth Art Cafe Mentors training, Sacred Pregnancy Mini Retreat Facilitator, Sacred Postpartum work for V Steams and Postpartum Herbal Teas, and Belly Wrapping and a workshop on Closing the Bones and completed the first part of a Dancing for Birth Facilitators course. In what seems to be a move away from pregnancy and birth I have trained as a Foot Health Practitioner with the Restorative Exercises Institute.

Yes, I love learning and I am so passionate about pregnancy, birth and motherhood. So the difficulty comes with trying to hone this all down and focus on what I would like to offer rather than being so overwhelmed by everything I have done.

I spent a lot, a huge amount of time wondering whether I could continue working with pregnant mums and new babies – many times during my pregnancy with Bryn and while he was alive. A kind of craziness overcame me after he died – many of the courses I took that year I was also still pumping and donating breastmilk to two babies, it did lead to questions which at times were difficult to answer. Many times I sat back and asked myself what on earth I was doing, spending all this money, time and energy taking these courses and not really knowing if this was a direction I wanted to follow. But it is, quite frankly, an enormous passion this pregnancy and baby work. It has taken me completely by surprise. Before I had my first baby I was so not bothered by babies, rarely noticed a pregnant woman. But once I became pregnant it was a completely different matter. I couldn’t imagine not doing this. Even after the miscarriage in November and knowing I should be sitting here with a big pregnant belly it’s still all consuming.

It’s an amazing, incredible, magical, beautiful thing to grow a baby, birth it, nurture it. But it’s also comes with tiredness, exhaustion, bewilderment, worry…

And I guess that is where I come in – wanting to create a space for pregnant women and mums to come and explore their feelings and discover their strengths. Share their stories and listen to others. By sharing and listening we can not only help each other solve problems but also realise we aren’t the only ones going through these situations – because it certainly feels like that at times. And importantly discovering our strengths, our intuition, trust ourselves that we do know what’s best for our children and finding the courage to stick to our guns when we need to. Creating a circle of support to help us on our journey, celebrate with us, hold us when we need it.

So what d I do?

I am working a lot on my business at the moment as well as on myself – such hardwork, lots of thinking, lots of being aware of what makes me uncomfortable, why I feel anxious about sending someone an invoice, why I try and over-provide and undercharge. Why it’s so hard to just sit down and write and talk about what I do. (did I say I was good at procrastinating? Did you notice I needed to put a paragraph after I asked myself the question ‘what do I do? – yep, I can spend a lot of energy procrastinating – in fact it is hard not to just walk away from the keyboard right now and not finish this blog post)

I have trained with 3 different Babywearing Schools now and run a sling library as well as workshops and private consultations. – Why mention the 3 training schools? Because they themselves have taken me on a journey of discovery and on the way met some amazing people. (oh look I have obliterated the information that I run consultations, work shops and a sling library in a small paragraph of waffle – let me start again)

So what do I do?

I am a Babywearing Consultant – I run a sling library, private consultations and group workshops. You can learn about many different slings, learn how to use them, get help with more specific problems and hire a sling. I love how a sling can enable a parent to keep a baby close, emulate that womb-like feeling a baby needs in the first few months. And how it gives them a safe place to view the world from as they get older. Amazing how much more you can get doen having your baby in a sling and makes walks and shopping so much fun t have someone to chat with. I struggled to get to grips with slings, having them comfy for a long period of time was more luck than judgement. My first consultant course was purely for me to learn how to wrap but I soon saw that being able to show and help people in person made for a much easier time. There’s something very special about seeing the ‘aha’ moment of a parent mastering a sling and nothing beats a baby asleep and content in a sling.

I am a Birth Art Cafe Mentor – you can come and spend 2 hours with a small group of women and explore your feelings, fears and strengths on pregnancy, birth and motherhood using art and creativity. Using art helps you to get out of left brain thinking and into right brain thinking. (right brain thinking is more intuitive, holistic, big picture, subjective thinking – essential for birth and motherhood!). Having never had much confidence with putting paint on paper I was very interested in this course. I read about it in Birthing From Within (my now first suggestion if anyone asks me for a good pregnancy book). The way feelings, emotions, thoughts can be expressed as you paint and allow yourself to be present in the moment is amazing. I have had great responses from both pregnant women and mums with older babies on the positive benefits of coming to a birth art cafe session.

I am a Foot Health Practitioner – I can help you understand your foot alignment, how this affects the rest of your body, and some simple but effective exercises to help correct issues. Also to understand shoe choice and how this can effect alignment. Yep this is not just pregnancy related – although it can greatly help with reducing or preventing ‘normal’ pregnancy ailments (such as pelvic pain, foot pain and back pain). I struggled with knee and back pain for many years – being told it was genetic and just something I had to deal with. Endless visits to a chiropractor or osteopath every year to keep a handle on it. I discovered a blog from a biomechanic and was truly stunned to realise that my issues stemmed from poor alignment, creating stress and strains on muscles and ligaments. Daily exercises  have helped reduce my aches and pains and I soon know if I have spent too much time sitting down. It all stems from the feet and my journey is taking me onto minimal shes (as in shoes with very soft soles) not only is this improving my balance (I can now walk in a straight line – something the female members of my family have always had a problem with) but my bunion pain is reducing. I am very interested in helping parents understand how soft soled shoes are important for their little ones and why when they wear wellies they fall over so much more. I can see this would help pregnant women so much with easing and preventing pelvic, hip, knee and foot issues and stands them in good stead for recovery after birth. And yes just people in general who want to learn more about their feet and how important they are and the impact a slightly turned out foot can have on their whole body

I have a new project Foot Sense – parents and children exploring the above but in a fun way using games, exercises and a sensory path. (The first one will run in Colchester for a Home Ed group). Oh my, I am looking forward to this! Something I have been thinking about for ages and then a fellow home edd’ing mum has given me a nudge to run a class and see how it goes. Let’s get those 33 joints in the foot moving and put them to the test – playing games to see how flexible they are what can you pick up? Can you write with your feet? And have fun in a safe environment on the sensory path – feel different textures under your feet and see how much your feet can really tell you about your environment.

I am embarking on running Mamas’ Morning Retreats – a time for mums to have some quality me-time , rediscover themselves, nourish their soul. Using labyrinths, meditation, art and dance. (the first one is next Sunday!) I want to provide a beautiful, space for women to come along and spend time thinking about them. Have some peace and some silence (oh the luxury) allow themselves to leave thoughts of their families behind for a while and truly nourish themselves in mind, body and spirit. Meditation with labyrinths, explore with art and free yourself with dance. Just three hours because it can be hard to leave our children for long but truly a retreat because it will be all about you.

All I am offering at the moment is helping women to help themselves. Not about me doing something to help them. That is important to me –  the confidence, the trust the love for yourself that is gained by making your own discoveries and having your own realisations and being able to do things for yourself is so important.

I am reining myself in – yep, I want to finish my Dancing for Birth Training, yes I want to do more alignemnt training, yes I want to do more rebozo work and yes, I want to do more postpartum work.. But overloading myself has so overwhelmed me I stopped. So the 5 things above are what I am concentrating on at the moment.

If you would like to know more then please either look on the website or do please email me.

And lastly could I ask a favour? Would you mind sharing this or letting your friends know what I do ? Help me spread the word – I would be very grateful. Thank you