The joy of being a new mum, and the importance of connection learning and play
By Emma Hart, Former Teacher - Carlton North, Head of Teaching
I can honestly say, like so many have before me, that becoming a mum has brought joy beyond my wildest dreams, and in ways I didn’t expect.
Probably the most outstanding thing has been learning to stop, slow down and simply enjoy and notice the little, quiet moments. This requires great surrender after leading a busy life, and constant revisiting as the months go by, but the rewards are deep and lasting when I take the time to simply be with my daughter and family.
In doing so, I’ve realised that there is joy in so many simple things.
As a Mini Maestros teacher I thought I’d be playing and singing non-stop all day. But I quickly learnt that overstimulation is a very real thing!! I have come to truly appreciate how powerful it is to have a rhythm, with small pockets of meaningful play together, then quiet time together, then a small amount of time alone (eg together in the room but doing our own thing).
Having a repertoire of songs up my sleeve really helped in the beginning, I was able to teach my husband, and extended family little games to play with Holly which made new people and environments familiar very quickly.
The other wonderful discovery has been how much my husband and I have delighted in making up our own rhymes, songs and lullabies for our daughter. Like all babies, Holly loves hearing her name and loves music, but in particular she loves it most when we make music together. This means we’ve become better at improvising as she watches, listens, giggles and vocalises with us. The awesome part is we now have a tailor-made repertoire of Holly Songs including hits like Hollipop! :)
I have found time and time again singing or humming to her soothes her more than anything else, especially when she is really out of sorts. I am also noticing she has an amazing range of vocal sounds. I love imitating her, and have even made little melodies out of some of the vocal phrases she makes. I recently returned to work, and after a very nervous first day, I am now back in the swing of things and enjoying every moment with my classes and colleagues alike.
I am delighted to discover that having a baby has brought an even deeper appreciation for humanity and I feel blessed to have a job where I can connect with so many amazing babies, children and parents. As a teacher I have always had the philosophy that connection, presence and endless discovery is the key to being, and learning with each other. I feel deeply blessed to now be putting it into practise as a parent.
Holly starts her first Mini Maestros classes this term, and I am really looking forward to experiencing the program as a mum!
Here is a little rhyme I created for Holly. I say this in a very quiet, gentle voice when changing her nappy or preparing for sleep time.
Big Big Light - By Emma Hart
Such a small, small body
with a big, big light
Such a small, small body
but you shine so bright.
You came to us in the still of night
in a small, small body
with a big, big light
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