If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be a self-employed business owner, founder of award winning groups with an 'entrepreneur of the year' award under my belt I would have had a really good laugh.
However, that is how life has been since having my first born back in 2013 when the hardships of having my own baby made me realise how tough it can be in those early days, weeks and months of having a baby.
I left Plymouth back in 1999 to gain my degree in Early Childhood Studies & Education, I then returned to the South West to take up positions within the Labour Governments brand new Sure Start initiatives,
After a while though I got the travel bug and looked into getting visas to be able to work in another Country - long story short! I ended up in Southern California and needed to figure out how I would be able to live and work in such a beautiful part of the World.
I had come across Dr Maria Montessori back in my university days and realised that I wanted to know so much more about this incredible woman and the methods she created.
I was offered a place at the prestigious Maria Montessori Institute in Hampstead, London and spent the hardest year to become an AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) teacher.
Upon successful completion, I returned to the States and spent 7 years in my own classroom (or Casa dei Bambini - 'Children's House' as it is known in the Montessori World) with children from 2 and a half to six years.
On-going training / the day to day preparation / acute observations / tireless planning / meetings with families and joy of being with these wonderful children ignited a passion for my wonder and further exploration of the development of babies and young children.
In 2011 I was offered a Head of Schools position in Crouch End, London and continued demanding/ high level professional development which took my teaching and understanding to a whole new level.
Although, it was in 2013 when pregnant with our first baby that my true awareness of tiny humans and the human mind and body really took a hold of me.
I felt very lucky to have minimal symptoms ( my first trimester was a bit of a blur but I did have some really rough days back then) and marvelled at my growing bump and all the feelings I had as my baby developed over those 9 months.
I continued to work in my school until 30 plus weeks and was honoured to have amazing Montessori mentors guide me with relaxation, enabling me to become emotionally and physically prepared during the final months and beyond.
Like most first time mums I had a dream of having this beautiful water birth and hadn't thought much beyond that.
Like so many though, my plans took a huge turn and as baby was breech and not for turning an elective C-section was offered and without realising I had other options ( that's a story for another day!) that was how it went.
On the day of surgery and a huge mix of nerves and excitement myself and partner left the house as two holding our empty red carseat with little knowledge of just how much our lives were about to change.
As things go, being in the theatre was made more un-nerving by the incredible team of medical staff who were enjoying our playlist we had made and I'll never forget the moment Col announced that we had a son and I got to have him placed on me for a few minutes before more skin to skin in the recovery room.
It was probably 12 to 24 hours later that things took a bit of a downward turn and spiralled as feeding wasn't established.
We were discharged from hospital feeling unsure of EVERYTHING, yet thrilled to be taking our gorgeous little bundle home and start the next chapter as a family of three.
Unfortunately, within hours it was discovered that baby was dropping a dangerous amount of weight and an intense feeding plan was needed or the threat of having him admitted to hospital was ordered in a very alarming and scary way.
Not what a new (first-time) mum needs to hear just after having major surgery and trying her very best to feed her beautiful little boy.
Those days were horrendous and looking back I still feel heart-broken that those early days and weeks of bonding with baby were snatched away and instead I felt very alone, and devastated that I couldn't feed my baby.
Almost a year later it was reflecting back on that time that spurred me on to want to ensure that other mums didn't have to go through this themselves, that actually if you had a group of other mums with new babies around you, the power of being together - talking - feeling empowered and most of all supported by those who were also going through similar, was exactly what was needed.
And there it was, my calling!
I started what became 6 Week Social - not as a business (that would have had me run for the hills) but as a passion project, to give pregnant and mums with new babies (whether it was their first or fourth) a space to be side by side,
encouraged and nurtured to feel assured that what they were doing was just perfect - that there is no right or wrong on this path we walk as mothers.
That gentle guidance ( if needed and asked for) options / time / encouragement / sharing and building friendships was easy for them to access and that knowing that there are those who they can reach out to are there.
These fundamentals haven't changed these past 8 years, in fact they have only grown stronger and as myself and family of four now, start our next chapter back home in Devon I can't wait to offer all this and so much more.
The pandemic has seen even more challenges and new studies are being quoted with disturbing statistics and scary forecasts of the damage that has been done during these past two years.
That is definitely not what is needed to be heard right now, it's not helpful of forthcoming to those who are pregnant or finding their way with their first baby or adding to their families.
It is still and will remain to be my number one reason to keep powering forwards, in offering my time, energy, heart and soul to those who come my way and my driving force in the considerations and planning I put into my courses/ classes and free coffee meet ups.
Mums Need Mums and that is what I am here for!
Find out more about what I offer by clicking here.