Updated: Jan 9, 2022
So much has changed since I last posted for Let's Play; from growth to challenges; comebacks to set backs. My post maternity leave work life is not what I anticipated, however I am grateful for all. Turns out, not only as a parent but as a pediatric professional, spending time with my newborn as she develops and learns is the most fascinating experience... I never imagined it would be so enthralling, although exhausting and demanding.
During this period, I started to notice the lack of consistency and support for new mothers. I also started to feel the judgment that many mothers face as they navigate profound decisions with this inconsistent information and support. Maternal mental health and its effects on the caregiver-baby bond became a new passion of mine.
Greenspan taught me the importance of co-regulation and a well-regulated caregiver during an infant's life. This knowledge also taught me the critical role regulation plays throughout all of development. It wasn't until I experienced this all first hand that I understood how challenging regulation during postpartum is; especially in the "real world" without family support nearby, an imminent return to the workforce and well, social media. I delayed my return to private speech therapy services for the time being, which is a decision that I struggle with daily (sometimes hourly), but I know that my daughter will only be young once and I want to be fully present with her. I knew the constraints of returning to my caseload with affect my ability to co-regulate with her, along with my clients themselves. When I put myself out there for anyone, I want to give the best of me, even if that means someone else will have to wait.
For those of you who know me, this isn't new to you, but I have lots of energy. I don't sit still well and I don't "idle". As I searched for community resources related to postpartum support and baby friendly activities, the Zumbini network came into focus. I dug deeper and discovered another world that can incorporate all that I love.
What is Zumbini? Created by the founders of Zumba and BabyFirst, Zumbini is an early childhood music program for both the child and caregiver. With world beats and a developmental approach, these classes allow children to explore their musicality and flourish in a musical lifestyle. I am excited to begin offering virtual and in-person classes, once all the final steps are put in place.
I will always be a speech-language pathologist. I will always have a passion for communication. Play will always be my primary focus for our children. Through play, our children practice the problem solving skills needed in their adult lives. They test limits, formulate theories and develop critical thinking. As I add more tools under my belt, those facts will always guide me.
Please continue to stay posted as I will post my Zumbini schedule. I am hoping to create a community that provides a foundation for play development through a music, along with supporting the caregiver's mental health as a means to develop a strong bond for co-regulation. Let's see where this goes!