I am privileged to be able to take Aanavi to work with me every afternoon. After nearly a year of ‘maternity leave’, I was nervous about going back to work full-time in June this year. Until she turned one, we were pretty much together all day, everyday… I worked from home as much as possible, tried to do the sleep when she sleeps thing, did as much as I could from what the blogs and books said and then suddenly, I was going to “office” as I would say to her. I was worried about losing that bond with Aanavi though. And then the idea of SensoBaby became real!
One of our goals with SensoBaby is to nurture the feeling of ‘connectedness’ between parent and child; our classes aim to give you focused one-on-one time with Baby where your phone is off (except to capture all those exciting moments), your errands will be done later and your thoughts have been filed away.
Experts in children’s health, psychology and education deem positive relationships with parents and caregivers one of the most fundamental factors in overall wellbeing. But more importantly to note, that from birth to three is when these relationships have the most determining impact.
We all know that children thrive with our attention but we often burn out with insanely busy lives of a multitude of responsibilities, needs and roles to fulfill. We want the best for our children, and while we remember every item on their preferred dinner list, what we sometimes forget is that the best for our children includes the best of us.
I can only attend two classes a week with Aanavi at SensoBaby on a Monday and Friday. Tuesday through to Thursday I teach my own classes. So despite my own goals of establishing SensoBaby I’m not able to commit to daily classes as I am working full-time. So how else can we bond?
We absolutely flourish on weekends! That is OUR time. I don’t even have the excuse or temptation of asking the nanny to do a nappy change because the nanny has her time off; if I have to be at work, Aanavi comes with me and if Dad has plans, we fit around them.
But if I had to wait for weekends, I don’t think I would have a stable sense of wellbeing, let alone Aanavi.
We may only get an hour or two a day now, but we still fill it with quality. So here are some ideas on how to switch off from the world and switch on to your Baby:
- Reading together! I will say it in every post because I can’t stress its importance enough.
2. Our new thing is Nature Walks. We explore the garden, look under logs for mini beasts, go on simple scavenger hunts and make things out of flowers, leaves and twigs.
3. Engage together in art/messy play/sensory play at home as well. The opportunities for this kind of play around the house are endless.
4. Our cuddles and time in bed in the mornings are my absolute most favourite time with Aanavi. We giggle, chat, sing and learn. This is when I teach Aanavi new words, songs and knowledge, as she’s at her most receptive and ‘open’ stage of the day.
5. Summer is back which means so is swimming! Splashing together and playing in the pool was something we reveled in last year and I cant wait to start again.
6. Get busy with developmental/learning toys such as puzzles, threading and beading, activity boards and more. These are a great way to reinforce fine motor skills and core concepts of colours, shapes, animals etc.
7. Food is an awesome way to interact and include your children in the process of meals. It builds their sensory profile and reduces the risk of fussy eaters. Have your little ones involved right from the grocery shopping, looking at the colours, shapes and textures of vegetables and fruits. Smell ingredients as you put them together, let them mix and stir your pots and help your serve.
8. Take a trip together… it could be as simple as going to a playground or sandpit, a weekend break, or a lovely holiday… but it could just be an afternoon away together. This weekend we discovered the Petting Farm in Oodi and we had the best time interacting with the animals, feeding them and discovering their sounds, smells and how they feel.
These are just a few ideas to get you started (for when you can’t come to a SensoBaby class!) J However, give your children the autonomy to decide with you, how they would like to spend your special time together. Being involved in decisions is another way to promote your child’s wellbeing and develop a relationship built on mutual respect, shared understanding and love.