I initially trained as a nurse and studied at King's College London - an amazing experience with lots of placements in such a wide variety of settings. I first worked at St. George's Hospital Tooting; then Croydon Community Healthcare Trust; and then the Central Middlesex Hospital.
My roles during my 10 year Nursing career ranged from Orthopeadics
(despite a horror of broken bones - I must have been mad!); to Elderly
Hospital-at-Home; to Palliative Care (the most beautiful experience);
and then to Pharmaceutical Research. My last role was as a Nurse
Trainer for an independent pharmaceutical research facility and it was
there that I discovered a love for training. I had my sights on the
Training Manager's role......and then the babies started to arrive.
I was shocked at my response. I had been determined to be a career
woman after having children. My own Mum had lost tremendous
confidence when me and my brother were born and, looking back,
I wonder if she struggled with postnatal depression. She never really
worked again and I was a little nervous that the same would happen to
me. Hence my (at the time!) robust plan to return to work full time
when my first baby was 6 months old and pursue the management role.
My babies had other plans though.....they rocked my world.
I returned to work for a while but, whilst so many of my mum-friends loved returning to work, I found it too hard to be away from my babes. I was delighted to be expecting again when my first was just 8 months old. Childcare costs no longer worked out with 2 babies and a change of plan was in order. I retrained as an NCT Antenatal Teacher; which combined my love for facilitaing training with a new found passion to support other parents as they began their journey with their children. It was and is a very flexible and family friendly job so childcare was no longer a problem.
Through out my 15 years with NCT, I have been incredibly blessed to support the most vulnerable parents, via NHS and Her Majesty's Prison contracts, through to those in the most privileged postions. Following an unexpected and generous opportunity from NCT, I launched BellyTots in 2018. As the lovely Mamas I worked with in pregnancy (through BellyTots) began to ask for more postnatal services, I expanded my training and classes to include Postnatal Exercise, Baby Yoga & Massage and general adult Pilates classes. I then included Daddy & Me sessions to bring in the Dads, and a family play session so I could stay in touch longer term with all the families I'd met and didn't want to lose touch with.
Of course, in 2020 - along came Covid-19. Most ironically, my New Year goal for BellyTots was to develop an online aspect to the business. Little did I know that just 3 months later, I'd be working entirely online! What a steep learning curve it's been for all of us in 2020. I'm so grateful to the amazing Mamas who just adapted! I'll be keeping online classes going alongside in person classes, for some time to come.