Why did you want to teach baby massage?
I was teaching Kindergarten in Al Ain, a small town in the United Arab Emirates and finding it very difficult to juggle being a mother of three sons, a newborn, 4-year-old and 7-year-old with the long and exhausting teaching schedule. Being an Australian Social Worker and ex-pat, I had found myself teaching at a school when my boys started primary school – thinking it would suit us as a family. We could all be together and be part of a community. Well, it didn’t suit us at all. I spent half of my time trying to keep a number of my energetic 4-year-old students in my class and the other half chasing my own sons down the school hall trying to get them to stay in their class. We were all struggling with the timetable and expectations. My children were having constant meltdowns and so was I.
Finally making the decision to homeschool my children I began looking for another income avenue and a way to apply my passion for working with parents and children that gave me more time to be with my own little family.
The Universe always provided and exactly at the perfect time, another ex-pat mother sent me an advert for the upcoming Dubai Blossom and Berry Baby Massage and Yoga Teacher Training. I was immediately intrigued and applied. The rest is history. I really had no idea just how absolutely transformational and life-changing this training would be. It set me on a whole new trajectory.
What was your experience of training with B & B like?
I cannot emphasise the enormous amount of relief and validation I felt on that first day, hearing Gayle talk about our baby’s brain development and the need for loving touch and the importance of being present and responsive to the needs of a baby. Finally, the Science was supporting what I had always intuitively known and felt as a mother.
It was one of those golden giant A-ha moments when all the pieces of the puzzle just fell into place. With my first son, I had spent time in a mother-baby unit and been pressured into applying controlled crying techniques and stopping his night-time breastfeeds. I remember the nurse sitting on the end of my bed in the dark leading me to the basin to express milk while my son cried in the room next door. It was devastating for him and for me.
Being able to learn all the anatomy and physiology, developmental science and theory behind baby massage and yoga enabled me to become a very competent and informed teacher.
What has teaching baby massage given you?
It has given me the world! After learning baby massage, I was incredibly motivated and inspired to share this new knowledge with all parents. I went on to train as a Registered Yoga Teacher and a Birth Doula, starting my own business. I also traveled to Greece to volunteer, sharing baby massage with Refugees and then on to Malawi with Love Support Unite to volunteer with their baby feeding programs and early years development projects.
What do you enjoy as a result of being a teacher?
I absolutely loved all the support and love I was getting from Gayle Berry and her family of love creators so much that I joined her senior teaching team becoming the Middle East Blossom and Berry Coordinator. Since then I have moved to Australia and continue to teach Baby Massage whenever I can, alongside creating my own Mel Craven Yoga online courses and Birth Education Workshops.
Taking that first baby step to learn Baby Massage led me to creating a life full of all the things I love, the space to be a mother first and then a Business Goddess!