When I became a mom, I was deeply in love with my son from the moment he was born. I was also unprepared for the intensity of the experience of parenting—the love, the anxiety, even the rage I sometimes felt welling up in me throughout the course of the day, often in response to my son's own emotions.
I got into a rhythm with my parenting when he was about six months old, but when he became a toddler, the volume got turned back up on his emotions and mine. Things like diapering, getting in the car seat, and once-simple outings suddenly became incredibly difficult for both of us.
Sometimes, after hearing what came out of my mouth in these difficult moments, I felt incredibly sad and discouraged about my parenting. I had been doing personal work for many years through various therapeutic and meditation practices, and nonetheless here I was—disappointed to see and hear myself becoming the kind of parent I had sworn I would never be. After one particularly challenging episode like this, I knew I had to find a way to be the parent I believed I could be.
Soon after, I was fortunate to discover Magda Gerber's Educaring® Approach, or RIE® (see below). Almost immediately, I began to change the way I responded to my son and to my own parenting challenges. RIE® helped me shift my habitual ways of being with my son into a more respectful, joyful relationship with him that also honored my needs as a parent. It taught me to start talking with him before the annoyance or anger set in. To allow—even welcome—his emotions instead of losing my head.
The profound shifts I witnessed in my own parenting—and, as a result, in my relationships with both my son and my partner—convinced me that I needed to try to make this work more a part of my life. I already understood from my years as a teacher and working with educators that we can shift our habits, no matter how ingrained they may seem. And we can find joy and ease in things that once seemed impossible to enjoy.
As my son moves out of the toddler years, these tools have been more useful to our family every day. I have witnessed how infusing greater connection, respect, and empathy into my parenting has brought these same qualities to my relationship with my husband, and we now use similar tools in our partnership. We are on the same page with our parenting, too, and committed to nurturing our son's unique unfolding as he grows.
It is my greatest honor to help other families find more joy and ease in their day-to-day lives, and a deeper, more loving connection as they grow and change together.
About Fertile Ground Parenting
My work with families is guided by Magda Gerber's Educaring® Approach, or RIE® (Resources for Infant Educarers), which respects babies as whole, capable people from birth. Through our careful attention to, curiosity about, and connection with our babies, we sow the seeds for resilient, self-confident children. I work one-on-one with families and facilitate groups and workshops for parents who want to learn more about the Educaring® Approach and respectful parenting. One of the main elements I weave into my work with families is helping parents to foster open, empathic communication with their children from the start.
I am passionate about helping parents find more joy and ease in their parenting—and partnerships—through creating authentic, respectful relationships with their children. I work primarily with families who have at least one child between the ages of 0–3, and particularly love working with families to navigate the toddler years with greater connection and more fun.