Hi, I’m Sarah. Wife of an Early Educational Professional. Mother of a toddler boy, with another on the way. Mother of two anxious dogs. Angelino of nearly 9 years. (Tho there was that blip in Nashville for 4 months! Ha! You’ll learn more about that later.)
Everyone has a catalyst that creates the human we are today, and my return to the workplace after birth was definitely mine. It’s been a beautiful journey, sometimes with crazy turns, but as with any great journey, there is eventually a new beginning. Now, I am over the moon to share this new beginning with you, one focused on Mama Life and Parenting Education.
Right There With You, Mama! is a place where I share the resources I’ve loved and parenting experiences that have stretched me, and where I will share my journey toward exploring and building curriculum, habits, and activities geared toward supporting parents of children ages 0-3. My dream is to serve parents who, like me, at one point or another have said to themselves, “What in the world am I supposed to do with this kid!? Am I messing everything up!?”
My goal is for Right There With You, Mama! to become a resource of Educational Knowledge and Tips, right along with information on important movements – such as Women’s Rights in the Workplace, and even the best organization tips I come across. It will be a place where I give you a peek of my journey in motherhood, and I promise always to share from a place of humility and humor, because we need both to get through this parenting thing.
To understand my passion for all mamas and early childhood education, I want to share a bit of my experience returning to the workplace.
How did we get here?
It’s been just over 2 years since I returned from Maternity Leave to an unwelcoming environment. Working for a non-profit in Los Angeles, I never expected anything other than to return to work postpartum and kick off the next part of my career. I was so excited to have a new boss (a woman) to work under, and I was excited for our Organization. Such good work was still left to be done in this city!
But I found myself in a situation that many women face when they return to the workplace – lack of care or support for new mothers.
A man in my office had a child around the same time as my return, and he was celebrated and lifted up. He was even excused. “Oh, he’s tired. He just had a baby!”
When it came to me – sitting right in that stage where I was getting back into the world AND on the cusp of sleep training (so pretty much exhausted – you know that feeling, parents) – my boss literally rolled her eyes if someone asked me about my beautiful baby boy. (How many of you can relate to a situation like this?)
You see, my boss had decided to do what a lot of my friends are actually doing – focus on her career and not have children. But my boss had developed a distaste for mothers. She even had her former assistant (a man) get on the phone with me, on my second day back from Maternity Leave, to tell me that I needed to make sure I didn’t let my family interfere with my work.
11 weeks after returning to work, it was clear that it was time to depart from all I had originally imagined for my postpartum experience.
I didn’t leave without having an exciting plan for my future! My husband has now worked in Child Psych and Education for around 20 years. We have both always been passionate about education and supporting parents (even more so, once we became parents), so he and I decided to take his knowledge of the preschool age range and build a company to support parents of children ages 3 to 7. On a daily basis, he leads parents through all of the ups and downs of behavioral development and parenting speed bumps, and we wanted to bring this to the masses.
I, myself, have a background in Psych and Education, and I was so excited to jump back into this part of my life, using the Operations Skills that I have picked up later in my career. So we went in full force. I stayed home with my then Five-Month-Old son, and during every nap and every evening when my husband came home, I worked on building our company, The All In Parent.
We built curriculum for parents and guidelines that we believed really supported every parent either he or I had worked with. We were on the cusp of release when life overwhelmed us, and we had to put everything on permanent hold. I went from working and sweating hard over a project every day, to a complete stop! It was jarring, to say the least.
During all of this, as a way to keep my mind and my days mentally rewarding, I was attempting to rock the stay-at-home/work-from-home mom role. I was diving back into Child Psych that I had not studied in years. I joined a free parenting program with a prestigious University that not only built me up as a parent, but also provided tools for me to help my young son grow. I studied so many things regarding parenting that over the next year and a half, I found myself often asked by friends and new acquaintances to share what I had learned.
And let me tell you what I learned, raising an infant and toddler is so very different than working with and teaching older children, as I had done for many years of my career. Even though the educational format may be different, I found that so many parents feel just as lost at this early age (if not more so) as to what they can do to support their child’s learning.
Through my child psych and education studies, and then my eventual studies in child literacy, which I started when I began working with a popular Children’s Book Publisher, I learned that there ARE things that we can do with our kids, even at a very young age, to help build them up and assist in the growth of those tiny brains – which DOUBLE in size in the first year and have the most growth in life in those first 3 years!
I also learned that it sure is hard to gather all of this information, and sometimes, when you find it, it can come with a dose of mom shaming. (I don’t need that in my life, do you?)
My greatest joy in life is talking to and building up other mothers. We can tackle anything, but we also need the tools and the resources, preferably given to us in an as-easy-to-digest-way as possible.
Here we are…
My intense study of all things early childhood education has not stopped, as my son has tackled preschool. With another on the way, I’m even more excited to build on my knowledge! Through sharing some of what I have studied and learned (along with what I continue to glean from my husband’s work), sharing what our life experiences are like, and hopefully eventually building really great resources, myself, I hope that Right There With You, Mama! is a supportive environment for all moms of littles!
Feel free to comment or send me a message about your biggest struggle in raising your little one. I’m here to help in any way I can – even if it’s to point you to someone much smarter than me! 🙂
The Parenting Bog can be deep, but I’m right there with you, Mama! (corny tagline for emphasis)