Teacher of the month - Linda Barrack
My career in the early years’ sector, began as a Glasgow school leaver when my lifelong fascination with child development, lead me to study for qualifications in childcare and education. I progressed within this setting and was then approached to join the city’s SVQ training team, to support and assess early years’ students. Some years later I reluctantly left this position following redundancy and spent a short time working in another field. I became self-employed in 2010, following the birth of my first baby. I was disappointed to discover the lack of local infant massage classes and decided there and then to fill the gap! I qualified as an infant massage instructor whilst on maternity leave and founded Baby Bliss soon after. I loved my work in the community, supporting new Mums and found that a lot of my early years and training skills were transferrable. It also allowed me to work around my own young family.
I found Birthlight late in 2011, after deciding that Baby Yoga would be the perfect fit for Baby Bliss. I registered to attend part 1 & 2 of the course in March and September 2012 and soon after discovered that we were expecting our second baby! 2012 was a full on year with my Birthlight training, the arrival of our son and the completion of Babywearing Consultancy training with The School of Babywearing too! Everything was growing at a pace!
2013 came along and my classes settled down with word of mouth keeping me busy. I joined Birthlight again in 2014 for Toddler Yoga training and completed a second Babywearing Consultant’s training, with the Slingababy School as CPD. I still love learning and will probably always have an enthusiasm for attending courses and meeting likeminded peers.
Between 2013-2015 I worked with a local charity which allowed me to develop relationships and promote the benefits of massage, yoga and babywearing, with the social workers and health visitors in my area. The project we developed offered families the opportunity to meet with each other on a weekly basis and learn and practice the benefits of massage, yoga and babywearing for themselves. The Embrace project was very successful over the 2 year period but unfortunately came to an end in December last year. The legacy of this project is that I now have a real passion for making these 3 core elements of my small organisation, accessible to all, with no financial barrier.
Today I am delighted to work closely with another not for profit organisation which allows local parents access to generously subsidised Birthlight Baby and Toddler Yoga classes. Babes in the Wood, Bishopbriggs shares many of my goals and our small independent businesses complement each other nicely.
Today the business before me is something which I am hugely proud of and all of it is built upon a solid Birthlight ethos. The importance of ‘Mothering the Mother’ is something which Marion impressed upon us very early on in my relationship with Birthlight and it is something I strive for in all that I offer. Each week I see new parents in my community in a variety of settings. We offer a Sling Meet and Sling Hire service, Baby Massage class, Baby Yoga classes, Toddler Yoga class, Paediatric First Aid courses and Connected Parenting Sleep Workshops. I also volunteer each week at our local NCT Baby Café. Each of these services offers something different to the parents who attend but we’re all linked by our common ground as we work to find our way to raise our families.
In recent months I decided that there was so much more could be achieved to the benefit of our community if I collaborated with one or two likeminded women. After much thought I was fortunate to have my invitation accepted by two wonderful women. Kirsty is a holistic therapist who visits our community of Mums at home to offer anything from a manicure to reflexology treatments, without the need to be away from their baby. Louise is currently studying and will launch our Positive Birth Preparation workshops in the coming weeks.
I have such affection for Birthlight and my own Birthlight tutors in particular. The days I have spent under the wings of these women has without question changed how I see my work and the value I place on it. There is something so very special about women supporting women to achieve their goals, which translates from the training room for professionals to the community room for parents and I’m delighted that I am able to wake up in the morning and call this fortunate position I’m in, work.
I’m grateful to know that I am part of this global family of Birthlight teachers and comforted that they are behind me in all that I do. From tiny acorns, mighty oak trees grow….
Love & light,