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Fresh directions — who, what, when, where, why, and how

The “who” update

Good-bye, Oneiroknots. I’ll be working under my own name. Thanks to the insight of friends, I learned I was ready to drop some emotional baggage and take a sweet and simple approach to naming my business. Ahhh, refreshing. For now, angeliquegeehan.com will simply redirect to the old website. Complete relocation will wait a bit.

 

What I will be doing 

As before, I will work directly with families, both through the nonprofit Babywearing International of Greater Houston (BWIGH) and as a private consultant for those who prefer to meet in their own homes or hospital rooms, in the company of people familiar to them.

I will be reconnecting as a guest speaker with some the amazing parenting support groups, doulas, midwives, and organizations I worked with last year. I am also planning to keep training more professional babywearing educators, whether babywearing is to be their primary practice area or a skill that supplements a related profession.

 

This year, I have also begun working as a brand ambassador for different manufacturers at trade shows, conferences, and special events. These public-facing experiences should prove at least as informative as the more behind-the-scenes work I have done with retailers and manufacturers, which also continues.

However, sadly, I do not plan to hold more babywearing educator certification trainings for Babywearing Institute (BI) in Texas, where regulations from the Texas Workforce Commission now require that either I or BI be licensed in order to offer certification. I may be able hold certification classes in other states, but I also believe it sensible to delay teaching BI certification courses until the curriculum has been updated and operations stabilized. (I’m open to ideas on this direction. As my students may wish to know, I did submit feedback about the material last year, though with the management transitions the organization is working through, I understand that materials updates may take a while.)

In the meantime, I will continue to work with businesses and individuals, whether in Houston or other communities, to hold independent training sessions tailored to attendees’ needs. In a future post, I’ll describe my ideas for how the community of babywearing educators can build a way for our experience and skills to be more easily recognized by those who value credentialing, even without certification.

 

When I will be teaching next

I hereby declare I will work to keep this page about upcoming events and classes updated better this year. I also have it on my list of personal aspirations to blog more, both to document the cool stuff people are doing and to reflect on what I’m learning and doing.

To discuss current and future classes and workshops, please request admission to this closed Facebook group or send me a message at ag [at] angeliquegeehan.com.

 

Where I see this all going

I imagine that in a few years, perhaps less than a decade, every caregiver who wants to use a carrier with their child will be able to. This means they will have access to a carrier and support on how to use it.

To make this happen, I believe Houston needs more people able to teach babywearing, both on a volunteer and a professional basis. Before more people want to teach babywearing professionally, I think our community needs to see babywearing educators better recognized for their work (both paid and unpaid) and better able to support their families by working in this field. And as I cannot imagine our ever having enough volunteer educators, I am recommitting to training more educators through BWIGH every year until we do (or until someone else relieves me of that commitment).

 

Why

Babywearing is a practice that can help caregivers better meet the needs of all the individuals in their families. It isn’t the only way, and it isn’t required, but it is one awesome way that can be made easily accessible. I believe families that have more of their needs met grow individuals who are happier and better able to fulfill their own lives and contribute to improving their own communities. So, MOAR BABYWEARING, please!

 

How did you make it to the bottom of this post?

If you did, thank you. I appreciate your time and attention. I appreciate all who have been understanding of my delays in getting this update out and the conversations I’ve had with colleague-friends who have helped me clarify an approach that feels right for now. It’s a work in progress.

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Teaching at St. Paul’s School this March, plus BWIGH meetings there through May 2014

I want to thank St. Paul’s School for graciously hosting a new meeting time for Babywearing International of Greater Houston, for whom I am an educator: fourth Friday mornings. So far, we will mutually try out the 10 a.m. to noon slot on January 24, February 28, March 28, April 25, and May 23. If it works well for the school, BWIGH, and our staff and community, we hope to extend the collaboration.

Also exciting: I’ll be teaching for St. Paul’s Parent Education Program on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. on “Carrying Children with Simple Pieces of Cloth: Introduction to Babywearing.” Their programs are open to the public, and they offer child care, though reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance through the school office. Even if you cannot attend my class, please consider reading through the program (via the link above) to see if any of the other topics or speakers interest you.

For this class, I’ll discuss the fundamentals listed below and leave some time for questions. I don’t plan on doing a lot of one-on-one for the class, but I will provide information on how to get that help (like at BWIGH meetings!). 

  • Reasons to use cloth slings (biological norm to keep babies close; supporting social, emotional, and physical development; inclusion of infant; balance and maintenance of family members’ needs),
  • Major types of carriers in the context of human culture (simple pieces of cloth; panel-based carriers; harness-style and framed carriers; carry assistants; and devices like car seats, bouncers, swings, and strollers)
  • Considerations in selecting a good carrier or carrying style for the family (safety, comfort, optimal or ideal positioning, needs and goals)
  • Finding ongoing support (online and in person)

Come see me, or send a friend!

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