Why do mothers join Child’Space groups with their babies? What do they gain from going out with their babies?
When Dana called, she told me she had just had her first baby, his name was Adam and he was one month old. She was 40 and had waited for him for many years.
Her friend encouraged her to register for the workshop. On the first phone call, I heard in her voice her mixed feelings; it was important for her to make sure that the group was intimate, and the activity was not too loud.
Five other mothers and babies participated in the workshop. I noticed that Adam was easily startled by noises and unfamiliar stimuli. I respected Dana’s wish to sooth him in her warm embrace.
When she was ready, I showed her and the other mothers how to adjust the volume of touch and voice, so Adam and the other babies could feel safe and be available to communicate. It was a very meaningful lesson for Dana and Adam and for the whole group.
Dana began to feel more comfortable in the group and shared with us that she was sensitive and easily distracted by many stimulations. She said that if her parents would understand her sensitivity as a child, just as she is learning to do with Adam, it would have been easier for her to get to know herself better in her early years. When she talked about it the tears in her eyes turned into crying and she received a loving hug and lots of support from me and the group.
During the sessions, I saw how Adam was more responsive, less startled and initiating interaction with me and with the other participants. I shared this with Dana and complimented her on exposing him to other people and stimuli in a suitable and attentive manner.
I spoke to Dana in private about how I saw the progress Adam had achieved. That evening she wrote me she was touched by my ability to see the progress instead of what is missing, like most people tend to do.
Today Adam is six months old. He continues to come to the meetings. He enters the room with a big smile, and crawls happily towards his friends in the group.