I'll begin with the obvious. I love birth. I definitely identify with the term "birth-junky". I also love helping women and men have positive expectations and beliefs about birth - something I believe is sorely needed in our culture. I love keeping in touch with my students, hearing their stories, and of course seeing all the cute baby pictures! It is just so much fun - there is nothing more miraculous than new life.
I also love teaching Hypnobabies from a teaching persepctive. As a former teacher there are just SO many things I love about this program. Probably the biggest positive for me is that I don't have to do ANY planning. You heard me right - the program is complete; I just have to make sure to get all the information to my students. I love this aspect because I know how much time and effort planning is as a former high school science teacher. Now that I am teaching my fifth series the class is really starting to flow as I become more and more familiar with the material. I expect that it will only get easier the longer I teach. The program is so packed with information that I am *still* learning from it even after doing the home study myself, going through the training, preparing for each class (which means I skim through it every time) and teaching it 4-5 times already!
This leads me to another HUGE thing I love about teaching Hypnobabies, and that would be Hypnobabies headquarters - aka Kerry Tuschoff, founder and President, Carole Thorpe, Vice President, and everyone else at Headquarters that works so hard to make things run smoothly for all of the instructors and students. I have been impressed since my first phone interview with Carole. I was kind of "Star-struck" speaking with her because I had just been ravaging, I mean reading, her website. She was the first person I ever heard use the aforementioned term "birth junkie", and I immediately was like, wow - that's what I am! Kerry and Carole personally train all of the Hypnobabies instructors which means we all know and have a relationship with them. I think this is a great strength of Hypnobabies. Plus we all know how hard they work to keep Hypnobabies up-to-date and they are always working to improve the program. The resources and support they have built up for instructors in the form of Yahoo groups, Facebook, twitter, email and phone are amazing and they also *personally* respond to many concerns that instructors and students have. They also receive questions, information and suggestions from instructors as they maintain Hypbobabies. They have high expectations for us as instructors and we are expected to keep up the standards they set for us. So far I have understood the "why"of every expectation which makes it easy for me to honor my contract with Hypnobabies in all ways. If you haven't surmised this already, I have a huge amount of respect for Kerry and Carole and love the family-feel of Hypnobabies that they create.
So now for some of the less obvious, more peripheral things I love about teaching Hypnobabies. First I love the structure it's been adding to our week/weekend. I've never been so productive on Saturday mornings! The basement and bathroom need to be cleaned for my class every week. Some people don't view this as a positive of teaching in their homes, but I do. I love that I am keeping up with at least one space in our home. Also the kids love playing in the basement and we set up Gerry's trains down there. So once a week we pick everything up and have a fresh start. This means clean, vaccuumed floor and new, fun track set-ups. It also means they run around in circles like wild little people when it is cleared. We also have to have the main level floor at least respectably cleaned and swept up because my students walk through to get to the basement stairs.
This is my first regular work that separates me from the kids since Marisol was born. It is really nice for me to have half a day involved with something that I love. The kids are less thrilled about it (Gerry comes up to me and gives me a "stop-sign" hand and says, "Mommy, NO TEACH!" I am lucky to be so loved!), but they are doing really well overall. Mike is extremely helpful and supportive too. He helps me manage almost everything I do for teaching - including mailings, cleaning, grocery shopping every week both for our family and for class snacks, and of course being with the kiddos while I teach. He is awesome! Teaching would be so much more stressful without his help and support.
Finally, I love the flexibility of teaching Hypnobabies. It is what I make of it. If it ever gets to be too much for our family - me, my kids, or Mike - I can take a break for as long as I need to. So far teaching 1 class on the weekend seems to be working for everyone. But I know that if anything changes I just don't schedule classes for a while and can start back up when we are ready for it. As the kids get older I can do more too.
So there you have it. A few reasons why I love my new teaching gig. It is my favorite so far - better than full-time public school, and better than tutoring. It is a topic I love and a great program, it is flexible, and for now, it feels like a great fit for our family.
EDIT: So in the one week since I wrote this post I have already thought of more reasons that I love teaching Hypnobabies! I know I mentioned my students - but I want to specifically mention how amazing these people are! I just love meeting, sharing, and learning with all these interesting people.
Today, after my class I walked to Mike's office to meet him and the kids. Gerry kept calling me on my phone. The walk takes almost 1/2 an hour - and you know what? My barely 2 1/2 year old boy kept me on the phone for most of the walk! It was so sweet! He really was talking to me and understanding everything I said. He told me about his trains and how fast they go and we discussed how I couldn't find the umbrella so I was getting wet. Then when I arrived he and Marisol were so happy to see me. It is a wonderful feeling so be so loved!
Mike has helped me finish my first official newsletter and it will go in the mail this week. It looks so pretty! So yeah, I love Hypnobabies. It keeps on making my life better.