I had a meeting yesterday at the crisis pregnancy center where I teach the parenting classes. My co-teacher and I are scheduled to start the next round of classes in February, which I foolishly agreed last year to continue teaching even though we are moving.
Turns out that someone new has volunteered to help teach, and she’s even a nurse! The director is going to have her shadow us for a few classes. I am so glad that if necessary I can turf this off to someone else without feeling guilty about leaving the center stranded. As our move gets closer I usually need the extra time to get my crap together, so I was not excited about potentially teaching until the bitter end.
In other move news, it turns out that the housing of my dreams will not be a reality. We will be living in… (dum dum dum DUM) student housing of some sort. The contact person dh talked to said they call it “the barrio”. We are almost convinced it is the same housing we lived in before. The upside is that we are guaranteed a house as soon as he signs in, so we can do a door-to-door move, but the downside is that it’s most likely small and without any real yard. That would be hard on our dogs (and me, trying to cram all of our junk into a tiny space). Our BAH for the area is decent, so we’re thinking about living off-post after all. At this point I’m still leaning towards post. It’s only a year. I’m still holding onto a shred of hope that the housing is better than dh is thinking it is. We’ll hopefully hear more this month. I’m trying not to agonize over it ad nauseam.
This past Saturday was the baby shower for the women in my parenting class. The idea behind the classes is that if they completed the entire course they would receive a baby shower at the end thrown by the pregnancy center. It was awesome. They received a ton of diapers, a diaper bag, a huge hamper of clothing and supplies and a beautiful handmade quilt. The pièce de résistance was that a church in town donated a new crib and mattress for each mother-to-be!
It was really rewarding to get to know them and try to make the material interesting but still informative. I felt like I had a lot to contribute as far as knowledge from being a RN, but also as a mom. At the end of the class, I gave them a piece of paper and asked them to please write their comments (anonymously). I will be team-teaching again in the new year so I wanted some feedback. Their answers really surprised me.
During class often they seemed so detached. Not surprising, considering that only 2 of the 7 women who completed the class were first time mothers. I pretty much assumed that they were there to get the “stuff”. Nearly everyone wrote that they had enjoyed the class. Maybe they were just being nice. Most also wrote that we should do less video and more discussion. The class is very video oriented, which I hated, so I was glad to hear that. But the discussion part? So often I felt like the class jester, trying to tease a response out of them. I wondered if they thought I was so different from them that things I did as a mom, or suggested they try, would immediately be blown off. Many either wrote or said to me, that they wished I had taught the entire class. It really made my day.
The problem is, I’m supposed to meet with my co-teacher next week for a little review since this was the first time either of us had taught this class. I’m going to have to get creative with that feedback.
Just because I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided awhile back that I would volunteer to teach parenting classes at a crisis pregnancy center. I have a really full piano studio this semester (11 students) so my time is pretty limited, but the class is in the mornings, which worked out good for me. I miss using that rusty nurse part of my brain (in my former life before the dutchkid I worked as a RN. I still am one, just not working).
This morning I sat in on a class. I’m team teaching with another volunteer, and she started the classes while I was on vacation so I wanted to get a feel for how it was going. Hmm. She is a very sweet lady, but has about as much personality as a postage stamp.
Eight women attend the class, they were older than I thought they would be. I had anticipated young teens. The curriculum for the classes is all laid out. She put in a video and then gave the answers to the “guide” that was supposed to be filled out while you were watching. She repeated that with two more videos and that was it.
I could just see such a missed opportunity, the women’s eyes glazing over after 2 minutes of an outdated 80′s video on their 3rd trimester of pregnancy. I had to restrain myself from jumping in and taking over her class for discussion. A million ideas were running through my head as to how to get them more involved, different approaches I could take, etc.
What started off as something I was not really sure I wanted to do, is now something I’m really excited about! I have the classes on the more medical side of things: newborn care, colic, first aid, choking, cpr, etc. I can’t wait to engage those women in something at least a little more entertaining than video watching. It made me feel like all those skills I used as a nurse won’t be totally wasted any longer. It felt good.