I think sometimes we don’t realise the impact of what we are doing.
I met a stranger on a train last Friday holding her seven month old. We chatted and I shared some toys from my NCT bag on the journey as I dashed between venues as usual. She was so pleased with her NCT experience and then said she had some help with feeding from a wonderful woman – her eyes lit up as she told how incredible the support had been. She asked me lots of questions and tips about parenting. She told me her parenting journey and all about her birth and so on. By the time she got off the train, despite feeling exhausted I wanted to smile as she had mentioned several NCT connections and I thought that’s because of my PSAs and the breastfeeding counsellor, and her antenatal teacher, and the friends she has made, and the conversation with me, and so it goes on.
She is a one-mum publicity department for NCT telling anyone who will listen to do our courses and it made me so proud to be associated with such a great team of women.
The following morning as I arrived for a course at the library, a dad greeted me with his toddler, glad to see me as he and his partner had done an Essentials course with me 18 months ago. Another mum popped her head round the door as I set up for my final Essentials session with her three year old from a previous course – we had a catch up. Another new parent also spotted me that morning.
During that Essentials session I had invited a same sex couple to come along to talk about life with a new baby as they had recently attended an Essentials course and had their baby by surrogate in the US. The reason I invited them specifically to come along was that on the current course there is another same sex couple having a baby by surrogate in the US. It meant so much to all of the clients to meet this new family but it was worth so much more to the expectant two dads in the room. All four dads asked to stay in touch with each other and that is what has happened. I left that session and had tears in my eyes at what wonderful opportunities we are able to create for future support for all families.
I have a journal of comments which I ask clients to write in at the reunions…. tips for those finishing their Essentials courses. It is such a wonderful book which I pass round to clients in session five of their Essentials course. Some are written in English, others in the parent’s first language. It’s such a powerful way of capturing the transition that people are making. They often mention how their NCT group is a lifeline, how the WhatsApp group has been so helpful and how they want to say how much better the course was than they thought it would be!
So many people at NCT are part of this incredible journey, making a huge difference to parents, including PSAs. The true unsung heroes!
This blog has come from an NCT practitioner. While it is the experience of one individual, it echoes what many share about their experience of supporting parents within NCT.