I have always been fascinated by babies. As a child, I loved playing with baby dolls more than anything else. I even went through a phase in second or third grade where I really wanted to be a baby again. One Christmas during that time period I received a fancy toy stroller for my dolls. It didn’t last long. Who knew a doll stroller can’t support the weight of a somewhat chubby eight-year-old girl? In high school I began babysitting. I also took an early childhood education class and started an internhip in the infant room of a childcare center. I was hooked. Nothing gave me more joy than bringing a smile to a baby’s face. I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in Early Childhood-4th Grade Education and a master’s degree from Columbia University in Cognitive Studies in Education. I was disappointed that my child development courses focused so heavily on middle childhood and gave only a cursory overview of the earliest milestones, but I also enjoyed the challenge of learning how to teach older children.
After graduating, I decided to go on a new adventure and move to Germany. I wanted to improve my German, explore Europe, and compare the original German kindergarten system with its American counterpart. I spent time working in a bilingual kindergarten/nursery, an international elementary school, and an international preschool.
I am now married to a German and we are expecting our first child. I am thrilled that I will finally have my own baby to care for. As a result of my current circumstances, I have gone back to my old habit of obsessing over all things baby. I have decided to start this blog as an outlet for my excitement. I plan to write about my experiences with pregnancy and parenthood in Germany. Some topics that I hope to cover include:
- Beschäftigungsverbot, a.k.a. the reason I am getting paid to stay home during my entire pregnancy
- Parental leave policies in Germany
- Prenatal doctor’s visits
- Baby products
- German vs. American attitudes towards child-rearing
- Differences in German and American kindergarten (preschool) programs
I may also include random posts about my little adventures here and there. I hope you enjoy reading!