In our lives there are often times when we feel overwhelmed by responsibility – even when it’s something we’ve been longing for and now have. When I started my nursing and health visiting career, the challenges I faced and overcame influenced the rest of my life. Becoming a parent too can be all consuming and you begin to question whether you can do it. After four decades devoted to better understanding the needs of children I can honestly say, that this is the best generation of parents there has ever been.
During wonderful years nursing at Hackney Hospital I discovered that my calling was to be a health visitor, and then there was no looking back. I went on to be one of the youngest health visitors in the country working with families in Kent and then Staffordshire. I was honoured to receive the MBE and the Queen’s Nursing Institute Award. Life as a health visitor was hard work, inspiring, exhausting and very fulfilling. I thought I’d continue working in the community until my retirement and then settle down to a quiet life in the country.
Then my lovely daughter Amy Beeson became pregnant and asked me to email her advice on how to feed her baby for the first time. It was a joy to pass on all the secrets I’d learned from working with knowledgeable health professionals and dedicated parents. Amy told me she hadn’t come across my style of advice in any of the baby books she was reading. There was so much she and her friends wanted to know, could I do some more? Before I knew it I was writing a parenting book and Amy was copyediting it for me during her Little One’s naptime. Time flew by and my daughter’s year of maternity leave was over. It’s such a difficult time for so many women, few of us ever feel we’ve ever got the balance between all our responsibilities right. Then something life changing happened. Not just one but several publishers wanted our baby book. We were thrilled, and surprised they also wanted us to write my true story of nursing in Hackney and health visiting in Kent in the 1970s. We’ve never even thought of doing that!
Amy and I waved goodbye to our steady jobs and now work together writing and meeting wonderful readers and parents. Our first book The New Arrival is my true story of training to be a nurse in Hackney. Right now we are working on my second memoir of health visiting in rural Kent She’s Arrived! And the book that changed our lives Happy Baby, Happy Family: learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby.
I never imagined I’d be an author but more importantly, passing on my knowledge and experience to parents is a huge privilege and sometimes it’s a little daunting. Focusing on why I do the job that I do is what really matters, and it’s no different today than it was all those years ago. I want a world filled with happy babies. For mums and dads to see what a fantastic start in life they are giving their children by putting them at the centre of their lives and meeting their emotional needs as well as their physical ones. I hope that people enjoy reading our books and if you’d like to know more please get in touch.