Unlike many other groups, Mommy & Me at Princeton Montessori does not focus entirely on first-time mothers, nor only offer practical advice. Often Maria raises such topics as basic care, nursing, nutrition, sleeping, milestones, and family dynamics, but moms can talk freely about anything that interests or concerns them. “I looked forward to each Wednesday,” shares Elizabeth Bergman, a new mom who attended Maria’s classes with her daughter Nika. “It was a welcome chance to talk about me—about what I was thinking and feeling and struggling with. Maria was like a best friend and a therapist, making welcome suggestions, but mostly just supporting my process of understanding my baby and becoming the mother I want to be.”
Babies are equally pampered and engaged. The room is a fully equipped Montessori teaching environment. Johnson explains, “To fully meet our children’s needs requires cultivating a certain kind of awareness. This awareness should be reflected in the physical as well as the emotional environment. The Montessori room is carefully prepared to respect the child’s body, mind, and spirit.” Quilts and mirrors on the floor fascinate even the youngest infants; there are rattles to mouth, hold, and shake. Balls and rolling toys encourage older babies to crawl, while thoughtfully chosen Montessori materials sit on low shelves within easy reach. Puzzles and containers to open and close develop fine-motor skills; those who are already toddling will enjoy push toys and riding toys. The room is kept warm, and Maria leads moms and babies in soothing songs and finger-plays each week.
Classes are open enrollment, so moms and babies are welcome to join on any Wednesday. To learn more, contact Kathy Marmion at 609–924–4594 x239 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To register online go to http://www.princetonmontessori.org.