TNM: Tell us a bit about yourself.
PP: I was born in Louisiana but was primarily raised in Branson, MO. I attended both undergrad and graduate school in Louisiana, where I obtained my Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from LSU Health in Shreveport, LA in 2011. I’ve worked in Louisiana, Alabama, and eventually moved to Nashville in 2015 and settled in the Murfreesboro area. My husband, Victor, is a 4th year pharmacy student at Lipscomb University and we have a 1 year old son, Thatcher. We also have a sassy French Bulldog, Lucy. I’ve worked for the past 8 years as a pediatric Occupational Therapist, serving families in many different settings, including outpatient, inpatient, early intervention, and the school system.
TNM: What exactly is a pediatric Occupational Therapist?
PP: A pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT for short) is a therapist that specializes in development. They are equipped to assist with milestones, fine motor development, gross motor skills, feeding, engagement, and so many more ‘Activities of Daily Living’. Pediatric OT focuses on helping children develop the skills they need to grow into functional, independent adults through play activities, since play is the occupation of the child.
TNM: What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
PP: I think one of the most interesting things that has happened in my life was meeting my husband…on an airplane! Little did I know that stealing a window seat on an airplane would result in a marriage and baby 5 years later.
TNM: How has motherhood changed you?
PP: I’ve been shocked and surprised at my ability to be flexible. I’m the definition of “Type A”, but I find everyday that I’m learning to go with the flow of things better than before. It’s been extremely freeing. #recoveringperfectionist I’ve also learn that it takes time to settle into this new role of ‘Momma’. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, but I was surprised at the time it took to realize that I could still be ‘Bailey’, as well as add this new piece of being a mom to my identity, without feeling guilty for chasing my dreams.
You’re a Mom Entrepreneur. Tell Us about your business.
I am the proud owner of Parents and Play! Parents and Play is focused on helping new parents feel confident about development using play and getting connected with local experts that specialize in care of little ones and new parents. I love being able to take my professional knowledge and help new parents succeed in what is often a very tough, and can be lonely, transition into parenthood.
We offer 2 programs at Parents and Play: private & group sessions. Our private ‘Itty Bitty’ program occurs in the comfort of your home during the 4th trimester because we realize that getting out of the house just isn’t happening yet. Our group sessions occur in Franklin and are arranged to help bring together parents with little ones in similar developmental stages. We offer 3 groups:
Peapods (0 – 5 months), Rolly Pollies (6 – 12 months), and Tiny Tots (1 – 2 years).
The goal of both our programs is helping new parents feel connected, confident, and having the tools to care for their little ones. We aim to help parents feel confident about development by giving them play activities they can use daily to help their little ones achieve new skills. Groups are not only great for parents but also little ones, as it gives them a chance to interact with peers.
How did you get your idea for the business?
I’ve been a pediatric OT since 2011 and have worked in many different settings in order to learn everything I can about development and how to help parents at whatever stage they may be in. My dream has always been to own a private practice, but the timing was never right until I had my son last year. Becoming a new mom myself helped me realize how little our community had available for new parents, and I wanted to change that so all new parents have access to support, as well as good education about their little one’s development.
New parenthood is hard in so many ways and doing it alone can be a daunting task. I created Parents and Play to give new parents confidence, along with some tips and tricks, that their little one’s development is on track. We cover all topics of development: Milestones, tummy time, sleep routines, bonding, feeding, language development, tantrums, potty training, and so much more! I also work with parents on being able to advocate for not only their little ones but also themselves. We believe in making informed health decisions using evidence-based information!
I think the saying “It takes a village” has been around for so long because nothing rings more true when talking about parenthood. I love connecting with people in real life. Nashville has many families that move to this area with no family or friend support. Helping these families find a tribe is important, as it can be very lonely when trying to do it alone. Our groups are also a great way to get out of the house and have some fun for both the parent and little ones.
Where do you see Parents and Play in 5 years?
I would love to have an established location where parents around Nashville can come to participate in groups and get all the resources they need during early parenthood. While building our program, I am also incorporating a scholarship fund that will help provide resources for those in need. Access to resources should never be limited because of financial difficulties. We all deserve the ability to be great parents for our little ones.
Special Offer: Mention “Nashville Mom” when registering for any of our programs to receive $10 off your registration.