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Q&A with Nikkita from Hartbeeps

Hartbeeps star light and teddy bear

This week I’ve been speaking to Nikkita, who runs Hartbeeps baby and toddler classes in Manchester.

We talked about the juggling act required to run your own business whilst looking after a little person, being a parent in Manchester, and of course, all things Hartbeeps.

Keep reading to find out more about Nikkita and the baby group that rocks to it’s very own tunes.

 

What is Hartbeeps?

Hartbeeps is a baby and toddler class that combines music with storytelling, props, puppets and multi-sensory techniques. ‘Imaginators’ take you and your little one in to a world of make believe, set to an original soundtrack of remixed nursery rhymes and unique Hartbeeps compositions.

Classes are split in to three different age categories to help your little one get the most out of a session. Happy House is aimed at toddlers to four year olds, Baby Beeps for sitting to toddling and Baby Bells from six weeks to sitting.

What's inside the magic blue box?

 

How did you get involved with Hartbeeps?

My journey started with music. I moved to London to write, record and perform after making it to week five of the X Factor the year Leona Lewis won. While I was there I found Hartbeeps. I spent my days rocking out to the Hartbeeps tunes, and my nights at gigs and studio sessions.

Music is such an important part of my life and I loved being able to share my passion with children. Hartbeeps was like therapy; it helped me discover who I was and what I wanted from my life. It also reminded me how important my family is to me, so I moved back to Manchester to be closer to my loved ones, and brought Hartbeeps with me.

Tall Boy meeting a cat hand puppet

 

You have a 7 month old baby boy. How do you juggle running the classes and spending time with him?

When I bought the Hartbeeps franchise I planned to set up the classes before starting a family. Of course things didn’t quite work out like that and when my son was born I was still working hard to establish Hartbeeps in Manchester. I had to make the difficult choice to go back to work when he was just five weeks old so I could give Hartbeeps the time it needed.

I have been fortunate to have the full support of my family to help me juggle work and child care. At the beginning I was breastfeeding and had to express while I fed my son in order to make sure I had enough milk to leave him on the days I was at Hartbeeps. Now the classes are up and running, I only leave him for one full day a week. Having a partner who is also self employed has been so important because it gives us much more flexibility with child care.

I have to be really organised to get everything done. I allocate time each evening to admin and other tasks involved in promoting the business. It is hard work but I genuinely love Hartbeeps. There’s only been a handful of times when I haven’t felt like going to work and that feeling never lasts to the end of a session. I love getting to know the children, responding to them and watching their reactions to the classes. Making children happy at Hartbeeps makes juggling work and family life worthwhile.

 

What do you enjoy most about being a mother?

The best thing about being a mother is knowing that I have someone to love unconditionally, who loves me in return. It’s a really special feeling to share with my son.

 

What do you find the hardest?

I struggle to shake off the never ending ‘mum guilt’ feeling that I’m not giving my son enough of my time. But ultimately I know that I am doing this for him and his future too.

 

What advice would you give to other new mums who are thinking of running a business at the same time as bringing up a baby?

Don’t be afraid to go for it and don’t let the mum guilt hold you back.

 

Where is your favourite place in Manchester to visit with your boy?

I love taking him out for country walks around Alderley Edge. He is so happy in the sling, taking in the countryside. It’s lovely bonding time for us as a family.

 

And what about when you get some time to yourself?

When I do find time for myself I like to meditate or go for a swim, steam or sauna.

 

So, what can parents expect from a Hartbeeps class?

Nikkita invited Tall Boy along, with me of course, so we could find out for ourselves.

Tall Boy wearing an orange clown wig

Each week your baby is encouraged to explore a vast array of sights, sounds, colours and textures to stimulate all their senses. In the two sessions he has attended, Tall Boy has listened to the mesmerising ‘Inanay’, popped bubbles, dressed his mummy in an alien headband, met hand puppets, given medicine to his teddy bear, (or more rightly, chewed on a ‘medicine bottle’ – he’s too young to know about sharing!) worn a bright orange clown wig, posted mice in to a ‘hickory, dickory, dock clock, snuggled down in a cow blanket under the stars, and much more.

Tall Boy snuggled under a blanket at Hartbeeps

Nikkita is full of energy and engages the little ones individually and as a group. Tall Boy was captivated by her. She tells me that she doesn’t always recognise Hartbeeps parents in other settings, such is her focus on the babies. For her, it’s all about ensuring they have a great time.

Of course, if your baby is absorbed and happy it follows that you will relax and share their joy. What more could you ask for from a baby class…apart from the chance to don some crazy headgear, but that’s a given, right?

Tall Boy and me wearing alien headbands

 

Nikkita runs Hartbeeps classes at three venues in Manchester

Monday: The Lloyds Bar in Chorlton

10.25 Happy House (toddling to 4 years)
11.15 Baby Beeps (sitting to toddling)
12.15 Baby Bells (6 weeks to sitting)
1.15 Baby Bells (6 weeks to sitting)
2.15 Baby Beeps (sitting to toddling)

Tuesday: The Tea Hive in Alexandra Park, Whalley Range

10.15 Happy House (toddling to 4 years)
11.15 Baby Beeps (sitting to toddling)
12.15 Baby Bells (6 weeks to sitting)

Thursday: Withington Baths

11.15 Happy House and Bigger Beeps (active crawlers to pre-school)
12.15 Baby Bells (6 weeks to sitting)

You can find out if Hartbeeps is right for you and your baby by attending a trial session costing just £5.00.

For more information you get in touch with Nikkita via Facebook.

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Becci Johnson

Hi, I’m an almost 6 ft, thirty-something living in Manchester. Writer, blogger & first time mum.

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