By Jenn F.
If I’m honest, I don’t know what we were thinking. He was our first child. An active boy, but so are we. My husband and I were lucky in that we were able to keep him home for the first two years where he learned colors, basic shapes, spoke his first word—"app-eye” [translation: apple]—and his
hair grew long and wild. Eventually, work would come calling as well as mortgage payments, car loans, and the threat of a new baby brother, so we found a reasonably priced childcare provider, dropped him off, took 8,000 pictures, and couldn’t wait to hear what he’d learn.
It seems obvious now that my husband and I were the ones needing a lesson. Soon, we’d collect piles of corrective notes, “incident reports” of handsy-ness or excessive energy, and there was a growing pit in our stomach when we’d drop him off. We’d been listening and listening, trying and trying to fit him in, and the time had come for us to do some talking.
My husband called our pediatrician to explain a the most recent report detailing that our son had sat on someone and grabbed a toy. And I remember the relief I felt when I overheard our pediatrician laugh and say, “Yes, but what did he do?”
Sounded like a great teaching moment, she said. All children do things like that, and our job as caregivers is to help them learn self-regulation over time.
And then she said something I’ll never forget: “It sounds like we need to find an environment where your son can thrive.”
That’s exactly what I did. I requested a meeting with the Director of the facility and together we found a better fit for him. And I’ll tell you, he is a smart, caring, energetic 6-year-old whose potential knows no bounds.
As a new mom, you feel that everybody knows better than you, but when you trust your gut, when you use your voice to build your family’s “team,” it’s validating. I know this boy like no one else does. It’s important that I help others get to know him too.
We all have options. It’s just a matter of speaking up.
Have a STORY of YOUR OWN? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear how you used YOUR VOICE to meet your family’s needs.