There are so many things in parenthood that cause us to worry. So many aspects that make us wonder, “are we doing well by our children?” My daughter was diagnosed with a speech delay at around 21 months old. She just turned 2.5 years old (30 months). At her 18 month check up our doctor suggested we watch it because she definitely was talking less then she should be. After a few months of really no change I made the move and had her doctor send a referral to a speech therapist.
When we started speech therapy in early October my daughter said “ya” and that was really it. She did babble A LOT and she would say some words once or twice but then never again. Now, let me tell you everything I did.
I’m by no means an absent mother.
My kids are with me just about 24/7. I work part time but my kids come with me. I talk incessantly to her, I point out objects (cars, trees, birds), I TRY to read to her. My daughter is a bit of an independent soul she’d rather do it herself. Why then do people seem to think I’m not doing enough? I cannot tell you.
I can tell you what does not help.
- It does not help to pass judgment. A small glance or comment.
- It does not help that my daughter is a big kid and looks older then she is.
- It does not help to give suggestions, especially considering most of the time I am either trying it, or have tried it.
- It does not help to ask if my daughter is autistic…. I don’t believe she is but you’re question just creates further worry.
- It does not help to ask if she’s been tested. She goes to speech therapy every week and all I hear from the speech therapist is positive feedback. That tells me my daughter is improving and doing well.
- It does not help to think or suggest my daughter is not smart.
- It does not help comparing my daughter to other children.
My daughter is so many things.
She is bright, she knows her shapes, colors, a lot of letters, she can count to 5, however, she does not say all of this clearly, but she knows it. How do I know? Because I know my daughter. When she sees a circle she consistently says “cle” when she sees a triangle she consistently says “gle” she knows the word but says the last syllable. She’ll get the rest, I reinforce it every time, she just needs time.
What I am tired of is the judgment that comes with parenthood.
It’s tiring and I do not understand it. Why do we put each other down? I do know I need to grow a bit of a tougher skin but given that I have chosen to be public with this blog it is coming up more. The tougher skin needs to happen. For instance, I posted my son on Instagram saying “ba ba ba” I had a mother comment how “It’d help if you repeated an actual word to him, my kids are bilingual and have been so since they were 1.5 years old.” I deleted it right away because you know what… that’s great for your child… but comparing and bragging are not helpful comments.
What is helpful?
Point out what children are great at or something positive. “Your daughter is so brave” “your son is so cute” “what cute curls” “what a great smile” “she is such a good climber”
Give support. “You’re doing great mama” “You have such active, wonderful children” “they are such a joy, good job mama”
Share your stories and experiences that are similar to show that mama they are not alone.
Life is hard, parenting is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. It is rewarding, joyful, tiring, frustrating, loving, and everything in between. Let’s be support for one another.