I would like to introduce a new contributor to MiCHill. Laura Greene, Psy.D. is a mother of two and the co-founder of a great new resource for parents in our area called Mom-Me Connections. Watch for a monthly column from her, or her partner Jill Lokitz, to help us navigate the parenting journey. Jay
“There was something … but I was inexperienced and didn’t know what that something was.”
By: Laura Greene, Psy.D. and mother of two
Following the birth of my first son, I returned to work as a school psychologist when he was approximately six months old. My husband and I did a thorough search prior to this time to find the childcare setting with which we felt most comfortable. We were delighted when we met with an experienced woman who provided in-home care. We instantly connected with her and loved the philosophies she shared about her care taking. We both felt confident in our decision after visiting her home and meeting with her. However, we continued our due diligence and interviewed many other places, only to happily return to her in September.
Like many moms, it was difficult for me to leave my son each morning and I missed him dearly when I was at work. At some point that fall, I began to report to my husband and others that I felt uneasy. We knew she was caring appropriately for him and there was nothing terrible going on, but I did not feel my relationship was as connected with her as I had hoped. My loved ones suggested it was “just me” – my difficulty with having to go back to work, my first time motherhood, etc. They reassured me of my initial enthusiasm for the provider as well as that she was caring well for him. Each day I struggled with leaving him – more so than I expected to. He did well all year and no major incidents of concern ever occurred but that nagging “something” never went away. I later realized that this provider had some of her own personal things going on which I think distracted her from her philosophies and thus, was no longer the best fit for us.
The following fall, I found another in-home provider and we switched my son to her care. OMG! I loved her – I loved her environment – I loved my son having the opportunity to spend time with her – I loved being in her presence and I loved what she was doing with and for my son. I still missed my son when I went to work but never felt uneasy leaving him. He only stayed with her for four months before I had my second son and our family moved, but I still think about her and feel grateful for her care.
That was my light-bulb mommy moment for me – that I had a “mommy voice.” I had to learn to listen to and attend to my “mommy voice” now that I was a mother. I knew it all along that there was something that could feel better but I was inexperienced and didn’t know what that something was. I allowed the advice of others to trump my “mommy voice.” Fortunately for us, it was nothing catastrophic that happened that year. I realized that mother’s intuition that I had heard about really existed and that I had to listen to, and trust, that feeling. I am now grateful for the experience because I am now very respectful of my “mommy voice” and use it to guide my parenting. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced or inexperienced mother, listen to your intuition and your “mommy voice” when it comes to you and your children.