Thursday, November 5, 2009

For all the Muthas Out There

Recently (well, since the birth of Spencer) I've been feeling pretty inadequate as a mother. Not in a depressing way, just in a "I seriously don't know what I'm doing" way. It seems like everywhere I hear or read, there are parents who are "educating" their child by all these cool activities...creating prodigies, or at least trying to. I think to myself, "How come there isn't a place that I can learn the cool things to do with my baby? How are all THESE people 'getting it' and I'm not. I must have missed that memo."

I feel like I do the typical things...reading books, helping him build blocks, race cars, sing songs, take him on walks, let him open and close drawers in the kitchen and play with all the utensils. But all those things (and other things too) only take up about two hours of the 9+ hours I need to entertain him. I seriously start to think, "It's only 10:00 and I've used up my reserves of ideas."

I feel guilty letting him watch too many videos or being left to his own devices...don't get me wrong, I think within reason those things are good, but too much of something is not a good thing, right?

Which is why I turn to you, oh ye wise ones. I want to hear how you guys do it. So many of the people who read this blog have young kids. Can you give me some advice? I know some of you don't have kids Spencer's age, but your kids are still young. Do you remember what you did when they were littler (ya, Alicia, I know. That's not a word. haha)? Do you have a set schedule where you do certain things in an order from the time your baby wakes up? (Change diaper and clothes, then feed breakfast, etc.) Do you have a "set" time where you get "your" stuff done, and then the other time you're working with him? Or do you just kind of "wing it?"

Do you have any good games or activities that I should be doing to stimulate his mind?

We're a little worried about his communication skills right now. Most everything else is on track with his development but it's his communication that is a little slow. It's all fine because we know how he communicates with us, but the doctor wants to just make sure it's not an early indication of something else. So, we'll be going to a developmental specialist for that, which I've been told that we'll learn some activities that we can do. But why does your child have to be slow in an area to get information on things you can do?

I try and do sign language, but I'm wondering if there are more activities I should be doing. I've looked up activities online but it just gives me the same ones I'm already doing.

I just feel like I'm not giving Spencer enough to do to learn according to his abilities.

Oh and by the way, if you're asking how I did it with the answer is that I didn't! They were in daycare the first few years of their life, while I had to work. The home daycare they went to did a lot of it with them. Flashcards and the whole gambit. Ya, I feel guilty, okay? But at least they got it. hehe. Which leads to me why I don't know how to do it with Spencer.

Okay, PLEASE answer me. And if you have more to say, you all know my email or my phone number you can call from the states!

Can't wait!


Alicia said...

Christy-- first of all, I make up words all the time. It's fun.
Second (and most important), here's my take on parenting: do what you feel comfortable with. If that means a schedule or something more lenient, do it. If that means reading every day before nap-time and bedtime, do it. personally, I think there is a trend right now to create prodigy children, but to tell you the truth, I just want my kids to be normal... to fit in with their peers, and to get decent grades. I don't think you have to teach your infants to learn how to read to accomplish this. Call me crazy.
Bottom line: you are doing great. I totally know how you feel... worrying about your mothering skills is a daily occurrence for me.
You rock.

Vanessa said...

I love the comment above. I feel the same way. When Anna was that little I was very much involved in her activities, and kept her on a rigid schedule, we would only watch Baby Einstein movies, and I read to her a ton. She talked very soon but couldn't walk till she was 16 months! Nothing you can do seems to change their little internal clock for when they'll do things. I'm glad you're looking to help Spencer now, Emma is on the same boat as him (I think we had the same doctor's appointment) She is slow with the talking and communicating. We get her though. We speak two languages in our home, and you are living in a different country where he'll pick up a second language as well. I'm sure that all influences them, don't you think?
As for activities... boy, I spent most of my day hugging and kissing Emma, letting her explore, reading books, dancing and singing for her... You can't go wrong with just loving them lots. :) I love that picture of Spencer by the way! What a stud!
You're a good mom. You love, you care, and you are willing to learn more for his sake. Smile and be sure that you are doing a good job.

Hugs to all of you!

Heather said...

maybe he's loss of hearing like sam? :)

amber buhrley said...

What I have learned from many of my friends and family who have had kids with speech delayed problems is that it could be a whole range of reasons why. And especially that it isn't something you either are or aren't doing. Sure, all those books, videos, flash cards,, but usually if their is a true problem its because of something else. My nephew justins tongue was too big, my friends little girl had low muscle tone in her whole body which effected her cheeks and prevented her from talking and eating. I think it is good and most beneficial to go to the Dr. appointments and have them evaluate what you need to do. Heather may also be right, it could be his ears. My friend just called me today telling me her little boy has water in his ears that doesnt cause infections but causes a stuffy nose and makes him sound like he is talking underwater. So they are putting tubes in his ears. Its good you are wanting to get help. The longer you wait, the harder it will be after they are set in their ways. I hope I am making sense! Good luck! And you are a terrific mother. you dont give yourself enough credit!

Katie Schultz said...

I was just talking to a friend of Ben's, who taught her son, who is 18month to read. He can now read 140 words... you know what I say to that- Give me a break! Let the babies be babies and the kids be kids! I say the best thing you can offer Spencer is your time and love and attention. All of the other stuff will come and if it does happen to be medical then yah measures should be taken, but other wise- no need to stress. All kids develop at different rates.