My third little guy turned two in December 2020. He lived much of his first year during COVID times. We pulled him out of child care and his days consisted of two work-from-home parents and two sisters virtually learning.
During his two-year well-child check in December, I discussed the typical developmental questions with our pediatrician. The topic of language development came up and the question if he is stringing words together yet, came up. Freshly two, he was saying single words and other verbal cues but was not yet stringing words together. Our pediatrician recommended we give it about six months and if we were not seeing progress, extra supports might be needed.
I left that appointment feeling a little worried and conflicted. Throughout the next six months, I vacillated between thinking he is just fine, he might be a little delayed but did you hear that- he has a new word- to, having a mini-meltdown and thinking “oh no, he is so behind,” and comparing him to our daughters or other kids we knew, with my fingers almost dialing the number to get into contact with services.
Our six-month mark came and went in June. By June, although he was still technically “behind,” he was stringing words together, naming his colors, and continuing to build his word vocabulary. He was showing progression and I knew that was a good sign.
My mama gut told me to continue what we are doing and not make that phone call. It’s now September and his language development has SHOT through the roof. He is saying sentences, repeating words and phrases, and I know we made the right decision to just keep doing what we’ve been doing. My husband just said to me recently, “you know when we worried for all that time, now he doesn’t ever stop talking!”
It was another reminder for me to trust my mama gut. I am a therapist and at work, I always tell parents, “You are the expert, you know your kids better than anyone.” This time, I had to take my own advice and trust my intuition.
It was also a good reminder of how different kids are and so many times our worries are for nothing. Kids will do things when they’re ready. They don’t necessarily follow our timeline, they follow their own.
Trust Your Instinct
All that to say, there is 100% nothing wrong with seeking additional supports, especially if that’s what your mama intuition is telling you!! No matter what you decide, remember to pause and listen to what your intuition is telling you, too.
Sometimes, I think we can doubt ourselves and feel ourselves being pulled in different directions and trying to follow the advice of our friends, family, internet, etc. We are, after all, advocates for our kids, whether that is to hold steady and trust in the process or call on for more seats at the table, we are the best ones to make that call for our kids.
It has also challenged me to truly parent HIM. Not my idea of him, including expectations or the expectations of others. It’s hard to stay focused on my little world and not compare or think about what he should or shouldn’t be doing. I know others face that difficulty too.
I’m here to remind you that you truly are exactly the mom your kids need!