You Know Your Child Best thumbnail

You Know Your Child Best

3 Things by Kristin Shaw, Two Cannoli

3 Things by Kristin Shaw, Two Cannoli

Truth

A mother’s intuition is worth its weight in gold.

Show me a minute when you hesitated, knowing in your heart you had the right answer — and I’ll show you a minute wasted.

Don’t listen to anyone else but yourself when it comes to parenting, because the absolute truth is that no one is an expert. Not doctor this or doctor that, and certainly not another parent just like you with a completely different kid. All you need to do is listen to that gut feeling and trust yourself.

While interviewing full-time sitters to watch my toddler while I work from my home office, I narrowed the choices down to two young women: one 26, married, with at least two years of full-time caretaker experience; the second, an almost-20-year-old single woman with under a year of experience in a full-time setting. Everyone told me to hire the 26-year-old. She was perfect on paper. But when it came down to the final interview and trial run, I had a gut feeling that the candidate with more experience wasn’t right for us.

It was in the tone of her voice with my son, even though her technique seemed fine. It was in the subtle body language and the sweatshirt she wore. It was in my heart. I hired the younger candidate and didn’t look back; she has become part of our family, and my son was the ring bearer in her wedding this year.

Everyone has advice to offer and books to recommend. Listen politely and read with a grain of salt. And trust yourself – only you know your child best.

Tip

Every Saturday, by agreement, is our “technology-free” night. My husband and I sit side by side with our laptops 6 nights out of 7, unless one of us is out with friends or traveling, but on Saturdays, we put down the gadgets and just hang out with each other, talking, watching a movie, or playing cards.

Lots of fancy date nights aren’t in the budget, so we try to get out about once a month; our weekly “date night in” means that we can reconnect without too much fanfare – or greenbacks.

Speaking of date night, it is important. The first two years of our son’s life, we took only one or two date nights when one set of our parents were in town. I had a very hard time leaving our son with anyone, clearly, and since I had to travel for business, I wasn’t interested in traveling or spending any other time away from him other than that. Once we started scheduling regular date nights; however, everything got better. I didn’t even realize how much we needed a date night to reconnect and communicate before we had them on a regular basis.

Will and I Amber's wedding

Find

Sogno Jewelry is designed by a mother of two little boys out of her home near Annapolis, and her pieces are gorgeous and reasonably priced.

When I was pregnant, I wore the long strands to accent my baby belly, and she specializes in jewelry any mom would be proud to wear. I am proud to support Tonya’s small, but mighty business, and she’s been featured in People magazine and Seventeen so far. I expect big things from her, so get in on the ground floor. She often has sample sales; check out her Facebook page to see what’s new.

And a bonus find: Austin-based Liz Garton Scanlon is one of our favorite children’s authors. Her beautiful book, All the World, is a regular on our son’s nighttime reading rotation. When he hands it to me to read to him, my heart soars.

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Contributor: Kristin from Two Cannoli
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Guest posted on Scary Mommy and Leah Travels.