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You Know Your Child Best

3 Things by Kristin Shaw, Two Cannoli

3 Things by Kristin Shaw, Two Cannoli


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.


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


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.


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

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lindsey April 23, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I love your nanny story. When my son was a newborn our former nanny abruptly left and I had to find someone new. I wound up hiring a woman who barely spoke English, who had a long commute to and fro, with very little childcare experience. I just KNEW. And now, 8.5 years later she is an integral part of our family – she moved on from being our nanny a couple of years ago but we still talk to her every week and she comes to stay for the weekend and I will never, ever regret that decision. I trust her implicitly with my children and with my entire life. xox

  • Jenna@CallHerHappy April 23, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I like this no tech night. We have tried it before, but after we moved to our new house, things got crazy, and we dropped it. It is time to pick it up again! Thanks for the reminder :)

  • Alison April 23, 2013 at 9:37 am

    You are a wise, wise woman, Kristin. :)

  • Robin | Farewell, Stranger April 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I like this format! Great suggestions, Kristin. :)

  • Kristen April 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    No tech night! I need to get on this! We too sit down with our gadgets beside us and allow the notifications to wedge between our couple time.

  • Ashley April 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    LOVE the no tech Saturday night idea! My husband and I are so attached to our electronics, it’s sad. During the week I have to force myself to put my phone down when my kids are awake. I don’t want them to constantly see my face buried in a phone or computer. Im a “stay at home” mom for a reason, even if I blog. :)

    Also, I just ordered that book and I am perusing the jewelry now! Eeeek

  • Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) April 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    It was definitely something we needed to do. Once I started my blog, I started getting a lot more tethered to social media. And it’s good to take a break! You’ll love both Liz’s book and the jewelry. Go to town. ;-)

  • Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) April 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I love that story, Lindsey! There are some great caregivers out there, and it’s hard to find them, but when you do… they are certainly priceless. xo

  • Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) April 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    It is such a little thing that makes a big difference! Thank you for reading!

  • Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) April 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Aw, thanks! Sometimes I play a wise woman on the internet. (wink)

  • Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) April 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Thanks, love!

  • Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) April 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I know, right? In fact, we are sitting side by side right now watching baseball, laptops on laps. Taking one night off a week is great; we need to work toward two. My goal is to have at least one night of PAPER book reading. :)

  • Elaine A. April 24, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Oh yes, date nights (and weekends if you can do it!) are a MUST, even if done at home. :) And I did not go with my gut with a home sitter for my first when we moved and I should have. It was probably the worst 3 months of my life before I fired her. I learned to “go with my gut” after that for sure!!! EXCELLENT advice!