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Talking Face to Face

Family Well-being

An Early Years Visitor shares a day in the life.

An Early Years Visitor shares a day in the life.

Preparing for my day

Today I planned two Early Years toolbox cards. I chose the “Stranger Anxiety” toolbox card for the one-year-old. During past visits, I noticed he was a bit uncomfortable around strangers. When I would greet him, he would act surprised, cry, and back away. So I started planning my visits based on what I saw Baby doing. I’ll go through my resource guide and I’ll turn to the ”Stranger Anxiety” section, and I’ll read everything. Then, I’ll find something from my own personal experience that is relevant to the toolbox card: like what did I do as a parent? Sometimes I’ll ask the Program Manager for advice.

Baby and Me

Then, during the visit, I go through both toolbox cards. I noticed that once I started talking to Baby, his face turned from Mom toward me. He was interested in my voice. So I turned to Mom and said, “Here’s another thing I want to talk about today: talking face-to-face with your baby.” She responded proudly with, “I already do that!” She took the baby again and gave him to his dad. Then we started talking about the importance of the ‘Talking Face-To-Face” toolbox card. I could tell she does it because Baby knows her voice. He’s so calm. I can see that she’s a responsible mom and she doesn’t ever refuse a visit. This was the most successful visit I had all week. At the end of a visit, we talk about how things are going with the whole family. When other family members are present, I feel respected and welcomed as an Early Years Visitor. I feel happy about that.

Mommy and Me

The second home visit I had today was all about family planning. Once a baby reaches about six months old, we remind our families that contraceptives are important. The trust-building process between myself and the moms comes naturally because we’re from the same community. Having that lived experience is a gift. It empowers them. I also talked about my own experience and gave an example of my life and my children. That’s when Mom  got really interested! I explained how it was hard for me, going through motherhood alone. I started being a mom coming from an abusive relationship. I wasn’t helping my son develop right. Because I wasn’t right! I didn’t know who to turn to. I didn’t have the Early Years. Maybe if I had had someone like me to check up on me, to listen and talk, I would have gone other places. I wouldn’t want any of the mothers I work with to go through what I went through. So I share my story. This is what I’m here for. The support. Then we don’t feel like we’re doing it alone.