Today I am writing from a darker place. I would love to write about light and fluffy things every day but the reality is that there are feelings of sadness, anger and jealousy that come with this journey. One of the hardest things I experience as a Mother to a child with a speech delay is not hearing the ‘big words’. Whilst more and more of my friends babies/kids are saying ‘love you’ and ‘Daddy’ and the holy grail, ‘Mummy’, I feel my heart aching to hear any words.
It’s not all bad. J gets a lot of ‘aw’s’ and ‘isn’t he clever’ comments for the makaton signs he has already learnt. He does a fantastic ‘love you’ sign and the way he signs ‘water’ is just adorable. I get that proud warmth whenever he uses a new sign. It’s not the usual milestones but for me every time he uses a method of communication effectively and gets his meaning across is a step in the right direction and I want to tell the world
As we start our journey with the speech therapist I will continue to dream of the day that J calls me ‘Mummy’ but remember to be thankful of all the communicate steps that he takes. But for now my biggest piece of advice is to please, adjust your expectations. Have an end goal, have high hopes but break them down into stepping stones. Into smaller, more achievable targets. This way you can celebrate every bit of progress for the amazing skills they are rather than the mind set that ‘my child still isn’t talking’.
I’m not saying that you can’t feel sad or angry at the world. It’s perfectly reasonable to feel like you are missing out. Many times I sit there and think ‘why me?’ and ‘why him?’. In times like this I head online and chat to other parents in the same situation. There are so many facebook groups for parents and carers where you can rant and vent, and be around people who know how you feel. There’s charities you can phone and speak to. I-Can is one example of this. Also, don’t forget to speak to your health visitor, educational team and family. You have more people around you than you may think.
So, for now I’m going to just enjoy being with my boy. I’m going to log off and join J in his car play as we work on today’s new signs ‘car’ and ‘aeroplane’… the busy life of a Mum 🙂