11/8/07

Confessions From A Not-So-New Mom

I have a little girl in my three-year-old preschool class.
Let's call her *E*.
*E* is a darling girl.
She is bright and full of personality.

I have quickly picked up on a few things that a seasoned teacher or a parent who has experienced certain things will pick up.
For example, certain behaviors that I associate with some of Connor's sensory issues.
And a few little other quirky things that are rather telling.

She is around the same age as Gracie and *E* is already on her way to becoming a paleontologist.
She's just flat-out bright.

I really like *E's* mom.
She's easy to talk to and seems down-to-earth.
We've had casual conversations about our kids.
I've told her about some of my observations and we share stories and knowledge.

But I think she is struggling.
In fact, she told me so today.

She feels lost and feels like the kids (her son is about 6 months old) are totally kicking her butt.
I smiled and listened.
And as it happens, I got distracted by some playground shenanigans.

I couldn't help but feel like she was trying to reach out.
She has said on more than one occasion that she feels lost and I've noticed it in the things she doesn't say as well.
I instantly thought of some blog addresses I wanted to send her to.
If she feels she needs to talk, I would want her to know that I could be a source of some comfort or information.
But I don't want to be the unwanted advice giver, or the know-it-all either.
That being said, she seems like she needs an ear and I am careful not to overstep my bounds.(this family has recently moved here from North Carolina and I'm not sure if she has much in the way of support from other moms).

How do you think you would handle this?
How do you think I should handle this?

8 ripples in the pond:

thailandchani said...

Your instincts are excellent.. and whichever way you decide to go with it can only help her. Blogs, I don't know. She may or may not have a computer.

Perhaps you could get her to start a mom's group for the mothers whose kids attend that school.

??

Tricia said...

Kidnap her kids for a while!

I know that might sound a little harsh, but I have a feeling that if you just politely offered to babysit, she'd say thanks but no thanks. Don't take no for an answer!

Or perhaps line up reliable childcare with someone else and take her out for a while for some grown-up conversation.

Friendly persistence might be called for. I think she's obviously reaching out, but it might take a little prodding to get her to act on the offer of friendship.

Pgoodness said...

She's certainly reaching out. The hard part is determining if she just wants to bounce thoughts off you at school, or if she wants more. She may just need the validation that she's not alone.

I'd say that if you want to point her to some blogs, you could write them down, and next time you see her, you could casually mention that you have felt the same lost feeling (assuming you have, as we all have)and that you found some support online that helped you and offer her some sites.

Me? I would do that or I would simply hand her a card or something with my phone number and email address on it and say if she ever wants to chat or just needs a break from the kids to let me know.

liv said...

I would probably take charge and make a definite date to go to coffee or dinner with her. She sounds like she needs a friend but is not able to ask for what she needs. Giving her blog addys would sort of be like turning her out to the wind, but taking her under your wing would be so very Tabba.

Joker The Lurcher said...

there have been many times when i have felt this with someone i met. i take a lot of photos and not long ago i was taking them at a party where there were a lot of kids. one kid (walking on tip toes, in his own world...) seemed almost certainly autistic and even more so when i looked at the photos on the screen later. i said i thought so to the friend whose party it was and that if the parents of the little boy ever raised it with her to point them in my direction for a chat.

i think with the woman you write about, she may have been getting what we got (in our case - he's just eccentric, he'll settle down etc) when what she probably really needs is to know what she is dealing with. certainly for us it was the beginning of things getting so much better when our son was diagnosed.

the friend who i most valued at this time was very gentle with us. she would gently suggest things but mainly she was just there.

maybe with this woman, having her round, having a cuppa and a chat, telling her about the things you noticed about connor and about his diagnosis might just prompt her to raise her concerns with you. or at least get her thinking. in my experience you have to treat it very gently as people aren't always ready to hear stuff. but knowing kids who are like theirs and who are happy and amazing would make the whole diagnosis and acceptance thing much easier to move into.

you will be just the person she needed to meet right now!

flutter said...

friendship is what she needs, Tabbalove.

Beck said...

The poor sad mama.
I think maybe offering to drop by and bringing some tea, some muffins and a nice paperback that you think she might like would be comforting.

Becc said...

If you had your soup and sandwich shop, she could start there. :-)

Good luck.