Yesterday we received this beautiful email from a mom in NYC. Many of you will identify with her struggles and find her words highly encouraging
When my daughter Shala was born we had saved enough money for me to stay at home for her first seven months. I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful bonding experience we had. I was determined to spend every minute giving her love and equipping her with every possible advantage I could. I breastfed, we listened to classical music together and we spent many hours outdoors.
We started signing with her from day one. We knew that she was unlikely to start signing until later but we found that it was a wonderful way for us to engage with her. Shala surprised us with her first sign on her fifth month! My little bug would sign milk basically every time she was hungry! Words cannot describe our joy. We wanted everyone to see how our little tiny girl could communicate her needs and in response to her communication we were ready to give her what she needed.
My husband, my MIL and I reinforced signing in daily activities and games but Shala spent the majority of her time with me as the main caregiver. Two weeks ago I went back to work. We are so fortunate to have my MIL who is willing to help us with Shala’s care. Knowing that my little one was going to be with nana eased my anxiety a ton.
On my first day at the office my MIL had some challenges to overcome. Shala was missing mommy and expressed her anxiety by crying. While my little girl was crying she signed milk. My MIL promptly fed her a bottle. That was a turning moment. Somehow my little girl realized that nana was as capable as mom when it came to meeting her needs.
It has been two weeks now and my little Shala is thriving with grandma. Shala signs and nana knows how to help her. Shala’s three favorite signs are milk, more and tired. She uses tired when she wants to be held.
Thank you for helping us better communicate with our little girl. For us working mothers this means a whole lot.
Thank you Casey for your sweet note. If you are a mom about to go back into the workforce I hope this letter makes you smile. We love to hear your stories. You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org