The difference between a background in children and having a child!

November 13, 2013


When I set out to write this blog, I told myself it would be all about photography;  but then I became a mom!  And anyone that is a mom you are laughing at me right now when I say that when we first had Linc I thought I was totally going to be able to keep these parts of my life separate!

That separation… it doesn’t exist!  It just doesn’t, at least not for me! Linc is mixed in with every aspect of my life, and that is still taking me some time to get used to!

Anyway, my Linc and Wink post this morning is all about Linc and some about Wink (thank goodness for that stuffed little buddy right now, I don’t know what we would do without him) and it’s not at all about photography really!

I have a degree in Child Life, which is a really specialized degree that focuses on the development and well being of children who are hospitalized or in medical care.  At least that’s the short version that I would tell someone if we were riding an elevator.  If you have some time, look the degree up because it’s really cool!  I worked at the hospital on a number of different units preparing children for medical procedures, providing therapeutic play and distraction and also teaching them about different diagnosis and basically all things hospital.  There were amazing parts of that job!  It was incredibly fun and rewarding and it taught me so much about life and how I want to live my own life and how I wanted to live my life with my own children.  BUT there were also some pretty big down falls to that job as well… it was sad sometimes and the work (some of it) was really hard.  (All that is for another time)

One of the questions that I would get asked most by the parents of my patients time and time and time again was “Do you have children?”.  I would always get asked during those difficult times… when I was helping with difficult procedures, or helping a patient process a particular stressful event.  And the only response that I was able to give at the time because I didn’t have children was that no I did not, but that I did have a strong educational background and many years experience in doing what I’m doing right now!”

I always felt like that answer was a satisfying answer.  It might not be the answer a parent wanted to hear exactly, but I felt that it was the best answer that I could give.

NOW… my skin crawls a little at the answer!

There is such a HUGE difference between having a background in education/child development/child life be whatever you may have a background in… and actually having a child or being a parent! HUGE!

And the difference lies in the small matter of knowing and understanding what is supposed to be done and needs to be done and then actually doing it!  And that extends to just about everything across the board!

We are struggling big time over here with some massive separation anxiety!  Linc’s always gone through short bursts of separation anxiety, but this burst completely takes the cake!

know all the techniques and what I need to do as a parent to help him get through.  I play all the separation games.  I sit on the floor with our little people farm house and the farmer goes away for a little bit but he always comes back!  We play lots of little separation games like this!  I take him to the gym… and he cries like nothing else as soon as we pull into the parking lot.  We aren’t even in the building yet!

He cries when I leave for photo shoots, even though he is home with Daddy.  He cries when I go to the bathroom with his little adorable pudgy fingers wiggling under the door!

I know I’m supposed to keep going places and showing him that mommy will come back.  BUT I CAN’T!  I completely stopped going to the gym and I felt awful at church last week when he screamed the second our fingers tips were out of reach!

And this all brings me right back to my days at the hospital when those parents used to ask me… do you have kids?  And now I get it!

I want to kick myself for giving the only answer that I could give at that time.

Those parents knew.  They knew one day I would get it.  I would feel and live where they were living and feeling!

So Today, I’m asking all my parent friends… how do you do it?!  Tell me I’m not alone in the “I have a degree in this but it’s so hard to actually do the things I know I should do with my own kid!” boat!

Sometimes it’s kind of nice… like when he decides he’d rather snuggle than play at the Green Bean!  Sometimes it’s kind of funny… like when he puts his hands under the door!

But someone who does have kids must have been through this before… any suggestions?!

I know we will eventually get the hang of it.  And hey maybe this is just another short burst!  But in the meantime I’m learning to appreciate my background and the tools I’ve been taught.  I’m also learning to appreciate the complete crazy wonder that children are and how I just have to learn to go with the flow, throw the tools out the window and just let in the madness!



  1. Melia says:

    I think you have to truly ask yourself if there is a little part of you that loves that he needs you. I think kids are intuitive and can sense more than we realize. If you are confident when you leave him an you truly want him to not need you when you leave then he in turn will be confident. If you have any hesitation or worry or if you secretly enjoy that he doesn’t want you to go then he will continue to give you the behavior you secretly want. My 2 cents 😉

    By the way miss seeing you at the hospital. However, looks like photography is your gift too. Great pics!

  2. Lisa Terry says:

    I love love love this post. A lot of therapists at my work get asked that too. Sometimes I think as long as you love your child and doing things in their best interest than there is nothing wrong to catering to them. They are only little for so long and you will never get that time back once they are completely independent of you. I still tell families to work on things but I know how hard and crazy things get so I’m more understanding too. You’re a great mom 🙂 I tell my husband all the time. I know it’s difficult at times but we will have more years with the kids out of the house and we will never get this time back.

  3. Ashley S. says:

    It is just as phase … but I don’t know how to tell you to get out of the phase, except keep coming back and showing him you love him!! As far as “here is my life skill” application to parenting, man oh man, its tough. With a teaching background, I should be able to teach A, right? I should desire to teach him. But sometimes he just wants to play and I want to play and another day goes by … but I have learned that learning {for the 2 of us} happens organically rather than structured like I would do in a classroom. Ultimately, we are called to love these little guys… and love them as well as we can. In this moment. In this season.

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