A story from a mum who has been to Babiesknow 1: Foundation Weekend
One of the key lessons I learned at BabiesKnow was the importance of speaking with my son right from the beginning. This was all the more important because our home life is a little different as my baby’s father no longer lives with us, a reality that at first was very unsettling to my young child. The BabiesKnow team helped me understand that despite his early age, my baby could sense what was going on anyway. And that naming and acknowledging it while telling him he was safe and secure and loved would be immensely reassuring to him.
Although I felt a bit awkward at first, I quickly settled into a routine of having an ongoing dialogue with my son about our family situation. It seemed to be working just fine until he was about twenty months old and was starting to vocalize many things to me, but never any hint of his father. Even when I showed him pictures of his dad, my son did not respond with ‘Da Da’ the way he did every time he saw ones of ‘Ma Ma.’ He also often had trouble settling in bed after visits with his dad.
I talked it over with one of the BabiesKnow team and realized there was one important thing I hadn’t assured my son of: He is always welcome to speak with me about his father, to tell me about his experiences and his feelings for his father, and in my house. That night when I was putting him to bed after a visit with his dad, I sat him in his cot and began. I told him, as I often did, that his father loves him very much. Also the much-repeated truth that his mother loves him more than anything. And that just because we lived in separate houses he was free to discuss his father with me any time. To tell me what they did on visits, about all the fun they had together or even to complain if he thought his father was unfair at times. Within seconds he grabbed my face with his two chubby hands and planted a wet kiss on my lips. Although he is an affectionate boy, this was quite unusual even by his standards. It was clear to me he understood what I was saying, and we were both more than a little pleased it was said.