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Has anyone else ever felt a bit deflated after having one of those developmental checks for their children? The twiglets had their two year review with a health visitor and I found myself feeling really quite disheartened afterwards. So how do you deal with feeling disappointed after a child development check?
Child development checks can be a bit hit and miss
Now I know these checks aren’t the be all and end all. But as a first-time mum, they feel quite important and you want to make a good impression. And even get a bit of reassurance that all is well with your little one(s) and you’re doing a decent job.
But these checks are very dependent on the Health Visitor you happen to get. And this is where things can be a bit hit and miss. Some HVs are amazing. The lady who came to visit me for the first six weeks after the twiglets were born was an actual angel. She was so supportive and reassuring and gave me great advice. Others I’ve seen since have been, erm, variable let’s say!
The Health Visitor at the twiglets’ two year child development check was nice enough. But she was quite opinionated on a few issues. And some of the things she said were actually a bit contradictory to what I’d read or been advised in the past.
Contradictory advice from Health Visitors
For example, I mentioned toothbrushing being a bit of a battle with the twigs. And this Health Visitor just said not to worry too much. She said I shouldn’t be on a mission with it but should just let them do it themselves sometimes. She implied it didn’t really matter how well we were brushing their teeth, as it was more important just to not give them much sugar etc.
Now obviously I do agree with that part and we do try hard to limit the twigs’ sugar intake. But we’ve always persevered in trying to give their teeth a decent brush, despite their resistance. And I’ve been told by dentists that this is the right thing to do as it’s important to brush them properly, even at this early age. So pretty contradictory, right?
Another thing was snacking. I mentioned about H being generally pretty obsessed with food and wanting snacks constantly. And while we were there in the room, the twigs both had a packet of raisins and a little bag of popcorn each. This was more because they spotted them in the bag so of course then wanted them.
But she said this was ‘excessive’ and also said as if it was very obvious: ‘Well just don’t bring any snacks out with you, then they won’t want them!’ I felt rather stupid, because she’s probably right and I guess that is obvious.
However, I didn’t dare mention that snack bribery is pretty much the ONLY way I can get them to behave in public sometimes 🙈
She said they shouldn’t need snacks as they should be eating enough at mealtimes. And she also added that maybe that’s why they wake in the night sometimes – because their tummies are used to having something every couple of hours? Now surely that’s a load of b*llocks, no?
Things I’ve read have said toddlers need little and often; three meals a day with regular (healthy) snacks? To be fair, mine probably do have too many snacks and maybe I should be a bit stricter about just having one between meals, possibly at a set time.
But I wouldn’t have thought eating a huuuge portion at meals and nothing in between would be that good for their tummies surely? (Don’t get me wrong, their portions are already massive anyway but hey 😂🐷🐷) And they haven’t woken for food/milk in the night since before they were one so that definitely doesn’t explain that one! (I feel that particular mystery will never be solved 😬)
Feeling judged as a parent at a child development check
The other thing that left me a bit disappointed after this development check was that feeling of having my parenting judged.
I know that’s part of what they have to do – make sure you’re doing what you should be as a parent etc. But the lady asked me what I do with the twigs during the days. And I said we do Gymboree, a twins playgroup, they go to nursery a couple of mornings and we go on lots of walks to parks and various places. Her response wasn’t anything encouraging like: ‘Well done for getting out and about so much with two children!’
It was: ‘Oh you need to check out the local sports centres! They all run lots of classes over the holidays, though you’ve missed most of the holidays now. Or the classes we run here, there’s lots of those.’
So basically she was implying that I don’t do enough with them!! 😭
Damaging for a first-time mum’s confidence
Now I’m not a hugely confident person and I don’t always have a massive amount of faith in my parenting abilities, especially being a first-time mum. But that is, I think, the one thing I’ve always felt most proud of in terms of being a mummy to my twiglets… The fact that I do manage to take them out a lot and they get to spend lots of time exploring outdoors.
And it’s not bloody easy getting out of the house as most of you will know from your own little darlings! Sometimes I’d rather chew my own arm off than go through the military operation of getting two sets of shoes onto two often squirming, misbehaving children, two (or usually more) bags ready and packed (can’t forget the 50,000 snack bribes 😉), two toddlers into their carseats without one or both running off into the road etc.
So for someone to make out that I should be doing more was quite disheartening. I mean, is she right though? Should we be doing more organised ‘structured’ activities?! I think she just thought going for walks was a waste of time but I love letting them have the freedom to run around and explore out in nature 😫😫 It made me feel like a bit of a failure if I’m honest!
The HV did say a few nice things at the development check too…
Anyway she did say quite a few nice things too. Like that the twigs are developing very well and that they’re clearly intelligent. And that I seem to have it all very ‘together’ (HA! If only she knew 😂) Also she told me some useful info about school nurseries.
Really, I’m probably just being a bit of an over-dramatic t*t because I’m super tired after a crap night! Maybe in a few hours I might deign to climb down from my high horse and realise this 🙊
But this is how I’m feeling right now. So I thought I’d write a quick post while my deprived yet overfed children have a nap 😉 Have you ever felt disappointed after a child development check? I know I should probably just have enough faith in my parenting abilities to think screw what anyone else thinks, but it’s hard sometimes. Especially when you feel like you’re winging this whole parenting malarkey day by day!
Anyway, thanks so much for reading! Til next time,