Lauren//Jumpstart Home Visitor
I have been a home visitor for almost 2 years. One of the questions that I frequently get asked about is being a Parent Educator without having kids of my own. I would say that working with families has always been a passion of mine. I have always focused my education on working with children and their families. Through my formal education, access to the Parents As Teachers curriculum, working in the field with families and trainings I attend on a monthly basis, I am constantly learning about child development and have resources I can access for a majority of questions that parents ask. Getting the opportunity to work with children everyday allows me to see that every child grows differently and parenting looks different for every family. Parents are the experts of their child and need to make the decisions they feel are best for their family.
I will add that there have been a couple of scenarios where the answers could not be found by using a curriculum. For example, during flu season I saw a lot of congested babies that couldn’t take medicine because of how little they were. Parents were feeling helpless when the doctor told them just to wait it out. I asked coworkers and friends who are moms about natural remedies that helped their babies sleep through the night or helped relieve the miserable feeling of being congested. They provided great insight that I could bring back to my families! It also created the opportunity to talk to parents about finding friends and reaching out to them for support. I do agree that there are some things in life that only other parents can understand.
I am sure having children of my own would change my perspective of the curriculum and it would feel much different applying it personally. However, I think the way I work with families and how I help them navigate their own personal parenting journey would not change. Right now, I am enjoying all the hugs, smiles, and joyous milestones during the week and then getting to sleep in on Saturday and enjoy a hot cup of coffee with my husband and two cats : )