Let’s get to know The Early Years by following an EY visitor through their daily routine.
Preparing for my day
Today, I planned two Early Years toolbox cards. I chose the ‘Stranger Anxiety’ toolbox card for the one-year-old. In past visits, I noticed he was a bit uncomfortable around strangers. When I would greet him, he would act surprised, cry, and back away. So, I planned my visit based on what I saw Baby doing. I’ll go through my resource guide and I’ll turn to the ‘Stranger Anxiety’ section and I’ll read everything. Then, I’ll find something relevant to the toolbox card from my own personal experience. Like, what did I do as a parent? Sometimes I’ll ask the Program Manager for advice.
Baby and Me
Then, at the visit, I go through both toolbox cards. I noticed that once I started talking to Baby, his face turned from Mom towards me. He was interested in my voice. Then I turned to Mom and I said, “Here’s another thing I want to talk about today: talking face-to-face with your baby.” She responded proudly with, “I already do that!” She took baby again and gave baby to Dad. Then we started talking about the importance of the ‘Talking Face-To-Face’ toolbox card. I could tell she does it because Baby knows her voice. He’s so calm. I can see that she’s a responsible mom and she doesn’t ever refuse a visit. This was the most successful visit I had all week. At the end of the visit, we talk about how things are going with the whole family. When other family members are present, I feel respected and welcomed as an EY visitor. I feel happy about that.
Mommy and Me
The second home visit I had today was all about family planning. When the baby is about six months old, we remind our families that contraceptives are important. This trust-building process between myself and the moms comes naturally because we are from community. Having that lived experience is a gift. It empowers them. I also included my own experience and gave an example of my life and my children. That’s when Mom got really interested! I explained how it was hard for me, going through motherhood alone. I started being a mom coming from an abusive relationship. I wasn’t helping my son develop right. Because I wasn’t right! I didn’t know who to turn to. I didn’t have the Early Years. Maybe if I had had someone like me to check up on me, to listen and talk, I would have gone other places. I wouldn’t want any of the mothers I work with to go through what I went through. So, I share my story. This is what I’m here for. The support. Then we don’t feel like we’re doing it alone.