By Bailey Kent, Director at The Children's Workshop in Bourne, MA
My given name is Bailey, but these days most people just call me “Louis’s Mom.” Recently, I went to my reunion at Wellesley College and I brought the little critter with me, and naturally he was the hit of the party – dancing, clapping, blowing kisses and saying “hi” to anyone he came across. So there I was – having earned my BA from Wellesley College in Psychology and Education, having spent years studying child development and early childhood curriculum and theory, having a decade or so experience teaching at schools both here and abroad, and currently being a Program Director for The Children’s Workshop – and no one wanted to know about my professional accomplishments. Of course they didn’t – I had brought my greatest accomplishment with me. That’s the beautiful thing about being a parent, no matter where I go or what else I accomplish, my most important title will always be “Louis’s Mom.”
Thankfully “Mom” is a job where my performance review is a high five and my compensation is a goodnight kiss, because if I had a boss I would have to explain that I make most of it up as I go along. Ironic, given that only nineteen months ago I thought that if I made it through the delivery the hardest part would be over; I mean I have the education, I have the experience and I’ve been giving advice to parents for years now. Then suddenly it was six weeks into this mom thing, it was 2:30 AM, the smallest creature in the world had been screaming for hours, it was entirely my responsibility to fix it and I couldn’t remember a thing from my books about what I was “supposed” to do. Amidst my tears, my husband gleefully pointed out that I was wrong. It wasn’t all on me and I didn’t have to be perfect.
I had a network of support – grandma and papa, uncles, lots of aunts, friends and DUH teachers at school. For the first time since we were married, he was right. So here I am: an administrator, a teacher, a professional in the early childhood field and most importantly a mother, who like the rest of us, figures it out day by day.
So if you want, feel free to follow Louis and me as we toddle along and I promise to tell you what the research says we should do and also what really happens.