Hello! Welcome to OT Mom, my new blog! I’ve been blogging since 2002 on my personal blog, but lately I’ve been feeling a pull to create a new blog focusing on parenting. Let me tell you a little bit of my story.
I’m an occupational therapist and I work with children with special needs and their parents. For the first seven years of my practice, I had been giving the parents I worked with some advice on how to raise their kids. Well, not exactly how to raise them, but how to work with them and teach them, activities to do with them, and sometimes, how to handle their child’s behavior. But everything changed when I had my own son, two years ago.
I cringe inwardly as I try to recall what well-intentioned but impractical advice I may have doled out over the years. In fairness, I was always aware of the irony of a young childless therapist teaching experienced parents, but I did the best I could as part of my job. Now that I have Dylan, I’ve realized that it’s a whole different ball game from what I had thought.
Becoming a mother has changed me completely. It has changed who I am as a person. It has also changed who I am as a therapist. I has always been easy for me to relate with kids and be playful with them. But lately I’ve found myself taking that to a different level, and starting to treat the kids I work with like I treat my own. I also find myself relating to the parents more, and I think about the context of the parent’s life when giving them activities to do at home, or techniques to try with their child. I draw from my own experiences as a mother when I collaborate with them.
At the same time, being an OT also influences who I am as a mother. I can’t help but apply my knowledge and skills that I use as a therapist to raising my son. Motherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual. But as I started raising Dylan, I realized that I was lucky to already have several tricks and ideas in my parenting bag. It has been easy for me to teach him certain skills, since I’ve done that countless times with the kids I work with. Choosing toys and activities for Dylan that are developmentally appropriate and stimulating comes very naturally to me.
But there is still a lot about parenting that I am learning about. Being consistent with a child for an hour-long therapy session is a lot different than being consistent with a child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And often it’s easy to brainstorm and come up with ideas than to actually find time to implement them and put them in place.
This blog is about my journey as a mother and as an occupational therapist, and sharing what I’m learning along the way. I hope you’ll join me and share your own experiences as we travel this parenting road together.