What the **** do you know anyway?

Over protective

OK apologies for the ranty title but this involved one my own, one of my children. Eeek. So like any good mummy blogger I am taking my stand and ranting writing about it.

Now, it does of course involve the health visitor. I’m sensing the knowing nods from mum’s reading this. Now in the interest of fairness my health visitors have all, for the most part been lovely, kind, Red book supportive, non-judgemental, softly spoken and mumsy all the qualities you look for in a health visitor. Until my most recent encounter anyway.

 

Toby recently celebrated his first birthday, well rather we did, I’m not sure he knew a great deal about it. But as such he was due his review, which brought the health visitor to our house. I have mentioned it before, and I’ll mention it again, Toby was born a little under-cooked at 2 months ahead of schedule. It’s an important piece of information to bear in mind.

 

Anyway those of you who have had a 10-14 month old, you will know that you are sent a some paper with a series of question to answer about things your little ones are or aren’t doing. You’re probably sensing that the review didn’t quite go the way I had hoped.

image

Toby, at one, is not yet crawling, or able to pull himself up on the furniture, bend over pick and stand again. This apparently meant he had a low score in the gross motor portion of the test and as such said health visitor has booked to come check on him in a few months. As someone not used to scoring low on tests this stung a little.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know it’s quite ridiculous to pitch another babies development against another with a score sheet. They are after all immensely different and develop and exceptionally different rates. I know that, when I am logical. However when I have my mum hat on I am somewhat short of logical. But it doesn’t end there, having spent 18 years living and growing up with a severally disabled brother, I know all too well that sometimes the worst really can happen.

Toby driving car

 

Logically I know in my heart of hearts Toby is and will be fine. The impact of prematurity should not be under-estimated, especially those born before 34 weeks. This is the point babies lungs are considered fully developed and capable of working outside of mum. Toby didn’t reach 34 weeks. His lungs were not capable of working independently on birth. He needed drugs, machines and intubation tubes just to help him perform the basic function that is breathing. Babys’ suck swallow technique isn’t developed until circa 35 weeks, so feeding before this point is incredibly difficult. Another of life’s basics. So these babies have to spend the first 6, 7, 8 weeks of their life leaning these essential skills. A full term baby, is for the most part, smiling, holding their head, usually a bit more awake than the very early newborn days by this point. So it does stand to reason that these little preemie babies may well take a bit longer to hit milestones and attain targets their peers have passed. Consultants have advised it can take up to two years for the early birds to catch up.

Despite all this sensible coherent thought, over the week following my health visitors visit I found myself saying the following things:

  1. Well we have just been on a two week holiday in Menorca where we couldn’t put him down to practice because he’s not stable enough and he would inevitably hit is head on the stone floor. Had he been home he may well be crawling by now.
  2. Some babies don’t even crawl.
  3. Well he’s all there because he can say ‘Zara’ and when he drops things on the floor he says’Uh Oh’!
  4. Well she has only seen Toby for 10 minutes she can’t possibly say.

And then when I managed to get really riled:

  1. Well what the F**K does she know anyway?

I know what could this trained health professional with decades of experience possible know about babies? Not one of my finer arguments I admit. Not one I would recommend one of my client’s use in the courtroom, but there I was taking Toby’s ‘low score’ out on my health visitor. I told you, mum hat is illogical.

I must say though the health visitor didn’t help her uncontrollable fate by uttering the words to me ‘I feel sorry for you because this is your lot in life now’. Yes those were her actual words. This.is.your.lot.in.life. It’s been lingering round my head like a bad smell all week. Fortunately I have, mostly, taken it with the proverbial pinch of salt but I would be lying if I said I was unaffected by it. What did she mean? My life is over? This is as good as it gets? You’re mum now kiss goodbye to ambition, fun the future? I also did wonder, what if she had said this to someone a little more vulnerable or someone struggling or battling with PND how might they have felt? I don’t believe she meant it to be hurtful or vindictive but let’s be honest, it is not exactly encouraging is it?

Thu

Anyway I digress, I do believe Health Visitors perform an incredibly important even essential role for mums everywhere they are caring, knowledge and intelligent people. Further it is by no means any fault of my health visitor that Toby is not crawling. She was simply doing her job, well. My problem is exactly that, my problem. A personal hurdle I need to clamber over. I am his mum I worry about him (and his sister) every day and believe I will until my last breath. However I would suggest uttering those illusive words, ‘this is your lot in life’ is probably never, in any circumstances, the right thing to say.

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54 Comments

  1. July 13, 2016 / 7:15 am

    I think it’s almost impossible not to feel a bit under pressure when health visitors are round! We were never that impressed with some of their advice and the comment you mentioned is certainly not the best thing to tell a parent!! Every child is different – your one will be running around terrorising you in no time I’m sure ????????#BloggerClubUK

    • tammymum
      July 13, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      Ha I am sure you’re right and I’ll write a post about how I never get to sit and a, chasing him here there and everywhere. You’re right, there is certainly s pressure there when the HV cone a knocking. Thanks for your comment

  2. July 13, 2016 / 8:06 am

    Oh my goodness, you poor poor love. I feel outraged for you. I can not understand under what circumstances that she felt that those words were the right to say at any given time. I would try to push her words aside and carry on being the wonderful supportive mother you are – focusing on those words will only bring negative energy where you need positivity to bring up your children. I would suggest perhaps a different HV if possible as such a relationship needs to be a healthy one for you all to benefit from it. I am sorry you went through this and I hope you’re managed to get to a place you feel happier now about it lovely xx #BloggerClubUK

    • tammymum
      July 13, 2016 / 8:43 pm

      Thank you lovey that is such a nice comment and I define it’ll try and focus on the positives in all things and writing this post did help me push her comments out of my mind, thankfully. All hail the blog eh. Thanks again for such a nice comment xx

  3. July 13, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Hugs.

    As the mum of a perfect little boy of almost 10 years old (who just isn’t crawling, standing, walking etc YET) I have had so many looks and conversations which have riled me.

    One thing I am sure of though, I am the most qualified professional in my boy’s life!

    • tammymum
      July 13, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      You are so right there my dear, mum’s instinct and knowledge goes an awful long way. People can be so insensitive sometimes it is baffaling. Thank you for your comment xx

  4. July 13, 2016 / 11:21 am

    Oh darling. as you say, the milestone and achievement thing makes a lot of sense when you consider Toby’s early arrival! It’s still difficult when you worry though. I am truly shocked she said ‘this is your lot in life now’ – what a ridiculous and thoughtless thing to say. As you pointed out it could have been seriously damaging to somebody more vulnerable than yourself and even as it is it’s just plain rude. Definitely try to see a different HV next time! I’ve been quite lucky with mine but have heard so many terrible stories and sometimes frankly wrong information that they pass on to new mum’s. #bloggerclubuk

    • tammymum
      July 13, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Yes I think HVs can be a little like a lottery sometimes. Yes perhaps reporting may save it from happening to someone else going forward which would be no bad thing. Thanks for your comment lovey X

  5. July 13, 2016 / 11:52 am

    This is your lot in life???? What the actual F? What did she mean? My daughter has got global developmental delay and didn’t walk until nearly two but at no point did anyone say anything quite so depressing and hurtful. She should be reported. Toby is gorgeous and fingers crossed he will develop perfectly, but just at his own pace. x

    #bloggerclubuk

    • tammymum
      July 13, 2016 / 8:40 pm

      Thank you that’s a lovely comment. All in their own time hey, all the yardsticks I think just add further pressure to everyone. Thank you again xx

  6. July 13, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    The Popple literally just started pulling herself up this week – and she’s 13 months. She also only just started crawling, even though she’s been walking for months. As you said, babies all develop differently – I think the Popple put all of her effort into walking, which is why she skipped some milestones and is catching up now. You know your child best – always trust your instincts! #BloggerClubUK

    • tammymum
      July 13, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Yes you are right mothers instinct is without doubt very strong and had a big part to play. Thanks for sharing your experience with Popple xx

  7. July 13, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    No, this is definitely not the right thing to say. Try to put her stupid comment behind you. Mother’s instinct is very strong, so what the actual F does she know anyway?!? #bloggerclubuk

  8. July 13, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    How dare she seriously! What an awful thing to say. Did you question her? I think I would follow this up it at least request a different one for your following visit. Sending a huge virtual hug ❤️

    • tammymum
      July 13, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      Thank you lovey. I dint question her actually I was a little to taken a back I think, but perhaps it is something I should be raising, hopefully it my avoid others being on the receiving end of similar thoughtless comments. Thanks for your comment xx

      • July 14, 2016 / 7:57 am

        I am the person who afterwards always thinks, I wish I’d said… Do what your heart says lovely. Back from #ablogginggoodtime ❤️ Thank you for linking up ????

  9. organisedjo
    July 13, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Oh my, what a horrible experience for you. I hope you can move on from this and focus in your little one but it might be worth putting a complaint in, just so the HV can understand how words can have a big impact! #BloggerClubUK

    • tammymum
      July 13, 2016 / 8:47 pm

      Yes it is something I have been thinking about and seems a general theme that people are advising to do, perhaps I will as it may stop comments like that being used again in the future. Thanks for your comment xx

  10. July 14, 2016 / 8:24 am

    Ohh I would not have been happy if a health visitor had said that to me. What did she even mean by that? I have not had the best experience with health visitors, I always feel like their advice is so vague and they don’t actually take my child in to consideration and just tell me the same thing they tell everyone. My health visitor was always grumpy though, I’m sure most are lovely and actually supportive. I wouldn’t worry about what she said hun, you know your son better than anyone but if you are concerned you could always ask to see a different health visitor next time.xx #blogginggoodtime

  11. July 14, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Eurggggh I’m so angry for you!! My daughter is 15 months and we had this check up SUPER early, at 10 months. So we arrive with our questionnaire which has largely been filled out as ‘no’ for everything. At that point, she didn’t crawl or stand or cruise…she just sat all day long. I’m thankful our HV was nicer about it than the lady you encountered and I’m just so sorry you’ve had to go through that. It’s all box ticking culture and it makes me furious, as well as that horrible comment is just so uncalled for and if you ask me, she must be extremely unhappy with her lot. xx #bloggerclubuk

  12. July 14, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    Ah yes, health visitors. I’ve had my fair share of disagreements with them. I am sure Toby is fine and that he will walk/crawl when he is good and ready x #coolmumclub

  13. July 14, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    I am so appalled that a health professional said those words to you! Despicable! You should complain, honestly.
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub – Toby is PERFECT

  14. July 15, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    I hate hate hate health visitors. My daughter walked at 2. Imagine how they were grrrrr. Then when my boy was born, they came round and brought her up. They are a drain on the nhs resources. You did the right thing. Next time they want to see you, just fob them off. Mummy is always right

  15. July 15, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    Health visitors, although helpful, all seem to have the same personalty and condescending tones. My baby’s birthweight was 10lb 9, at about 8 weeks I got him weighed and the health visitor winced and when she told me in concerned tones he was in the 95th centile. Err, he was born enormous, surely it’d be more worrying if he was anything below 90 in that short space of time?

    Another visit for the 10 month check (performed just before his birthday, actually) I was told to seek advice from my GP because she suspected problems with his hips. This was all because I couldn’t persuade him to stand up for her (he did for us) and he hadn’t tried to walk. I disagreed and 3 weeks later he was charging around the lounge with a push along train.

    Health visitors seem to manage to piss everyone off a bit. I don’t know how they do it?

  16. July 15, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    What a thing to say. I really hope it was a one off remark and that she doesn’t say things like this all the time x #abloggingoodtime

  17. July 16, 2016 / 7:25 am

    Oh wow. I’d be fuming really. My health visitor is fab, but I’ve had to have social services involved due to me and my OH having some mental health issues (I ranted about it on my blog) and they say stupid things like your health visitor did. I’m so sorry. I think I’d put in a complaint about the comment being made. #fortheloveofBLOG

  18. July 16, 2016 / 9:30 pm

    My mothers group was the best because we all decided everything was normal and the books were just the ideal. We’d always poll to know if there were others not doing a milestone and as long as you had company, you didn’t care. My first was last to do everything (because they were huge and had a huge weight head) but first to crawl. That caused quite a commotion because I was usually the go to person for anyone who’s baby wasn’t doing something on time. The health care nurse sent me to the DR so many times for non exisitant problems (and I’d get all worked up and upset) that the DR thought I had Munschausens (however you spell that) and when she finally realised it was the Health Nurse she said “Next time she tells you anything is wrong with this child, tell her to get f*cked from me”. Needless to say, I’m not really a fan of those nurses, but I understand they are trying to do what’s best for the child. #Fortheloveofblog

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:41 pm

      Oh wow those groups sound amazing, I would have loved to have been part of it. The doctor also sounds fab! There should be like her and less like the health nurse! Thank you for your comment xx

  19. July 16, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    Oh wow, that is so out of order!! We were lucky to have a very nice (clueless and kind of useless really…she shrugged and said “Oooh Im not sure about that….” in response to any question I asked her) health visitor but yet I always dreaded her visits anyway just because her mere presence made me feel judged and not good enough. I think I would have cried if I’d been landed with this one! She sounds awful and I would certainly be complaining! #KCACOLS

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Ha I think the useless and clueless sounds like the way forward if the alternative is ‘this is your lot in life’ eh. Thanks for your comment lovey xx

  20. July 17, 2016 / 2:13 am

    Hang in there Mum, you’re mommy instincts are perfect! My little one is 19mths and she never crawled.Toby is just adorable! #KCACOLS

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      Ah thank you. Yes they’re all different aren’t they, and I know that deep down, just every now and then I get a little rattled by the comparisons and silly health visitors. Thanks for your comment xx

  21. July 17, 2016 / 8:37 am

    We went through the same thing with our health visitor. Oldest never really crawled, apparently she was doing something that was called commando crawling and I was informed by the HV that this is very bad. Well it didn’t do her any harm as she is a walking 7 year old now!! #KCACOLS

  22. aliduke79hotmailcom
    July 17, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    Both of my children were premature and they both caught up. I tried to never compare them to other children, as really they all do things when they are good and ready. I cannot believe what she said to you, that, in my opinion was not very professional.
    #KCACOLS

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:28 pm

      Yes it really was wasn’t it. You definitely had the right approach in. It co paring to others. It’s a slippery slope once you start! Thank you for your comment xx

  23. July 17, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    What an odd and rather rude thing for her to say to you! I’m annoyed on your behalf. I have a hate/hate relationship with my breastapo health visitor so they aren’t all lovely and mumsy unfortunately. They seem obsessed with pitching babies against each other in height/weight/aptitude/ability or whatever it is they come to talk about. She shows up unannounced occasionally too. Mothers know best though so don’t worry. Thanks for joining us on #fortheloveofBLOG X

  24. July 17, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    We’ve spent the last 4 and a half months trying to shake off our health visitor. She’s been obsessed with Piglets weight, he is on the light side, but he was 4 weeks premature and I’m fairly petite myself. He’s happy, smiling and blatantly not starving – it felt like she was trying to create an issue when there isn’t one! #KCACOLS

  25. July 18, 2016 / 10:30 am

    what did she even mean by that?? how odd. I know this is not really helpful but my kids were 15 months and 14 months before they started walking #kcacols

  26. July 18, 2016 / 11:15 am

    Pretty sure I’d have told the HV to sod off out of my house. Your little guy looks healthy and happy. Maybe he is a little behind the text-book ‘baby’ whatever that is but seriously, who cares? I’m a teacher and you can very rarely tell by school age which kids were preemie or not. And if you can, well you deal with it by providing SUPPORT to the family not by saying that crap. Looks like your lot is pretty fantastic to me mama. Xxx #marvmondays

  27. July 18, 2016 / 11:16 am

    goodness isn’t Toby a cutie! It’s a hard one isn’t it and HV’s can do a really great job of making us feel completely sh*t. try not to take it all to heart. I guess they have to go through many processes and steps in all the paper work. you know your boy best and like you say, she saw him for all of ten minutes. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday :)

  28. July 18, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    Granted she was doing her job but as a professional that has to deliver difficult messages to families I know that the way you say things really does have an impact..This.is.your.lot.in.life. is not very sensitive…I have a special love all off premy babies being born 3 months myself and getting told I a would not survive or b would be severely disabled…so I got stubborn and surprised them, granted I am dyspraxic but hey who needs to be good at netball as an adult 😉 He is so so gorgeous and will do what he wants in his own sweet time :) xxx #ablogginggoodtime

  29. July 18, 2016 / 6:36 pm

    Sounsd like she was a total jobsworth and probably in the wrong profession! What she said to you was absolutely awful and you’d be well within your rights to complain about her “this is your lot in life” statement to be honest! He’s absolutely gorgeous and will get there in his own time – you know your boy and you know he’s wonderful just the way he is x #KCACOLS and #MarvMondays

  30. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops
    July 18, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    Oh wow, those words… I am not sure when it would be right to say them! To be honest I have had a few issues with various HV over the two and a half years I have had to deal with them. I actually heard one of them say to another set of parents, ‘yes, well, acid reflux is fashionable now’ (as a parent to a child with silent reflux which required medication until she was nearly two – you can imagine how that made me feel). I also do agree with you, they may have years of experience but they spend very little time with you and your child! #KCACOLS

  31. July 18, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    Wow what a joker. I’ve met a few rude ones in my time but it sounds like yours has taken the biscuit. What a thing to say to a mum? After my second, I had PND and that would have rocked me backwards. Also, like you said, all kids develop differently and like different things. Hate that they judge on 10 mins and a little red book. #KCACOLS

  32. July 18, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    Woah! I can’t even believe the Health Visitor said that to you?!! That is so unhelpful, applying some label to him so early on. Shieshk! Scores? Charts? Measures? Are just that. Let’s just rephrase…If you’ve got Toby in your life then you’ve got a lot! He is beautiful. #Fortheloveofblog

  33. July 19, 2016 / 2:21 am

    I totally understand your take on this. I would be the same way if not worse. I can not believe she said that to you. And you know what, all kids progress differently. Guidelines and charts are not the end all be all measurement for the health and development of a child. Keep doing what your doing Mom, you have a cute little boy :) #KCACOLS

  34. July 19, 2016 / 7:27 am

    I can’t believe she said that! And I know they have to have guidelines but every child really does develop at their own pace. My son just started walking at 14 months and people have referred to him as a “late walker” really?! #KCACOLS

  35. July 19, 2016 / 4:20 pm

    Some people just do not think before they speak! Ignore it and keep going, I was told throughout my pregnancy and after my daughter was born that she was too small etc etc, I nodded and made the right noises etc but totally ignored their ‘helpful’ advice and guess what she’s 15 now and totally fine and gorgeous! Your little boy is gorgeous! #marvmondays Abby at http://www.peppermintcove.com

  36. July 19, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    Sometimes these health visitors do not think before they say things. Mine just sends the health nurse instead who doesn’t seem to know much.#MarvMondays

  37. July 22, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    Some people shouldn’t be allowed to work with the general public, what an offensive and hurtful thing to say! And stupid too, as it bears no relation to reality. Why would she feel sorry for you? You have a fantastic lot in life! What a negative and depressing viewpoint she has. She should know perfectly well that all babies develop at different rates, and especially taking into account that he was born very premature. We don’t have health visitors in Mexico so I have no experience of them – maybe that’s a good thing! #KCACOLS

  38. July 23, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    I cant believe your health visitor said that, I feel incensed for you! It was a completely inappropriate thing for her to say. What did she even mean by that? Try not to worry too much, not all babies start walking by 12 months whether they are preemies or not, and as you said, not all babies crawl. I am sure Toby will get there in his own time and then you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about! Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily x

  39. September 24, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    The HV’s lot in life is that she’s a tactless bitch. I’m sorry on your behalf that you had to be subjected to that in your own home. Toby will probably make up for this “delay” in other areas in his own time xxx

  40. September 24, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    WTH? What is this deal with HVs? Is this common in the UK? Do they go visiting every newborn in the country? And the audacity to butter those words? Clearly, she wasn’t given any compassion, kindness, and understanding training.
    Since the original post was from July, have you done an updated post since then? Hugs to you and Toby.

  41. November 11, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    Wow I am in chock! On what planet does a Health visitor think it’s okay to say that! “Your lot in life” and she feels sorry for you! I’m fuming on your behalf… I agree that us mums can be somewhat unable to keep our emotions out of things when it involves our babies, but as you rightly stated there is nothing to worry about with your sons development, some are just late crawlers others early and some in between. With regards to that HV I would seriously put in a complaint on that remark, it was highly unprofessional! and then also remember that Health visitors are optional 😉 xx