Help! Need some advice!!

  1. I work in a pediatrician's office and am not sure how to handle one of the moms. Her daughter is about 2 years old, very healthy and I've known her since birth. Mom was very nervous at first so I made myself available to answer whatever questions she may have had. But after a while I worried that she had become too dependant on me. She would call me for every little thing, often for things that if she used a little common sense, she could figure out. So I sort of boosted her self confidence by encouraging her to use her own instincts and judgment when it came to her daughter and then I praised her when she did just that. It seemed to work because she stopped calling for about a year...and the baby was doing great.

    Well, over the last few months it's all started up again. It started with her calling me one day a few months ago asking me if she could let her daughter go outside to play. The child was over a year and a half at the time and yeah, although it was cold out, it wasn't THAT cold. (I know this sounds unprofessional, but it was all I could do to keep from laughing) And the calls like that continue. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind fielding her calls, when there's a genuine concern, but I'm beginning to feel that she's latching on to me again.

    I usually encourage parents to feel free to call me if they have a question, especially first time parents with infants and parents of premies or sick kids. I tell them that I don't believe in stupid questions and would rather they call me than be unsure. But now I'm wondering if this is a good thing. The majority of parents are really great about it...but I think I may have inadvertently created a monster with this one mum.

    Now the question is, how do I UNcreate it??


    Laura



    [This message has been edited by laurasc (edited February 14, 2001).]
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Mijourney
    Hi laurasc. I'll offer my two cents. You can pat yourself on the back, because I think you've gone beyond the normal call of duty in helping this person. Is this a single mom, and what type of extended family does this mom have? Are there any parental support groups in your area? What do you know about her medical, psychological, and social hx? Besides you, is she routinely calling on others for help? Is there a nurse call center in your area that she can call if she has health related questions when you're not available? Do you work for a call center?

    One thing you can do, if you haven't already, is establish a plan of care with her and make sure the both of you stick with it. Make sure you instruct her on appropriate use of community resources as you may have already. She obviously feels secure with you, but as you indicate, you do not want to enable codependent behavior which according to your post, this mom has a major problem with. Hopefully, others will respond to your post, because I'll be interested in reading what they have to write. Best wishes.
  4. by   mustangsheba
    Laura - My first hit is that this is not about child care at all. What needs to be addressed is what is going on in this woman's life when she starts calling you. You might point out to her that you know she is a competent, intelligent mother (she took care of her child for a year without your input), and that you feel there might be something else that is making her feel like she needs your help. By the way, what is a SAHM? She will either vacillate or get defensive. Or she may be forthcoming. In any case, I agree with Mijourney that she probably needs referral and encouragement to utilize community resources. Keep us posted.
  5. by   laurasc
    THANK YOU!!

    No, she's not a single mom and from what I understand she has a lot of family around her and she's a SAHM. She comes across as being a smart woman, but I don't think she has a lot of common sense. As far as I know she doesn't call anyone else. There's really no one else to call. She's latched on to me. The thing is that after all this time you would figure that she's already found her "mother's legs"...know what I mean?

    I do hope someone else here can give me a little insight on how to deal with this appropriately. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand I want her to make decisions on her own regarding her daughter but on the other hand I don't want to scare her off, so to speak so that she would be afraid to contact me if there is something serious.

    Man! What a mess!

    Maybe I'll post this in the Physician's office nursing board as well.

    Thanks again,

    Laura

    Originally posted by Mijourney:
    Hi laurasc. I'll offer my two cents. You can pat yourself on the back, because I think you've gone beyond the normal call of duty in helping this person. Is this a single mom, and what type of extended family does this mom have? Are there any parental support groups in your area? What do you know about her medical, psychological, and social hx? Besides you, is she routinely calling on others for help? Is there a nurse call center in your area that she can call if she has health related questions when you're not available? Do you work for a call center?

    One thing you can do, if you haven't already, is establish a plan of care with her and make sure the both of you stick with it. Make sure you instruct her on appropriate use of community resources as you may have already. She obviously feels secure with you, but as you indicate, you do not want to enable codependent behavior which according to your post, this mom has a major problem with. Hopefully, others will respond to your post, because I'll be interested in reading what they have to write. Best wishes.
  6. by   laurasc
    Thank you Mustangsheba for your reply. Is there something going on in her family? I really don't know, but I have met her husband and they strike me as an average young couple. (Maybe in their mid-twenties)

    I was thinking about her the other day and I bounced it off one of the receptionists who frequenly fields her calls...mom strikes me as a "needy" person...know what I mean? She's anxious (that's obvious) but is the kind of person who needs almost constant approval and support.

    You made a good suggestion. I think the next time she calls me with yet another of one of her questions, I will address this issue directly.

    BTW...SAHM means Stay At Home Mom.

    Laura

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