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20 Things I Wish I Knew When I Became a Parent

I’m nearing the end of my parenting journey with my last kid about to graduate from high school. The husband and I are shifting gears and learning what it means to be parents of adult children.

Once a parent, always a parent, but we’ve definitely moved into a whole new season of parenthood.

The other day I was looking through baby albums and wondering how it was possible that the years flew by so quickly. My mother-in-law warned me of this concept when the kids were toddlers. “The time will fly by when the kids get older and before you know it, they’ll be grown and gone.”

She was right.

I blinked.

And poof, the kids became adults.

The other day, I was thinking back on the mistakes, the fumbles, the inexperience–and all the things I wish I knew when I first became a parent. So I sat down to write all the things I know now–and wish I knew at the beginning of the parenting journey.

Here goes–20 things I wish I knew when I became a parent:

You’re wiser than you realize. You are perfectly capable of making decisions that are right for you and your family.

You’re gonna mess up. It’s okay. Sometimes you have to go down the wrong path to discover what the right path is for your family.

Let go of perfection. Aim for perfectly imperfect instead.

Don’t lose your passion–ditch the time-suckers and go play.

Take time for YOU.

Parenthood is a season. Like all seasons, it ebbs and flows. Enjoy the season you’re in.
Parenthood is not a race. Comparison robs your kid of their own journey.

Don’t follow the crowd–just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean it’s right for your child.

When you’re stuck in a rut, do something new. Take action.

Pick your battles carefully. Will this matter ten minutes, ten months, or ten years from now?

You’re a lot tougher than you think. You can bounce back from anything.

Laugh. Laugh some more. Laugh even more.

Responsibilities and independence are gifts. Give them wisely.

Let yourself feel. Kids need to know that parents are beautifully human.

The laundry never ends. As soon as they can load the washer, teach them to do laundry. Ditto the dishwasher.

Take pictures and videos, but make sure you put the camera down to experience the moments, too.

During the tough times, look for the gift in the experience. Sometimes you won’t find it until enough time has passed by.

Learn all you can about what you need to know–lean on people who have wisdom to share.

Listen within. Meditate. Pray. Ask. The answers will come.

When in doubt, love. Love your kid.

Every child is freaking unique. Honor that.

 

Want a dose of passion? Yes, I do! 

You Can’t Plan Adventure

I’ve entered a new season on the parenting journey: I’m now a mom of three young adults. This phase has required a shift in my parenting experience, one that requires a new skill set. It requires letting go and stepping back versus the heavy guidance of earlier years. 

And it’s hard. 

I keep wishing I could step back in time, to hold them once again as toddlers and revel in the innocence. 

In this season of parenthood, it takes a lot of coordination, plane tickets, and divine timing to gather us all under one roof. We were fortunate to spend Christmas together this year followed by a vacation in the Caribbean. 

I love to travel. I especially love being in new places that feed my soul, especially with nature. To travel with my family is always the ultimate trip for me. 

This year, we joined a cruise with my son’s girlfriend’s family and their friends. It was a magical blend of different ages, generations, deaf, hearing, and backgrounds. 


Memories are not made of things, they are made of experiences: the way you feel, the people you meet, the knowledge you acquire, and the discoveries that appear on your path.

Before we left, I posted the Instapic below on my Instagram feed.


“You can’t plan adventure,” my daughter said. “Adventure is spontaneous.”

I get what she means. Adventure is often associated with the unknown and unplanned that unfolds in life. 

But without vision and dreams, one blithely goes about the daily routine without much spark, passion, and yes, adventure. 

Adventure requires taking action and there’s some planning that goes into it. This means clarity is required–by beginning with the idea that you will invite adventure into your life and stay open to new opportunities for adventure. 

Some of the best adventures come from spontaneous moments–of embracing an opportunity and choosing to experience it. 


Here’s to an adventurous year! 

A little over ten years ago when I first joined Hands & Voices, the leaders all fit around a single conference table.  I started the fourth chapter of Hands & Voices. I wasn't sure how in the world we would create a 501c3 with no funds to begin with, but the Lions Club of Batavia and Barb Sims from the Special Education department in Illinois pitched in to give us start up funding.  I remained President for four years, and then Beth Donofrio took over. Today, Andrea Marwah is currently running the chapter.

And today, Hands & Voices is expanding worldwide.  There is a strong need for a parent-driven organization which provides support for families with deaf and hard of hearing children-- no family, no child, should travel the journey alone.

As I watched Andrea  speak on the topic of Advocacy during her plenary, I thought back to the first time our paths crossed. I served as a Deaf Mentor for their family. One of the resources I often share with families is a book, "From Emotions to Advocacy" by Wrightslaw and I brought the book with me during one of the visits. Andrea, being the tenacious mom she is, took notes of everything. She followed up in getting the book and learning everything she could about education law.  Today, she teaches classes on special education law and advocacy. She has taken Illinois Hands & Voices to a whole new level with her leadership. I am so inspired by her leadership and her journey as a parent. She embodies the Hands & Voices philosophy on every level.

I've been with Hands & Voices for over ten years now and my commitment and passion are stronger than ever.  There was a time I lost my passion and lost my way, but one day, I sat down and figured out my "why" of doing what I do. At the conference, a mom came up to me and introduced herself. As we chatted, she mentioned I had helped her seven years ago. When she walked away, I realized the value in what we do at Hands & Voices-- we just never know who we help or how we inspire or impact families. This is why we continue to reach out and travel the journey with other families--this is our passion, this is our "why" of what we do every day at Hands & Voices.

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

Albert Schweitzer

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Out of the Comfort Zone at the Hands & Voices Leadership Conference

The 10th Annual Hands & Voices Leadership Conference took place this week in Madison, Wisconsin.  The topic of the conference: Out of the Comfort Zone.  In the ten years I’ve been with Hands & Voices, I’ve had to step out of the comfort zone time and time again. In the process, I’ve grown in so many different ways. It is cool to see that same transition happening with the chapter leaders and parents over the years.

A little over ten years ago when I first joined Hands & Voices, the leaders all fit around a single conference table.  I started the fourth chapter of Hands & Voices. I wasn’t sure how in the world we would create a 501c3 with no funds to begin with, but the Lions Club of Batavia and Barb Sims from the Special Education department in Illinois pitched in to give us start up funding.  I remained President for four years, and then Beth Donofrio took over. Today, Andrea Marwah is currently running the chapter.

And today, Hands & Voices is expanding worldwide.  There is a strong need for a parent-driven organization which provides support for families with deaf and hard of hearing children– no family, no child, should travel the journey alone.

As I watched Andrea  speak on the topic of Advocacy during her plenary, I thought back to the first time our paths crossed. I served as a Deaf Mentor for their family. One of the resources I often share with families is a book, “From Emotions to Advocacy” by Wrightslaw and I brought the book with me during one of the visits. Andrea, being the tenacious mom she is, took notes of everything. She followed up in getting the book and learning everything she could about education law.  Today, she teaches classes on special education law and advocacy. She has taken Illinois Hands & Voices to a whole new level with her leadership. I am so inspired by her leadership and her journey as a parent. She embodies the Hands & Voices philosophy on every level.

I’ve been with Hands & Voices for over ten years now and my commitment and passion are stronger than ever.  There was a time I lost my passion and lost my way, but one day, I sat down and figured out my “why” of doing what I do. At the conference, a mom came up to me and introduced herself. As we chatted, she mentioned I had helped her seven years ago. When she walked away, I realized the value in what we do at Hands & Voices– we just never know who we help or how we inspire or impact families. This is why we continue to reach out and travel the journey with other families–this is our passion, this is our “why” of what we do every day at Hands & Voices.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Albert Schweitzer

I met Barbara Desmarais on Twitter--at least I think I did. With so much online networking, it's hard to remember how some of the Twitter relationships originate. She's CoachBarb over there, and we struck up a few deaf-and-parenting-related conversations. I learned that she teaches sign classes for babies and she raised twins who are deaf. She is a professional Parent Coach and helps parents tackle their parenting challenges. Since I'm always curious about parents of deaf and hard of hearing children and their stories, I asked Barb if she would be willing to share her experience in a guest post.

"I'd be honored," she said.  So without further ado, here's Barb's story:

In June of 1984 I attended a party where there were deaf people of all ages and people who worked with Deaf/deaf and hard of hearing people. I had been working with deaf and hard-of-hearing people in a variety of capacities for about eight years. At the party, I met Serge and his five-year-old Deaf, twin sons Adrian and Roger.

Serge and I began dating about two weeks later and married the following April. A few months before marrying, I moved in with the three of them to become step-mom to Adrian and Roger. They visited their own mother every other weekend and twice a week for dinner. I didn't have my own children at
the time and Serge and I made a decision that I would work part-time to be available for the boys when they came home from school on the days they didn't go with their mother.

That year, Adrian and Roger began attending Jericho Hill School for the Deaf here in Vancouver, British Columbia, which was a one hour bus commute from our home. They had been attending a pre-school for the deaf for three years. Sadly, Jericho closed at the end of their eighth year so they were moved to a new school where they were mainstreamed.

Before meeting Serge, American Sign Language was already a big part of my life as I'd worked with deaf children for a number of years and had deaf friends. Adrian and Roger communicated solely through ASL. It would have made things very difficult for me had I not known their language. They are both profoundly deaf and lip read very little. My formal background is in Early Childhood Education so my experience with children gave me a bit of an edge as well, although I quickly learned that being with children almost full time was very different than being with them in a classroom.

From the beginning, Serge and I shared a very similar approach to raising children with a disability. We did not want to pity them or assume their disability would severely limit them. We disciplined them the same way we disciplined the children we had later on. We both looked at them as being the same as any other children except they used a different language. Serge had immersed himself into the deaf community and learned ASL. He could easily converse with the boys. We always made a point to include them in conversations and fill them in on interesting things we heard on the radio or in the community. I used to read to them a lot at bedtime.

We lived in a townhouse complex where there were lots of young children. Adrian and Roger played with other children in the neighborhood although they usually preferred to play with each other. They were each other's best friend. We made an effort to organize play dates with other deaf children
from their school though so they had plenty of opportunity to interact freely with children of their own age.

In June, 1987 Adrian and Roger's sister Claire was born. They were ecstatic to have a new sibling. She picked up signs right away and could communicate her needs long before she could talk. Two years later their brother Marc came along so we were now a family of 6. By then the boys were well
entrenched in their school and had many close relationships with other deaf children. Claire and Marc got very used to having deaf people around a lot as well. In the early years we had deaf babysitters for all 4 of them.

Adrian and Roger are now 29 years old and leading full, rich lives. They both have stimulating and rewarding careers and active social lives. I'm grateful I had the experience of raising them as I know it has made me a better person.

Barb's Children

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Stepmom Shares Life with Deaf Twins

I love Twitter. Over on Twitter, I’ve been able to network and connect with a variety of people that I probably wouldn’t have gotten to know through normal networking channels. I consider Twitter to be my virtual watercooler– I go over there to hang out during my breaks and I get to join in numerous conversations at once. In real life, I can’t duplicate that without an interpreter in front of me.

I met Barbara Desmarais on Twitter–at least I think I did. With so much online networking, it’s hard to remember how some of the Twitter relationships originate. She’s CoachBarb over there, and we struck up a few deaf-and-parenting-related conversations. I learned that she teaches sign classes for babies and she raised twins who are deaf. She is a professional Parent Coach and helps parents tackle their parenting challenges. Since I’m always curious about parents of deaf and hard of hearing children and their stories, I asked Barb if she would be willing to share her experience in a guest post.

“I’d be honored,” she said.  So without further ado, here’s Barb’s story:

In June of 1984 I attended a party where there were deaf people of all ages and people who worked with Deaf/deaf and hard of hearing people. I had been working with deaf and hard-of-hearing people in a variety of capacities for about eight years. At the party, I met Serge and his five-year-old Deaf, twin sons Adrian and Roger.

Serge and I began dating about two weeks later and married the following April. A few months before marrying, I moved in with the three of them to become step-mom to Adrian and Roger. They visited their own mother every other weekend and twice a week for dinner. I didn’t have my own children at
the time and Serge and I made a decision that I would work part-time to be available for the boys when they came home from school on the days they didn’t go with their mother.

That year, Adrian and Roger began attending Jericho Hill School for the Deaf here in Vancouver, British Columbia, which was a one hour bus commute from our home. They had been attending a pre-school for the deaf for three years. Sadly, Jericho closed at the end of their eighth year so they were moved to a new school where they were mainstreamed.

Before meeting Serge, American Sign Language was already a big part of my life as I’d worked with deaf children for a number of years and had deaf friends. Adrian and Roger communicated solely through ASL. It would have made things very difficult for me had I not known their language. They are both profoundly deaf and lip read very little. My formal background is in Early Childhood Education so my experience with children gave me a bit of an edge as well, although I quickly learned that being with children almost full time was very different than being with them in a classroom.

From the beginning, Serge and I shared a very similar approach to raising children with a disability. We did not want to pity them or assume their disability would severely limit them. We disciplined them the same way we disciplined the children we had later on. We both looked at them as being the same as any other children except they used a different language. Serge had immersed himself into the deaf community and learned ASL. He could easily converse with the boys. We always made a point to include them in conversations and fill them in on interesting things we heard on the radio or in the community. I used to read to them a lot at bedtime.

We lived in a townhouse complex where there were lots of young children. Adrian and Roger played with other children in the neighborhood although they usually preferred to play with each other. They were each other’s best friend. We made an effort to organize play dates with other deaf children
from their school though so they had plenty of opportunity to interact freely with children of their own age.

In June, 1987 Adrian and Roger’s sister Claire was born. They were ecstatic to have a new sibling. She picked up signs right away and could communicate her needs long before she could talk. Two years later their brother Marc came along so we were now a family of 6. By then the boys were well
entrenched in their school and had many close relationships with other deaf children. Claire and Marc got very used to having deaf people around a lot as well. In the early years we had deaf babysitters for all 4 of them.

Adrian and Roger are now 29 years old and leading full, rich lives. They both have stimulating and rewarding careers and active social lives. I’m grateful I had the experience of raising them as I know it has made me a better person.

Barb's Children

So Sue kindly gave me the day off and here she is as a guest blogger:

Today, I am writing from the heart, as a deaf adult and as a mom to three children, one hard of hearing, one deaf, and one hearing child. Raising two children with a hearing loss, I often find that their journey is similar to mine growing up hard of hearing and deaf.

Lately, there has been so much joy on my oldest son's face. Alex's eyes light up. He smiles and laughs more. He signs more now. It's so different today than it was a year ago. My son is hard of hearing. Last year, he started going to the Illinois School for the Deaf. He has been mainstreamed all his school years, he has never been in a self-contained classroom. His elementary years in school were fine, interaction with other kids focused more on physical play. In middle school, he had one friend who moved away. Once he started high school in our hometown, it was a whole different ball game. He became increasingly more isolated. He made less and less eye contact. He came home every day looking more discouraged. He cried tears of frustration after coming home from school. He stayed in bed and refused to get up. Today, he says he is liked by his peers. He can't wait to go to ISD. I talked with Alex about his experiences at ISD. He summed it up for me very well, he said "Mom, I am liked". He talked about how much fun it was interacting with other kids and how this school was changing his outlook on life.

My son Matthew also attends ISD. The first day I dropped him off at ISD, he looked so content. He now talks about his accomplishments with pride. His self-esteem has soared. This was a kid who previously hated to go to school. I had to drag him physically out the door and drive him to school. He said he felt invisible at his old school. He struggled to pay attention in classes and was diagnosed with ADD. I took him to a psychiatrist and therapist every two weeks. He was on medication. He suffered from poor self-esteem. No more! He loves ISD and his teachers are so positive about Matthew's progress. I suspect that the deaf school works so well for Matthew because the environment fosters more cooperative learning and interaction. After a long talk with Matthew about his school experiences, I figured out why this new placement has made such a difference for him. At his old school, direct instruction was primarily used. Direct instruction is a type of teacher-centered learning in which the teacher is teaching a lesson and there is less interaction between students. Direct instruction is only beneficial when it is supplemented with cooperative learning methods. Group interaction is very important for learning. Matthew has told me that he feels free to interact in the classroom and he likes interacting with the other kids. He shared that he feels he is learning more. So with Matthew's ADD, this type of learning environment has been very beneficial for him. As for the socialization issue, he is much happier. He has larger pool of friends to interact with. He is a social butterfly and this environment suits him well.

I feel like I know what both of my sons were going through. I myself was mainstreamed in my first year of high school with no support services and was the only deaf/hard of hearing student there. I was miserable. I transferred to a high school with a deaf program my second year. I quickly made friends with other deaf/hard of hearing peers.

Looking back, I realized that I never brought up my story in meetings with my sons' teachers. I felt that this was about my sons, not me. But this is not just our story, it is the story repeated by many deaf and hard of hearing people.

This experience has been recounted many times by deaf and hard of hearing people like myself who grow up never meeting another deaf/hard of hearing peer. We talk about the experience of meeting other people like ourselves as "coming home". One deaf adult I know talks about the feeling of coming home when she started meeting deaf and hard of hearing people at college for the first time. Another deaf adult was so lonely in high school, he transferred to the school for the deaf and learned sign language for the first time.

When I was visiting ISD, I attended the awards/graduation ceremony. I truly felt that we the deaf/hard of community were being acknowledged and honored. I felt valued. And I know both my sons feel the same when they are there. I did not feel this way when my sons were mainstreamed here in their home schools.

I am a deaf adult, I have traveled this journey. I was once hard of hearing, able to hear on the phone at one time. I have been in self-contained classrooms, I have been mainstreamed. I have been considered a "successful" oral child, I have learned sign language. I am now learning more ASL. I feel that my experience and the experience of many other deaf/hard of people is authentic and valid and I wish more people would reach out to us. Learn from us. We need to be heard. When I was growing up, I only met one deaf adult. And I am sad to say today, things have not really changed that much at all for deaf and hard of hearing children. There is no connection to the deaf/hard of hearing community. Frequently, there is no connection between deaf/hard of hearing children mainstreamed in their home schools either. Isn't true that as human beings, we all need that emotional connection to those like ourselves?

While making the difficult decision to place my sons at ISD, I had moments of insight. My daughter is hearing. Everyday I would drop her off at her school. She was always so excited to go. I realized that she has a whole school full of equal peers. She would talk about the group of kids she sat with at lunch. She had friends sleep over at our house, they all would sit at the table talking and giggling. I realized then I wanted the same for my sons. And I knew my sons were not getting what my daughter got so easily every day.

I sometimes feel on the fence between both the hearing and deaf world. Every day I accommodate, I lipread so I can understand hearing people. I talk so that they will understand me. My son Matthew got the cochlear implant because he wanted to hear. I am considering one for myself as well. I also have a daughter, Katie, who is hearing. The hearing world is a huge part of her life and I honor that. She has a "second family" down the street. They are hearing and yes, they are part of her life. Hearing parents also need to give their deaf/hard of hearing children the opportunity to experience the deaf/hard of hearing world.

At the same time, I have respect for the deaf community as well. I am learning to be more proficient in ASL because my son Matthew is using it more now. I talk about deaf role models with my kids. My daughter is learning to sign more and more now with me.

When my sons grow up, I know in my heart they will not always be listened to and heard. I grieve that, because I know their experience will be the same as mine. Yes, it is a world where the majority can hear. Yet, they have so much to give and so much to teach others. It is my hope that other deaf/hard of hearing children will experience "coming home" with their peers. It is also my hope that when they grow up to become deaf/hard of hearing adults, they will have a "voice" and that they will be heard. And that they will be valued.

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Guest Blogger–Another Mom’s Journey

Today’s post is from a close friend of mine, Sue Klytta. Sue and I met back in college and we’ve shared a lot together, including raising deaf and hard of hearing kids. We’ve had many conversations over the years about our kids and we’ve shook our heads at the twisting roads that we’ve gone down on together. We’ve made decisions involving our kids that we never would have imagined making at the beginning of the parenting journey. It goes to show that sometimes you’ll make difference choices at different times in your children’s lives. More than once, I’ve told Sue, “you need to share your story.”

So Sue kindly gave me the day off and here she is as a guest blogger:

Today, I am writing from the heart, as a deaf adult and as a mom to three children, one hard of hearing, one deaf, and one hearing child. Raising two children with a hearing loss, I often find that their journey is similar to mine growing up hard of hearing and deaf.

Lately, there has been so much joy on my oldest son’s face. Alex’s eyes light up. He smiles and laughs more. He signs more now. It’s so different today than it was a year ago. My son is hard of hearing. Last year, he started going to the Illinois School for the Deaf. He has been mainstreamed all his school years, he has never been in a self-contained classroom. His elementary years in school were fine, interaction with other kids focused more on physical play. In middle school, he had one friend who moved away. Once he started high school in our hometown, it was a whole different ball game. He became increasingly more isolated. He made less and less eye contact. He came home every day looking more discouraged. He cried tears of frustration after coming home from school. He stayed in bed and refused to get up. Today, he says he is liked by his peers. He can’t wait to go to ISD. I talked with Alex about his experiences at ISD. He summed it up for me very well, he said “Mom, I am liked”. He talked about how much fun it was interacting with other kids and how this school was changing his outlook on life.

My son Matthew also attends ISD. The first day I dropped him off at ISD, he looked so content. He now talks about his accomplishments with pride. His self-esteem has soared. This was a kid who previously hated to go to school. I had to drag him physically out the door and drive him to school. He said he felt invisible at his old school. He struggled to pay attention in classes and was diagnosed with ADD. I took him to a psychiatrist and therapist every two weeks. He was on medication. He suffered from poor self-esteem. No more! He loves ISD and his teachers are so positive about Matthew’s progress. I suspect that the deaf school works so well for Matthew because the environment fosters more cooperative learning and interaction. After a long talk with Matthew about his school experiences, I figured out why this new placement has made such a difference for him. At his old school, direct instruction was primarily used. Direct instruction is a type of teacher-centered learning in which the teacher is teaching a lesson and there is less interaction between students. Direct instruction is only beneficial when it is supplemented with cooperative learning methods. Group interaction is very important for learning. Matthew has told me that he feels free to interact in the classroom and he likes interacting with the other kids. He shared that he feels he is learning more. So with Matthew’s ADD, this type of learning environment has been very beneficial for him. As for the socialization issue, he is much happier. He has larger pool of friends to interact with. He is a social butterfly and this environment suits him well.

I feel like I know what both of my sons were going through. I myself was mainstreamed in my first year of high school with no support services and was the only deaf/hard of hearing student there. I was miserable. I transferred to a high school with a deaf program my second year. I quickly made friends with other deaf/hard of hearing peers.

Looking back, I realized that I never brought up my story in meetings with my sons’ teachers. I felt that this was about my sons, not me. But this is not just our story, it is the story repeated by many deaf and hard of hearing people.

This experience has been recounted many times by deaf and hard of hearing people like myself who grow up never meeting another deaf/hard of hearing peer. We talk about the experience of meeting other people like ourselves as “coming home”. One deaf adult I know talks about the feeling of coming home when she started meeting deaf and hard of hearing people at college for the first time. Another deaf adult was so lonely in high school, he transferred to the school for the deaf and learned sign language for the first time.

When I was visiting ISD, I attended the awards/graduation ceremony. I truly felt that we the deaf/hard of community were being acknowledged and honored. I felt valued. And I know both my sons feel the same when they are there. I did not feel this way when my sons were mainstreamed here in their home schools.

I am a deaf adult, I have traveled this journey. I was once hard of hearing, able to hear on the phone at one time. I have been in self-contained classrooms, I have been mainstreamed. I have been considered a “successful” oral child, I have learned sign language. I am now learning more ASL. I feel that my experience and the experience of many other deaf/hard of people is authentic and valid and I wish more people would reach out to us. Learn from us. We need to be heard. When I was growing up, I only met one deaf adult. And I am sad to say today, things have not really changed that much at all for deaf and hard of hearing children. There is no connection to the deaf/hard of hearing community. Frequently, there is no connection between deaf/hard of hearing children mainstreamed in their home schools either. Isn’t true that as human beings, we all need that emotional connection to those like ourselves?

While making the difficult decision to place my sons at ISD, I had moments of insight. My daughter is hearing. Everyday I would drop her off at her school. She was always so excited to go. I realized that she has a whole school full of equal peers. She would talk about the group of kids she sat with at lunch. She had friends sleep over at our house, they all would sit at the table talking and giggling. I realized then I wanted the same for my sons. And I knew my sons were not getting what my daughter got so easily every day.

I sometimes feel on the fence between both the hearing and deaf world. Every day I accommodate, I lipread so I can understand hearing people. I talk so that they will understand me. My son Matthew got the cochlear implant because he wanted to hear. I am considering one for myself as well. I also have a daughter, Katie, who is hearing. The hearing world is a huge part of her life and I honor that. She has a “second family” down the street. They are hearing and yes, they are part of her life. Hearing parents also need to give their deaf/hard of hearing children the opportunity to experience the deaf/hard of hearing world.

At the same time, I have respect for the deaf community as well. I am learning to be more proficient in ASL because my son Matthew is using it more now. I talk about deaf role models with my kids. My daughter is learning to sign more and more now with me.

When my sons grow up, I know in my heart they will not always be listened to and heard. I grieve that, because I know their experience will be the same as mine. Yes, it is a world where the majority can hear. Yet, they have so much to give and so much to teach others. It is my hope that other deaf/hard of hearing children will experience “coming home” with their peers. It is also my hope that when they grow up to become deaf/hard of hearing adults, they will have a “voice” and that they will be heard. And that they will be valued.

Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Blogs

Here’s a list of parent blogs with children who are deaf and hard of hearing:

I am Trish Marie

Adopting a Deaf Child with Ushers

Jazzie and Tahlia

Moot Thoughts and Musings

Mom to Toes

Tayton Matthew

Juliet Martinez

CI Parent

Turn On My Ears

Kauan Taylor, My Son’s Implant Journey

Issac’s World


Cochlear Kids

Ethan’s World

Growing Fruit

Lotte Sofie


My Son Tom

Jack’s Story

Lily Hear

Aiden’s Cochlear Implant Journey

Speak Up!

Hearing Exchange Blog

Laney’s Story

Deaf Progressivism

DeafMom3

Indiana Deaf Mother’s Babblings

Live, Laugh, Love

Jordan’s CI Story–Tuscan-American Style

Bionic Boys

Jodi Speaks Her Mind

Hear We Go

Loudest House on the Block

Say What Munchkins

Sound Check Mama

If you know of other parent blogs that could be included here, shoot me an email at parentsofdeafhoh (at) aol (dot) com.