Author: CTMomNextDoor

transition isn’t just for kids

The journey of a transgender child isn’t a smooth one, even if that child is lucky enough to have an accepting family and community. There is a lot of anxiety. A LOT. And when you think about it, it makes sense. As a toddler and a young child, your parents are everything. They are the ultimate authority on how the world works. And when they call you a boy, well, they must be right. Right? Add in every other authority figure in your life — siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, doctors, librarians (hey, they’ve always been a big authority figure in my life!) — saying the same thing, and it can be so disorienting to feel that you are a girl when they’re all saying that you are a boy. We never argued with our daughter about her gender. We never told her she was wrong when she did come to us and say that she was a girl. But it took years for her to get to the point where she could say that to us. Because in those years of doubt and questioning, there were thousands of casual conversations informing her that we believed that she was a boy. “Hi! How are you? Yes, this is my daughter, and this is my son. Aren’t they amazing?” “Good morning, I’d like to sign my son up for...

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Parenting an uncharted path

As parents, we all have checklists running in the backs of our minds pretty much all the time. Usually in the form of questions. Did everyone remember to pack their lunch? Did I turn the stove off? Are the Girl Scout forms all filled out? Who did I forget to call back? What day am I supposed to bring cupcakes in to school? (Please, please let it not be today.) Did I turn the stove off? As the parent of a transgender child, that checklist is constantly growing in new and surprising ways. Questions I never would have had in my Life Before the Big Reveal. All the usual questions are still there. Kids are kids, no matter their gender or orientation. But they’ve been joined with: Should we tell parents before accepting sleepover invitations? Do my feelings of social obligation outweigh my child’s right to privacy? Is this a social issue or a medical issue? Will she be safe if she tells her classmates that she’s transgender? Can her schoolmates who know keep a secret? Does that bathing suit make it obvious that she has a penis? Huh, I forgot that she has a penis. Did I remind her to pee sitting down before she left for camp? That checklist also includes questions for the future that, if our daughter were cis gender, I would never have considered:...

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“Mama, I’m a girl”

When I look back at my parenting life, I don’t see pivotal moments standing out as the sea change of our lives. Sure, every once in a while life changes in the blink of an eye and you don’t see it coming. But more often, for every pivotal moment we have experienced, there have been months and years of signs leading up to that moment.

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