Dixie Sevison has been working with students her whole career. Currently, her focus is on all female students at Brigham Young University as the director of Women's Services & Resources. I got a chance to sit down with her and talk about the resources available to young mothers, some of whom might still be in school.
What are some common issues with student moms?
The common theme is who is going to take care of my child while I'm at school? Who is going to take care of my child when I'm studying. So, that's the issue that comes up over and over again; childcare.
How do you usually go about handling that?
What I do for students is to give them a smorgasbord of what's in the community what resources are available and tell them, "Choose what works best for you." And it's not the same for everybody.
How familiar are you with Help Me Grow?
My focus is on the student, so it's just a resource referred to. Helping parents know if their child is developing correctly and knowing how to be a parent. Here is one of the options in the community.
How do you think Help Me Grow can help with new moms?
We talk about networking in business, however, you also need networking in parenting. You are just adding to your network. Here's somebody that you know you can reach by phone or email that will be there for you. If you need more help than that, maybe you want somebody that can come into your home, they can hook you up with agencies that do that.
What is some advice you have for new moms?
Don't stress, it is going to work out. Kids are pretty resilient. You are not going to totally mess them up. Be true to who you are. You are the best parent you can be when you are true to who you are and not trying to be like an ideal or another parent that you think is the way it should be. Some mothers just love doing preschool at home and doing all the activities and some moms do it differently. And that's okay. There is not an ideal way to be a parent. What our children want and need from us is who we authentically are and our time. And that's one hang-up I see, parents trying to be this ideal. Guess what your kids are going to live if you pack them a school lunch or pay for a school lunch. It doesn't matter. If you have a beautiful home cooked meal every single night, that is so awesome. If you take the family out and sit together at a restaurant and have a meal, that is so awesome... Get over it. The way you are doing it is going to be great.
What is some advice you have for moms that are experiencing perinatal mood disorders?
Reach out, you are not alone. Others have dealt with this. Others are going through this. There's help for you. And guess what? It doesn't make you a bad parent; It makes you human. What makes you superhuman is reaching out and asking for help.