#1 Mom Tip: Trust Your Instincts
Being a mom is hard.
And, I don’t mean I haven’t slept in a week and I smell kinda barfy, because, um, someone barfed on me, hard.
Because, when you really break it down, it’s actually about way more than that.
It goes deeper, and starts at the beginning. You grew this human inside of your body, and then, almost instantly, you forgot the pain that had basically turned you into a violent lunatic, the exact moment that you laid eyes on the little piece of your heart that is now going around the world as a child.
Everything changes in that moment. Good, bad, ugly, amazing. You become different, the world becomes different.
And, you know that every single moment, a piece of the heart you share with this new human is at risk of being hurt, or falling ill, or having some jerk say or do something so mean and ugly that violent-child-birthing-lunatic threatens to become up-at-the-school-strangling-kids-and-their-parents-to-make-them-stop-it-already-lunatic.
You start doing things you wouldn’t have done before (pulling out your boob in public to feed your hungry baby comes to mind). You get to feel feelings you weren’t capable of feeling before. You suddenly know things you didn’t even think you knew before.
And, I don’t care how much you tell your mom self that when you mom up, you are not going to change who you are as a person; that you will never be a mom-jeans-wearing-over-bearing-PTA-joining-bake-sale-directing-beast-of-woman with a minivan full of soccer cleat wearing crumb-snatchers, every single one of us has these moments when that chunk of heart makes you literally turn yourself inside out to protect it, and make it happy, and keep it beating well beyond the day that your own gives out.
There’s just this connection.
It’s strong, and it’s powerful, and it works in mysterious ways.
It lets you know things about your child that other people can’t know, things that, sometimes, even your child doesn’t really know.
Recently, my 5 year old son got very ill.
Initially, he was diagnosed with strep throat. We put him on the antibiotics, as per the doctor’s instructions, and gave them twice daily, like the bottle said.
Only, he didn’t get better the way he was supposed to.
He wasn’t up and fever free in 48 hours like we expected. He was quiet, and clingy, and tired, and sad.
He said he was feeling better, but he didn’t really seem to be feeling better. And, he certainly wasn’t himself.
As other symptoms started to pop up (or not cease as they should’ve) I called the doctor. Numerous times. Until I was pesky. Until they were exasperated. Until I got an appointment.
Because I knew.
I just knew something was wrong. The for real kind of wrong that keeps you up at night and makes you shun cupcakes because your stomach just won’t stop jerking and jittering and turning over in your body.
After he laid down on the floor of his preschool class and then proceeded to sleep for 18 hours straight I took him into the doctor’s office, before his scheduled appointment, guns blazing and demanded they fix him.
A bunch of tests and a couple hours later it was determined that I WAS RIGHT he was in kidney failure due to post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis.
His kidneys were thiiiiis close to shutting down. We wouldn’t have made it through the day without a trip to the emergency room.
In the midst of all of the hustle and bustle, I remember breathing a sigh of relief, because I knew (and because it wasn’t any of the things Dr. Google said it was). I knew something was wrong with my baby, and I did what I knew I had to do to get him the help he needed.
As we are on the long road to recovery, I am grateful that things have worked out largely in his favor. They could be worse; they can almost always be worse.
Plus I learned something that I don’t mind telling moms every where when I’m dolling out unsolicited advice: listen to your heart. You don’t have to listen to your husband, your mother in-law, the doctor, or your friends.
Just me and your heart and you’re good.
Want to learn more about what happened to #3? You can read the entire story about his illness here: Real Talk About Strep Throat.
Has there been a time when you had to trust your instincts in the face of something difficult with your children?