• TheOtherMom

Mom Instinct Gold

I confess I’ve been distracted lately. Between homeschooling and tidying up a house that never seems to stay clean for more than a few minutes, I sometimes feel a bit burdened. I have no free time and my to-do list is longer than ever.

The other day, my oldest daughter asked me for breakfast as I unloaded the dishwasher. I offered her all the usual choices and she sadly said no, that she’d just go hungry.

I realized immediately that she wasn’t asking for breakfast, she was asking for me.

I could feel it.

As the eldest child, she’s my biggest helper-my go-to when I can’t get there fast enough. “Can you grab your brother from his nap? Can you clear the dishes? Can you play with the baby?”

But in that moment, she wanted something more than for me to pour a bowl of cereal.

The dishes could wait.

I dug into the refrigerator and pantry and pulled out the ingredients to make an old favorite. Something I only make under the most special of circumstances. I buttered the bread and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top. I stuck it under the broiler and cut her a few strawberries. When the cinnamon toast was ready, I cut it into triangles and placed the plate in front of her.

Her own special breakfast.

Then I went and sat down at the table and watched her as she ate it, closing her eyes as she chewed the sugary, crunchy goodness.

It was exactly what she needed.

It centered her. Whatever was causing her to feel off was righted with an undivided moment of Mom’s attention.

She could continue on.

Moms have a way of knowing exactly what their children need. It’s in our nature.

Our babies our born and we instantly connect to their every need. It’s how we ensure their very survival, knowing the sounds of their cries and what they mean. Knowing when they need milk, a burp, a snuggle or a bounce.

It doesn’t turn off as they get older. We can sense by the sound of their footsteps when they had a bad day as they walk in the door, or when they’re upset as they get ready for bed, clouds in their usual peaceful faces.

The mom instinct is so strong and so sensitive, we can sus out lies by the tone of voice.

We know when a room has gotten too quiet.

It’s the voice that encourages you to hug the prickly teenager or let the 6 year old try something she’s never done before.

It’s taking one look at him and knowing you need to take his temperature.

It’s her waking early and knowing it has nothing to do with circadian rhythms and everything to do with social dynamics at school.

It’s seeing something in his eyes or hearing something in her voice and knowing they need you.

It’s pushing them ( to ride a bike, to swim across the pool, to let go) but also to be there to kiss the boo boos, cheer them on and sometimes even hide in the crowd so they can’t see you… because they need to do it alone.

It’s hearing that she wants breakfast but knowing what she really want isn’t food but your undivided attention.

There’s no manual to explain it. There’s no schedule of when it’s going to happen.

It’s sheer instinct. The moment they’re conceived, it starts to grow in you. You place your hand on the life inside and you know him in a way no one else ever will.

The connection is so vibrant, we sometimes can feel it from another room, another state, another continent.

And that, sweet mama, is all the confidence you need.

Trust it. Trust yourself.

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